One of the good things we’ve learned during the pandemic is that dog owners are maturing in their appreciation of their dogs. Especially their older, more vulnerable dogs. They are demonstrating by their actions that they know how valuable their dogs are to them and their families. They celebrate them. Their companionship. Their emotional support. Their devotion. Their entertainment value. Their stability.

They are becoming more proactive in their dogs’ care and nurturing. They are seeking long term health and wellness maintenance; short term symptomatic relief.

They are learning that massages are investments that have proven to enhance their precious darlings’ overall quality of life. They are turning to massage to attend to their dogs’ chronic conditions, such as arthritis, obesity and instability; and arrange months or years of supportive hospice care.

I feel privileged to be requested to be part of the team that supports and honors these dogs.

Senior dogs are now a large part of my PetMassage practice. Each session takes on the flavor of an old time tent revival healing. The owners, elated to tears, witness the lame walk, the faltering steady, the dazed and confused realize clarity, the hurting, breath comfortably, and the still tails wag!

I had written “How to Massage the Senior Dog” a couple of years ago to encourage senior dog massage and offer instruction on it. With this newly expanded enthusiasm in taking care of these dogs I took another look at it and quickly realized it could be improved. In the name of space and brevity, I’d left out some important things. So it’s now revised. I changed the paper, the margins, justification, and font. It’s easier to read. I attenuated the order; so it’s easier to follow. And I added fresh content that I’m confident will give you more insight for your massage with your geriatric dogs. It’s really a new title.

This instruction is based on my 30 years of experience as a canine massage practitioner and instructor at the PetMassage Training and Research Institute in Toledo Ohio.

The new Massage for the Senior Dog describes senior dogs, their needs at their mature stage of life, and instruction for how to address those needs with the skills of massage therapy.

More specifically, in this book you’ll learn about variations in gait, behaviors, and aspects about the aging canine body that you must know to provide an effective massage. You’ll learn about the psychosocial needs of dogs, their pack mentality, canine body language, and instinctual behaviors. There’s a style of safe animal handling that we use during the massage which is taught in PetMassage hands-on workshops. You’ll be introduced to that too.

This book describes each massage skill and its application, in detail, with photographs, captions, and instructions for correct body and breath mechanics. Simple skills flow and morph into more complex skills. And it all comes together with a full massage sequence tailored to the senior dog.

If you are already a canine massage practitioner, we have a new PetMassage home study course that you can take as continuing education. Massage for the Senior Dog is one of the texts for the course Senior Dog Massage for the Canine Massage Practitioner.

Each dog I massage offers new insights and new approaches. Join me as we learn and grow our canine massage practices. It’s always fresh, always engrossing, and in all ways life enhancing.

 

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