Can you remember the last time your partner lit some candles, drew you a deep warm bath and followed up with a relaxing massage? What about one of those wellness days at work where the boss organised a masseuse to work on some aching necks and shoulders? Do you remember how you felt?
Have you ever considered how your pet pooch could benefit from a similar experience?
Nobody can deny that the pet care sector is a major growth industry, with The Australian claiming earlier this year that Aussies spend $12 billion a year on food, grooming, vets, and insurance.
We have one of the highest domestic animal ownership rates in the world with about eight million pets, most of those cats and dogs, and there’s a flourishing industry growing around caring for those pets.
Consider canine massage for example, it’s not a new concept with its history being traced back to ancient times. In India, not only were human bodies charted, but also those of animals resulting in what we refer to as trigger points. Even Julius Caesar travelled with a personal masseuse who also worked on his war dogs and the first known documentation of canine massage dates back to China in 2700 BC.
Massage techniques continued to develop throughout history with early archaeologists noting Egyptian hieroglyphics depicting scenes of ‘animal healers’!
When it comes to making your own dog feel good, the benefits include relaxation, decreased pain, increased mobility, and improved circulation, often helping to calm nervous or anxious dogs making them easier to handle when you take them to the vet or groomers.
In the same way that a relaxing massage helps make us feel calm and relaxed, canine massage therapy stimulates the production of endorphins in our pets, the natural chemicals that relieve pain and create that euphoric, blissful sensation.
A simple massage is extremely beneficial for aging and arthritic dogs and ill animals or ones that have had an injury or surgery.
Carlie Wacker from Noosa Canine Massage explains that trigger point pressure therapy, basic acupressure points, remedial massage and even Shiatsu can all be utilised to assist your pooch.
“I even use aromatherapy! Essential oils, for example frankincense, can help dogs suffering separation anxiety and the whole process is a great bonding exercise between owner and pet,” she says.
A quote in The Australian from PetSure chief executive Alex Thomas, claims that animals are becoming ‘humanised’ as an increasing number of people choose to have ‘fur babies’ rather than children and the second most common topic for people to post about on social medias is pets, just after children.
Considering the relationship, we have with ‘man’s best