A comfy bed, the morning sun on the kitchen tile, walks that are more sniff than speed- older dogs enjoy some of the finer parts of life. But what about doing the stairs, getting in and out of the car, or even being able to scratch your own ear? Sometimes, our older friends need a little bit of assistance in those areas.
What benefits can your older dog get from massage?
-Increased circulation to limbs
-Reduction in muscle tension
-Increased flexibility in joints
-Improvement in skin quality
What is different about a massage for a senior dog?
Senior pets need a different approach for massage than their younger counterparts. The muscles of the older dog will take longer to respond to manipulation, and are more susceptible to having too much pressure applied, too quickly. The skin is sometimes thinner and more fragile. They may have arthritic joints that need special care and attention. A slower, gentler approach is key to having your dog fall asleep on the massage mat (sometimes, they even snore a little!).
My senior pet has a few health issues going on, can he still be massaged?
There are some health issues where the benefits of massage need to be weighed against the risks. For example, dogs that suffer from cardiac disease or cancer are sometimes not good candidates for massage. The veterinarians at Full Circle Vet are happy to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of massage in individual cases when building a treatment plan for your pet.
Can I massage at home?
Massaging at home can be an excellent bonding experience for you and your pet, and can help keep your dog comfortable between sessions with your canine massage therapist. I often will show owners areas to massage at home, and which strokes their pet benefits the most from. Home massage also helps owners find lumps and bumps quicker, and the sooner lumps are found and addressed, the better.
Age is not a disease, and by using massage as part of your senior pet care plan, many owners are happy to find out that their senior dog is still young at heart!
Participate in the Full Circle of Veterinary Care!
Our dynamic, passionate and dedicated customer care team wants you to experience inspired, integrated veterinary health care. Our broadly educated veterinarians, technologists and clerical support staff meld conventional veterinary medicine and surgery with diverse special interest fields including: nutrition (commercial and home prepared feeding plans), diagnostic ultrasound, acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, canine rehabilitation, feline focused medicine and more. Take the first step and join us online at www.fullcirclevet.ca to learn more and to link to our Facebook page. In person, we serve clients locally from Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, Sackville and more distant visitors Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.