Massage is well recognised as a way of reducing the effects of stress. It can help remove tension from muscles by lengthening and straightening out the muscle fibres. It can open up the blood vessels which brings more oxygen and nutrients to all the organs of the body helping them to work more efficiently. Most importantly in this instance, massage can help induce feelings of relaxation by stimulating the production of oxytocin and endorphines which have a calming effect and lead to greater feelings of well being.
Regular massage by a trained therapist can help an anxious dog cope with everyday life. A good therapist will also be able to show you how to use massage in your daily interactions with your dog to maintain the benefit between therapy sessions.
For help in understanding the causes and recognising the signs of stress click here
Other Stress Relievers
If you recognise that your dog is anxious and experiencing stress there are a number of things you can do to reduce it.
- Keep the surroundings calm – reduce excess noise and activity around your dog.
- Offer extra attention – studies show that gentle human touch lowers blood pressure and heart rate in dogs
- Provide soothing music – recent studies indicate that certain music calms dogs and other animals.
- Provide chew toys- this is greats tress relief as it is a distraction and give a focus for behaviour.
- provide a den or safe place for your dog to go to when they feel threatened.
- Provide daily exercise
- Offer extra kindness and patience – remember your dog can’t help how they feel
- Get a health check from your vet in case the anxiety is caused by an underlying illness.
If you are interested in trying massage to relieve stress and anxiety in your dog, please feel free to contact me for a chat