Pet Massage – Merit or Myth?
One minute I think that Brandy and Val would benefit from it, other times, not. What to do? Brandy is getting arthritic hips and, after a long afternoon of chasing squirrels, she clearly feels it. Our pet sitter is a big advocate of massage, having used it on her horses, where it was popularized in the ’70 and ’80s. Also, if massage benefits humans, too, it makes sense that it would also help your pooch. Yet, the evidence is murky and I am starting to think it couldn’t hurt but maybe it won’t help all that much either.
If you look online at all the websites out there demonstrating the techniques for pet massage, it gets kind of scary. Who are the people behind these sites and what are their qualifications? Searching the American Medical Veterinary Association website offered no further help. Hmmm….maybe it’s not such a great idea then to start experimenting on your own. As usual, I am a big advocate of discussing matters unfamiliar to me with our vet. So I did and got a pretty mediocre response: ”it couldn’t hurt.” Rather than taking my tips from YouTube, I asked our pet sitter for a demo and proceeded to practice on Brandy. She thought it was kind of weird, actually. She didn’t mind it but I’m not sure she liked it as she kept turning around to figure out what was going on. I suspect she was feeling something odd, much the way we often get that “good hurt” feeling when a sore muscle is being massaged.
I found a pretty balanced article on the subject from the NEW YORK TIMES which bolstered my on-the-fence sentiment, along with the recommendation to as your vet. Next week, our local pet store, Bentley’s Corner Barkery, will be having a K9 Pet Massage afternoon so I’ll likely saunter over with Brandy and Val to see what tips I can pick up. If I learn something earth shattering or if I learn some techniques that, over time, my pups respond to, I’ll report back with the findings.
At Brandy and Val, LLC our mission is “to do good where good is needed.” If we can benefit someone’s achy pet by sharing a positive massage story, tell us how you do it. Did you know that Brandy and Val also star in their own children’s board book series: BRANDY AND VAL, REAL DOGS WITH REAL TALES with profits benefitting animal shelters throughout the country. With the Holiday season upon us, consider one of our books or toys — it’s a feel good gift that kids love and helps others.