Massage For Active Dogs
with humans, canine athletes need to warm-up, cool down and stretch to obtain maximum performance and reduce the risk of injury.
They need to be flexible and free from muscle tension. Dogs who participate in activities such as
Agility, Obedience, Flyball and Field Trials depend on their bodies being fully ‘fit’ for the job – to reduce
the risk of injury.
Tight and sore muscles can have a major impact on your dogs speed, agility and focus. Muscular problems
can discourage movements that have previously been easy because it brings on pain. This in turn increases
the possibility of a strain or pull.
Muscles of the chest, shoulders, back and hindquarters are all essential for forward movement and pull
and unless they are free from tension, spasms and knots etc., the animal cannot function properly.
A dog who suddenly starts
to knock the bars of jumps, refuses to jump, goes under or around pieces of equipment, refuses to retrieve or pick things
up is more than likely doing so because the activity causes discomfort. Additionally, jumping in and out the car or
on and off objects may be a sign that there is tension or soreness in the muscles.
Maintenance Massage can help the active dog by:-
Soothing sore muscles and joints
Relieving spasms, knots and
flexibility and range of movement
Improving gait and balance
Regular massage can help to ensure that your dog stays at its peak performance throughout the year and helps
to identify any muscular-skeletal problems before a serious injury occurs.
In Agility training a dog needs to be flexible, to be
able to run, jump and climb its way around a course. Good contacts on equipment such as the A frame depend
on the dogs ability to control its muscles for the ascent and descent. Spinal flexibility is required for
weave poles and tunnels. Tight muscles can affect the balance which is essential for the dog walk and painful
muscles can be jolted as each jump is taken (and landed).
In Obedience training the muscles of the neck and back can become unbalanced because of the control that
is required for the dog to perform well. In tracking and field events the muscles of the neck and jaw can
become tense and sore making it harder for the dog to control movements and maintain a ‘soft mouth’.
canine maintenance massage can help to ensure your dog has a smooth gait, can turn quickly, run freely, jump cleanly, move
comfortably which all leads to a happy dog.