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How does massage help a sports dog?

Why is massage important?

Whether your dog is a competitive athlete, “fetch fanatic” or your favorite running buddy, massage can help your active dog stay in top condition.

Massage can improve your dog’s comfort and performance.

Running, jumping, turning, bending, climbing, crouching and speed require flexibility, balance, drive and good range of motion.

Tight, sore muscles hurt! They restrict joint mobility and increase the risk of injury. Together this can have a serious impact on your dog's speed, agility, motivation (drive) and focus. Muscular tension impairs balance, decreasing your dog's ability and willingness to navigate narrow obstacles, such as dog walks and teeter-totters. Climbing, jumping and downhill work depend on a dog's ability to control their descent and landing... actions that depend on strong, healthy muscles.

A dog who suddenly begins to knock down jumps may suffer from tight muscles and joints. A dog that begins refusing jumps may be anticipating pain from a hard or unbalanced landing. By releasing muscle tension, massage can often restore and improve your dog’s jump performance. Extensive heel work and activities like tracking and field work can take their toll on a dog’s neck, shoulders and back. Tight back and neck muscles can inhibit movement and motivation. Massage can help loosen your dog’s neck and back, allowing them to move quickly and comfortably.

Massage can reduce your dog’s risk of injury.

Participation in any canine sport brings with it a risk of injury. Massage can reduce this risk by enhancing muscle health and reducing tension. A dog with a strong, healthy musculoskeletal system is less likely to suffer from tears, strains and sprains.

So whether you and your dog are into agility, flyball, obedience, rally-O, tracking, herding, running or other activity, massage can play a critical role in your dog's conditioning and performance.

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