Why is Dog Massage Needed

There are Four Common Stress Areas in Dogs

Dogs and their Muscles Need Massage Therapy

There are four common stress areas in dogs, these areas being where several muscle groups attach. When a dog is performing any intense physical exercise, these areas will show tension varying from mild tightness to chronic contracture to even spasms. When a dog is recovery from injuries or surgery, there will be compensating muscle tension on the other limbs, the back and the neck.

The four common stress points are:

  • head and neck
  • shoulders and forelimbs
  • back and rib cage
  • hind quarters and hind legs

A dog uses its head to balance the rest of their body. We can witness this by watching when a dog runs; the downward swing of the head helps propel the rear legs off the ground as the dog runs forward. When a dog plays tug of war there is a huge  amount of strain being placed on the entire rest of the body as well as the neck area. You can start to see how dog massage can really help these robust beings!

For proper athletic performance a dog requires…

a strong and flexible shoulder and foreleg. Dogs that jump show this by how they stretch their legs up in front of their body during the great jump. Given that 60% of a dog’s weight rests on its front, dog massage only seems appropriate to keep them limber and in a relaxed state with their muscles.

Canine massage is well utilized for dogs performing in agility sports. This is needed in order to have great power and flexibility at the shoulder joint, which of course is connected to the forelimbs, enhancing their performance in running and jumping.

The back and the rib cage are a combination of strong bones, ligaments and muscles. The vertebral column protects the spinal cord and provides a solid anchor for the strong muscle groups. The rib cage protects the lungs and the heart and other vital organs. The muscle groups attached here, contribute to the flexion and extension of the back and they also stabilize the rib cage.

The hind quarters and hind limbs will dictate a dog’s performance ability in any activity. Their conformation is very important in their overall anatomy, as this is the complete motor of the dog. How a dog is conformationally designed will make or break their performance. Your dog’s muscular problem can be detected by watching closely how your dog runs, walks or trotts. Each stride, the smoothness of it, and the soundness in each step is a give away to any lameness, muscle tightness or laxity.

To learn more about canine massage and how it benefits them, check out my e-book, “The Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs.” Massaging a dog has perks for both the giver and the recipient!




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