Shop Online  |  My Account  |  Customer Care  |  Order Status
View Cart  | 
Search:

News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Is your dog always scratching or licking a specific spot on his body? Have you gotten x-rays, ruled out allergies, and even tried meds for relief with minimal results? If your dog is paying attention to a particular area of the body, i.e. licking the elbow or wrist, this could be a location of discomfort due to tight muscles. Why? Un-stretched, overused, and taut muscles put stress on the joints all over the body. When joints are stressed, they become painful and eventually damaged.

Dogs have a very unique way of trying to heal sore areas of concern on their own. They will frequently lick or even scratch their sore spots repeatedly. The idea is when they do this to an aching site, it will increase circulation allowing for freshly oxygenated blood flow to repair the area. If they have a tight upper back muscle after say, playing too hard, you may notice them rubbing their back on the floor, or they might use their rear leg to scratch at it. They instinctively know how to self treat, but human hands can do it much better!

If dogs have uncomfortable joints, gentle nibbling and licking stimulates blood flow and warmth, therefore providing temporary comfort. Having a massage therapist check for muscle tightness or imbalances can help alleviate the constant need for them to try to help themselves. Stretching can also help with tight muscles they cannot stretch on their own.

Passive range of motion occurs during massage. When your dog receives massage, the therapist will typically take your dog’s limbs through a comfortable range of motion. When this happens, synovial fluid lubricates the joints making movement there more flexible and less painful.

 

If you feel your dog is otherwise healthy, ruling out flea infestation and skin allergies, here are some common things to look for on your dog if you’re wondering if he might need some soft tissue work:

  • Reddish-brown stains over wrists, ankles, or other joints
  • Frequent nibbling over a specific muscle or joint
  • Scratching a difficult-to-reach area

Keep in mind, if your dog has allergies and is always scratching at an itch, this can generate muscular imbalances. Additionally, if you have a puppy, he is growing at a rapid rate. This makes him feel itchy allover his body! Massage is great for alleviating growing pains and keeps skin and fascia supple and ready for another growth spurt. Remember, massage allows us to focus on whole body health and well-being. It should be utilized as one of your tools in the toolbox to always facilitate healing.

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

 

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 nbcaam.org for a list of practitioners near you or head over to myvitalitychiropractic.com to schedule an appointment with Kristina!

 

 

untitledCanine massage is a helpful and simple way to make your dog feel and move better.  Massage is a calming and very effective treatment modality that brings each pet into better range of motion and facilitates healing. Properly functioning muscles can lead to a whole new level of mobility and health.

A Nationally Certified Canine Massage Therapist is a person that has fulfilled a required number of hours being educated in anatomy, physiology, behavior, gait assessment, palpation, massage techniques, body systems, passive range of motion and injury and tissue repair. The National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure and Massage has a standardized exam, not required to practice but ideal to obtain to set yourself apart as a practitioner.

In addition to regular veterinary care, canine massage can help so many of our pets. Let’s review some reasons why massage is right for your pooch.

  • Muscle imbalance or overuse from too much or not enough exercise
  • Anxiety from storms, holidays, or other transitions (moving, new baby, etc.)
  • Pre- and post-surgery (pain relief before and after surgical intervention)
  • Edema relief (decrease swollen area after injury or surgical intervention)
  • Hip dysplasia or Arthritis and other debilitating diseases
  • Amputee (scar therapy at amputation site, remove fascial adhesions)
  • Recent adoptee (self-confidence issues)
  • Lymphatic drainage (removes toxins and improves immune system)
  • Pain reduction in general (the brain releases feel good hormones during massage)
  • Stress reliever (massage decreases stress hormones)
  • Restores energy and vitality
  • Puppies (tumbles and falls, handling awareness)
  • Basic stretching (create elasticity throughout tight, shortened muscles)
  • Pairs well with homeopathy, acupuncture, reiki, and chiropractic care
  • Palliative or hospice care (brings peace and comfort during this time)

What to look for…

img_6930Here are some things to check for at home to see if your dog would benefit from a massage:

  1. Do a light, open hand scan over the dog’s entire body. Here you are searching for areas of tight muscle, heat, lack of heat and swelling. Gently apply pressure to these areas to check for discomfort. Pulling away or turning to look at you are indications they may have an area of concern. Over time, your pet will allow you to check them, and you will become more sensitized to the slightest change.
  2. Observe your pet as they go through specific movements. Observe your dog while he walks. Is he dragging his nails on the back feet? Does he have a head bob when moving one of the front legs forward? Does he hop up the stairs or make contact with all feet? Does he have difficulty going into a sit or stand? Can your dog squat or lift his leg to potty comfortably or is he weak? These can all be indications there is muscular or joint pain occurring.

Massage is a medication free option that can be right for your pet.  A directory of skilled Nationally Certified Canine Massage Therapists is available at nbcaam.org.

For further information on canine massage visit myvitalitychiropractic.com or email Kristina Dodge at kristinadodge@ymail.com