Have you ever thought about massaging your pet’s achy, arthritic joints? Massaging your senior dog’s aching muscles a few minutes every day will help slow down the degenerative process of arthritis. Massage can also help relieve some of your dog’s arthritis pain and reduce some of the muscle tension associated with the disease.
So how do you do it? Start by lightly petting your dog all over, slowly concentrate your efforts on the area you are about to massage. Continue to lightly massage the area with very little pressure, this helps to increase circulation in the area.
Next, begin lightly kneading the tight muscles. Then rub your hands against your dog’s skin to create light friction which will loosen the tight muscle fibers and encourage deeper circulation. Continue to alternate light kneading with light hand friction. About every 10 seconds, use light strokes to assist drainage. Avoid putting any direct pressure on the dog’s painful joints, but do work the area around the joints to stimulate circulation and drainage.
During the massage, you may want to perform some gentle stretching exercises on your dog, to increase the elasticity of the tissue you are working on. When your massage and stretching session is over, softly stroke your dog’s entire body to help her relax. Then you may want to give your sweet dog a soft and tasty treat!
If you can manage it, try to massage your dog twice a day: once in the early morning and then again in the evening. A massage first thing in the morning is useful because it helps reduce the soreness and stiffness resulting from the previous night’s inactivity. A second massage in the evening will relieve muscle aches brought about by the day’s activities.
While massage isn’t a cure for arthritis, it will certainly help your older canine friend feel better. The added bonus is that the bonding experience will benefit both of you!
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