There are many types of non-invasive physical therapy options for dogs recovering from CCL surgery. Massage is a gentle option that can help dogs of any size in their recovery process, and can continue to be beneficial on a regular basis long after they’ve healed. Even though it looks and feels like pampering (and can therefore be quickly dismissed by some people) massage is actually a serious form of healthcare that can positively affect all systems of your dog’s body. Here we’ll focus on the specific benefits of canine massage therapy, which seem to be endless:
-Enhances human-animal bond
-Relieves stress and anxiety
-Decreases pain by stimulating endorphins
-Improves blood circulation and lymphatic flow
-Improves spinal/body alignment, flexibility, and range of motion
-Decreases edema (excessive fluid collecting in cavities or tissues in the body)
-Decreases fibrosis by relieving contraction of tendons and muscles
-Helps maintain muscle tone
-Improves immune system function
-Increases energy, which can aid in weight loss
Ready to test it out? You can view this brief video to learn the basics of canine massage therapy at home.
*Note: It’s important to remember that while the benefits of massage for animals generally parallel those for humans, the execution is a bit different. You cannot, for example, attempt to give your dog a “deep tissue” massage because the pain probably won’t feel good to them, like it might to you when you’re receiving a massage. Be gentle!