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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Is Petting Your Dog Enough?

Well, not according to an article in today's New York Times...or maybe it is, depending on which pet expert or veterinarian you believe. But apparently, there's a whole world of pet massage therapists out there just waiting to get their hands on us pooches: choose from a mere 20 minute surface massage to a two hour "deep tissue", full body massage, and everything in between- just like humans have to relax after a hard day's work. (Have you noticed that lately, everything that's good for our human companions is good for us, too?)

And it doesn't stop there-learning to give your own pet the spa treatment is now right up there in popularity with obedience training classes! But not everyone is in agreement that we dogs (and yes, even cats) benefit from all that touching. Pet massage seems to be in the category of "alternative therapies", and most often it is used along with acupuncture to help ease symptoms of arthritis and muscle ailments in aging canines. There are the massage enthusiasts on one side: Renee Lane, for example, who gives her toy poodle, Grace, a nightly massage, complete with candles, lavender oil, and guitar music softly playing on the stereo. Grace seems to love it, and as Ms. Lane says, "She helps reduce my stress, so why shouldn't I reciprocate?"

The other side tends to scoff: "What's wrong with regular old petting? they ask. And many veterinarians say that evidence of its [massage] benefits is flimsy." According to David W. Ramey, a veterinarian and author of a book that investigates the science behind various alternative therapies for pets, "I have two dogs and I pet them all the time...But I don't refer to that as 'massage', and I certainly wouldn't send anyone to a glorified school of dog petting."

The full article goes into great detail of the various points of view and even includes a list of dog massage tips from an expert in the area of canine massage. Enjoy the full article here: www.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/garden/21pets.html?_r=1&hpw

And now, I think it's time for a good ole' fashioned belly rub.

How about you? we'd love to hear what you think about the benefits or possible downsides of pet massage. Do you human companions massage your pet?


NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

Mom and I will be right ovFUR!


Jake of Florida said...

I, Jake, get tummy rubs from my mom 'cause when she starts to pet me, I roll over so she can see what I want. JH isn't confident enough to roll over, so he just gets ear and muzzle rubs. In the morning though our Dogdad gives each of us a good kind of rough body rub down which we both enjoy!!! It's a guy thing!

Wirey woofs,

Jake and Just Harry

Wyatt said...

sign me up for that!! I get sore sometimes after running around like the crazy terrier that I am. Mom has to rub my leg muscles, it makes me feel better :)


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