Is you dog the 1 in 5 that suffers from arthritis?
We met up with Helen from Auckland Canine Massage to find out how massage can help your arthritic pooch...
Q: What type of dog benefits from massage?
A: All types of dogs can benefit however a lot of my clients do tend to be suffering from arthritis. They're not all older dogs though, many of them are middle aged and so massage is forming part of their ongoing arthritis management plan.
Also, as the weather is starting to cool off some owners notice that their dogs look a little stiffer and don't seem to be moving around as easily as they were in the warmer months.
Q: Why would you massage a dog?
A: Just like humans, therapeutic massage can assist in injury recover, improve range of motion and flexibility, and reduce pain and anxiety.
Image you have arthritis in your knee; The muscles around the arthritic knee start to tighten up to 'protect' the knee and to keep moving you might compensate by putting more pressure on different muscles in that leg and by using the other leg and back muscles more. Over time these muscles tighen up, knots can develop, and then they can start to feel sore. It's just the same for dogs - massage will work on releasing the tight muscles including those used in compensation, so that the dog feels less stiff, more nimble and flexible.
Q: Where do you work?
A: I work out of 3 clinics accross Auckland and I also provide home visits, you can check out my website www.aucklandcaninemassage.co.n... for more information on clinic locations and times.
Q: So how do the dogs respond? Do they fall asleep?
A: Some do yes, although that doesn't tend to happen in the first session! It depends how comfortable your dog is with new people and being touched. If not straight away (especially if they are carrying a lot of tension and feel sensitive) then over time your dog will relax into it and enjoy their sessions. Each massage is tailored to the individual dog and their specific needs.
Q: Can anyone do this, or have you had special training?
A: I have had special training in canine massage, but I do try and give my human clients some "homework" which is normally some basic massage techniques that they can use at home in between sessions.
Q: What was your most challenging dog?
A: Good question - as each dog is different I can't say one is more challenging than another. One day I do remember working on a Great Dane and then a Chihuahua straight after - that took some adjusting to!
Special promotion: Buy a "bundle" of 3 sessions at VetCare and receive 25% discount OR purchase VetCare's Wellness Promotion and get the same deal! Valid until end of June 2018.