Massage is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body and is beneficial to dogs in many ways. It helps loosen muscles and tendons and realign muscle fibres which aids recovery from strains and sprains and can also be used to free scar tissue from old injuries. It stimulates the circulatory and lymphatic systems which removes lactic acid and waste products and speeds healing.
Massage can be used in a preventative capacity to warm and relax muscles to allow greater flexibility and reduce the chance of strains. Elderly and arthritic dogs particularly benefit from this as it allows them to maintain the range of movement of their joints.
Massage is good for stress and boosting the immune system which helps support the health of dogs with kidney or heart disease and as it assists venous flow it helps eliminate toxins and anaesthetic following surgery.
Rehabilitation plans involving strengthening exercises can be used with massage for dogs recovering from injury or surgery for cruciate repairs or joint replacement.