Your dog needs some TLC too ...
I featured this topic a couple years ago in a newsletter. It has come up recently and since it was a big hit, I thought it was time to revisit it.
Our canine companions are showing more of the same health problems as people. Thus, dogs can benefit from massage. It is especially helpful in pain management and stress reduction as well as being a great way to help calm them prior to grooming or vet visits.
You don't need to be an expert or certified to give your dog a massage. Learn how here: http://www.monkeysee.com/play/2163-how-to-massage-your-dog
This link has great step-by-step instructional videos on how you can do this yourself.
Your energy is key
Your dog is very sensitive to your emotions. Make sure you take a few breaths and are calm and the environment is quiet and free of distractions. They will pick up on how your are feeling and will relax if you are.
Effleurage is a technique you can use with your pet that is effective in relaxing them. This is one of the same stokes used in Swedish massage. It is long, slow, successive strokes from head to tail.
Multiple small circles around their ears, jaw, and neck are also very relaxing.
Pure essential oils like lavender and soothing blends can be used to relax your dog. They are more sensitive than you are to the oils so rub a few drops in your hands prior to stroking your dog. Avoid their face and head since the oils would be too potent near their sensitive noses. The essential oils are absorbed through their hair follicles into their bloodstream, triggering the parasympathetic nervous system (i.e. relaxed state) the same way when you use oils topically.
Acupuncture and Chiropractic adjustments are also becoming more popular as health care modalities for dogs. Just like massage, they are holistic ways to address pain management, preventative care, and the overall health of your pet.
If you want more information on holistic canine treatments you can read more here:
Find a holistic Veterinarian near you: