This is a guest post by Elizabeth Clegg of Dogma Dog Massage on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
Most people seek out physical therapy treatments for their dogs when they are injured or in pain. Fewer people recognise the value of massage in maintaining and improving quality of life for healthy dogs, in particular canine athletes. The canine athlete may compete in a variety of activities including obedience, agility, racing, dancing, endurance runs and many other sports. Each activity requires different types of performance and puts pressure on a dog’s body in particular ways. A Canine Myofunctional Therapy (CMT) treatment is tailored to an individual dog’s temperament, body type, health history, performance and lifestyle needs.
CMT can benefit your dog’s performance in a variety of ways; gait and postural improvements and increased stride length, improving the dog’s nutrient uptake and aiding in detoxification via increased circulation and lymphatic flow. A major consideration for any athlete is the prevention of injury and massage can play an important role in this. Repetitive movements carried out during regular activity can cause a build up of muscle tension leading to stresses on the whole musculoskeletal system. Left unchecked these imbalances may become serious enough to cause pain and injury. A skilled CMT therapist can detect variations in the soft tissues and help your dog maintain a much healthier physical state. Regular massages and stretching can help release this tension by allowing the muscles to release and they can also help increase flexibility, preventing build up of fibrous tissue and keeping joints well lubricated. If your dog is unfortunate enough to be injured then massage can aid in your dogs recovery, allowing it to return to its normal activity sooner.
Whether flyball or frisbee is your dog’s game of choice, massage can play an essential part of your training program, helping your dog to achieve its best by feeling its best. And don’t forget the most important thing, dogs absolutely love massages.
For more information on Canine Myofunctional Therapy visit www.dogmadogmassage.com.