Massage for Dogs

Note: Canine massage is taught and should be used as a powerful complimentary tool for behavioral purposes and overall well-being only. Like other techniques, some conditions may exist in your dog where you should not use massage. Please consult your veterinarian before conducting canine massage to ensure that your dog has no physical problems which might be aggravated by such activity. Arthritis, fractures, cancer and certain skin conditions are examples of situations when massage may not be an appropriate modality.

Canine massage is never a substitute for licensed veterinary care

Why Dogs Need Massage

Dogs are just like people; during their lifetimes, they will experience bumps and bruises, injuries, or serious trauma. Sometimes, however, after such injuries are treated and healed by a veterinarian, your dog may continue to continue to experience residual negative effects. These effects can be incorrect posture and movement, a decrease in muscle flexibility, or an imbalance in the blood circulation. Eventually, these residual negative effects can accumulate to cause a noticeable decline in your dog’s overall well-being energy, and zest for life. Even if your dog has never suffered an obvious injury, it is getting older, and chances are that it has dug at least one hole too energetically or jumped off the sofa the wrong way or met an unsociable cat face-to-face. For the aging dog, massage can get that old sparkle back and make them feel special. On the other hand, massage will benefit even the healthiest, most rambunctious dog, enhancing their talents and improving their well-being and longevity.

When you hear the word “massage,” you probably think of spas, luxury, lots of discretionary money to spend, and “feeling-good” benefits! It’s true that some massage methods fit this description. What the Lang System™ uses, however, is wellness massage. This type of massage offers real benefits that can help your dog physically, emotionally and mentally. This style of massage will improve and enhance a large number of functions in the physical body. Two of the most critical functions are blood circulation and the animal’s general well being.

Blood circulation – Massage helps to open blood vessels, which in turn improves blood circulation. Better blood circulation means more oxygen and nutrients can be distributed throughout the dog’s body. In addition, the stronger blood flow can push out more waste and toxins that may be making your dog sick.

Muscle maintenance - Among other numerous benefits, massage helps to loosen tight, constricted muscles, decrease pain, increase range-of-motion, and restore proper tone. Think of your dog as an athlete. If muscles remain tight for a long time, a dog’s body feels tension/stiffness/pain; less blood will be able to reach these muscles, and the dog may start to stand, walk and run using poor muscle strategies.

Evaluate Your Dog

You know your dog better than anyone else.

A key component of the Lang System™ is its comprehensive, detailed set of checklists. These checklists cover almost every facet of your dog’s life, from the food it eats to the amount of activity it enjoys every day, to its favorite sleeping position! Some of the evaluation questions by themselves may seem silly or all-too-obvious. But combine these questions with all the other probing questions on the checklists – and the result is a very accurate assessment of your dog’s well-being and attitude towards life!

Once all the evaluation checklist questions have been answered, the Lang provider and you will determine whether the dog client is standing, sitting, walking or running correctly. In combination, this information will be used to set up specific recommendations for your dog to help its posture and movement. These suggestions can include massage strategies, nutritional advice, exercise regimens, and referrals to veterinary care.

Some conditions may exist in your dog where you should not use massage. Please consult your veterinarian before conducting canine massage to ensure that your dog has no physical problems which might be aggravated by such activity. Arthritis, fractures, cancer and certain skin conditions are examples of situations when massage may not be an appropriate modality.

Your Dog’s First Session

You are getting ready to take your dog to its first appointment with a Lang provider. Naturally, you’re curious about what will happen at this appointment. While each provider has his/her own style, you should expect the following activities to occur during your Lang session:

  • The provider asks you to move your dog several yards in each direction in order to observe your dog’s posture and movement.
  • The practitioner talks with you about your dog’s attitude, past history, and eating/activity levels.
  • Your dog receives a 30-40 minute “first” massage.
  • You and the provider discuss various recommendations, based on the current condition of your dog.
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