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Does Massage Benefit Pets?

The practice of holistic and integrative veterinary medicine has increased over the years as more veterinarians and pet owners shift their focus from the treatment of disease to overall health and wellness.
 
The benefits of massage to humans has been studied and documented, but do those benefits apply to cats and dogs? For people, the benefits include: stress reduction, increased circulation and mobility, better digestion, lower blood pressure, and a boost in immunity. There have been few clinical studies including animals, and the medical evidence, so far, is not conclusive. However, that has not deterred an increasing population of veterinarians, pet care professionals, and pet owners from offering alternative therapies as part of pet wellness—massage being a popular form of therapy.
 
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) classifies massage as a rehabilitation therapy, which also includes acupuncture, chiropractic and therapeutic exercise, and defines these therapies as “being used to return a patient to normal function following surgery or trauma, or as part of a long-term strategy to manage pain.
 
Comprehensive pet wellness has long been a primary objective of the medical team at Doylestown Veterinary Hospital with special interest in pet nutrition and a veterinarian certified in acupuncture on staff. When the focus is lifelong wellness, pets tend to happily live longer, healthier lives.
 
Pet wellness is important at Holiday House Pet Resort with blueberry facials offered as a spa service and daycare clients participating in various wellness events, such as fitness camp and occasional massage sessions complete with soothing music and aromatherapy.

For animals, the power of touch provides physical and emotional benefits. Although the medical benefits in small animals are not well documented, massage certainly showers the pet with lavish attention and affection. The special time spent relaxing with your pet can also help strengthen the bond between you both.