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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

untitledOften times, when I first meet my canine massage clients with their arthritic dogs, they tell me that they have tried just about everything to help their dog feel better. I often hear, “Arthritis seems to have gotten the best of him.” Stop just a minute…there is another option! A medication-free option at that!

Canine massage helps our dogs feel less aches and pains, and aids in making them move with more ease. How is this possible? Let me explain!

When joins become riddled with inflammation, your dog’s body naturally reacts by sending extra fluid to the affected area to assist in healing. However, extra fluid causes the area that already hurts to swell, and the pressure builds. Massage plays a large part in moving fluid away from swollen areas. This is called edema relief. Taking some of the pressure off the joins makes pets more willing to move them. And movement lubricates the joints with synovial fluid.

Stiff, sore joints contribute to under-utilized muscles and lack of flexibility. That can lead to atrophy as muscles begin to shorten. Massage maintains circulation throughout those under-utilized muscles, and spreads muscle fibers apart keeping them plump and flexible.

img_6720Additionally, canine massage helps a dog to relax. When your dog’s body is in a pain cycle, he will often compensate with posture changes that make it very difficult to unwind or even fall asleep. Massage triggers the brain to release several endorphins – serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine. The cool part about these “feel-good” hormone-like substances is that they slow down pain signals! They even turn off some of the inflammation-making chemicals.  Win-Win!

Arthritic pets that receive massage can sleep better, move better, and feel happier! Alleviating swelling, invigorating weakened muscles, turning off inflammation and releasing brain chemicals that take away pain are all ways canine massage benefits your arthritic pooch. Try it today!

Always be sure to look for a Nationally Certified Canine Massage Therapist to work on your dog. Check out for a list of practitioners near you or head over to to schedule an appointment with Kristina!



Guest Blog ImageIn my Guest Blog: Keeping Your Dogs Feet Healthy, I mentioned that if you keep your pets’ nails and pad hair trimmed short this will aid in the prevention of premature arthritis.

Today, I want to share the warning signs that your pet might be suffering from arthritis or an injury in their feet.

  • Limping: You may see your pet limping or favoring one or more of his legs, depending on which legs and which joints are arthritic.  In some cases, the limp may seem worse when your pet first rises and becomes less noticeable as your pet “warms up” by moving around.
  • thDifficulty Moving: Your pet may also become reluctant to do things that were previously easy for him to accomplish.  For instance, your dog may find it difficult to get in and out of the car or may have difficulty going up and down stairs that were previously easily manageable.  Arthritic cats, on the other hand, may stop jumping onto counter-tops, perches and other high areas because of the pain and discomfort.


  • Spinal Issues: Arthritic changes can occur not only in the legs but also in the various parts of the spine.  These changes may result in a sore neck, an abnormal posture with a “hunch” in the back, or lameness of one or both hind legs.
  • Tiredness: Your pet may tire more easily,  For dogs, this may mean that walks become shorter and more painful for your pet. You pet may spend more time sleeping and/or resting.
  • Irritability: Arthritic animals may become irritable.  They may snap and/or bite when approached or handled, particularly if the petting or handling takes place in a manner that increases their pain.Dog_licking_foot
  • Muscle Atrophy: Arthritic pets often develop muscle atrophy or dying off of the muscle tissue due to inactivity and decreased use of the muscles.  A pet with atrophied muscles in their legs will have a leg which looks thinner than a normal leg.
  • Licking, Chewing and/or Biting: Pets affected with arthritis may also begin to lick at, chew or bite at body areas that are painful.  This may even reach the point of causing inflamed skin and hair loss over affected areas.

We never want to see your four-legged loved ones in pain.  So, help to prevent it by keeping their feet healthy!!

Nail Clipping, Filing and Pad Trims are available as a Walk-in Service at The UpScale Tail during normal business hours.  Monday – Friday: 7:30 – 5:00 pm and Saturdays: 8:00 – 3:00 pm.  Feel free to call us if you have any questions (630) 632-8245, stop in or visit us online at