Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why Massage Your Dog?

Have you ever had a massage? If so, I bet you felt wonderful afterward! Even if you haven’t had a massage, chances are you know what it is; the manipulation of skin, muscles and joints for the purpose of affecting physical or emotional changes in the body. While massage for humans has been around for millennia, canine massage as a practice is relatively new. The benefits of massage on humans are well documented, so why shouldn’t the same benefits apply to dogs as well?

Studies show that consistent massage will enhance your dog's comfort, emotional stability, general fitness, and overall health. Massage on a regular basis may add years to any dog's life and delay the onset of old age. It is an effective tool to improve the physical, emotional, and mental health of your dog. Massage is focused time with your animal, completely different from casual petting, and has the proven ability to reduce stress and promote a feeling of calm in both you and your dog.

Massage is easy to learn, and becomes easier the more you practice. So how to you learn? You can buy a book, such as “Healthy Dogs, Your Loving Touch: Acupressure Massage for Your Dog.” You can buy a DVD, or you can take a class if offered in your area. Or you can simply try it. Just by gently stroking your dog focusing on helping him will give him some of the benefits of massage. Give it a try today!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thoughts on canine massage

Now that taxes are done, I can get back to doing one of the things I love - writing!

I've been thinking recently about canine massage and why many people view it as a luxury rather than a necessity. In the human world, massage is routinely prescribed by doctors these days because the medical benefits are so clear and are growing daily. Why isn't the same thing true in the canine world? Why don't veterinarians routinely prescribe massage? Is it because we as dog owners can't feel the results the same way we can when we have a massage? Perhaps since our dogs can't tell us how good they feel afterward, we as humans don't have any conclusive evidence that regular massages can help. In the human world, massage can dramatically improve one's quality of life, helping give relief from pain and stress, increasing circulation and flexibility, removing toxins from the body, and much more. It's such a gift it gives us.

Why not give your dog the same gift? Learn how to massage your dog, and then integrate regular massage into your weekly routine. That's one of the big reasons I wrote my book "Healthy Dogs, Your Loving Touch: Acupressure Massage for Your Dog" - because I want to help people learn how to massage their own dogs. As I said above, the benefits are clear - give your dog a better quality of life starting today. It doesn't matter how old your dog is. Your dog will love it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Pet

What do you think is the best gift you can give your pet? Could it be your love? Or your time? Those are definitely important, but I think the best gift we can give our beloved pet companions is the gift of health.

It begins with the basics, food and water. Provide only pure water whenever possible. Tap water can contain chemicals such as lead, arsenic, and nitrates. Then change your pet's water at least twice daily. Keep the bowl clean and in a place protected from dust and debris.

Strive to buy the best quality food you can. It is essential to feed your pet the proper diet, free of harmful byproducts and chemicals which can damage cells. As a pet owner, it's your responsibility to look past the pretty pictures of fresh cuts of meat and juicy vegetables, the cute commercials and the misleading, biased information about "proper nutrition" and question the statements made by the manufacturer. If you doubt any information or are concerned about a particular ingredient, research it and get the facts.

Exercise and play with your pet regularly. This is especially important if you have a dog. If you have a dog, make sure he is properly trained and socialized. Learn to massage your pet, and give him the emotional security he needs. An animal should be a part of the family and his well-being should be included in family decisions.

Beyond the basics, look at the cleaning products in your home and the fertilizers and other toxins on your lawn. Remove as many of those cleaning products as you can. If you want truly non-toxic and green cleaning products, please visit this website:

Look at the toxins you give your dog. Flea/tick and heartworm preventatives are toxic. I personally use a product called Flea Away on my dog and it works really well. It’s a natural B vitamin complex that repels fleas. I buy it from Greyhound Ranch Adoptions (, a rescue organization that takes in retired racing greyhounds and finds them loving homes. Part of the money for the product is donated to Greyhound Ranch. Don’t give heartworm every 30 days. Space it out to 40 or 50 days, depending on where you live. This will not only help your dog, but save you money!

There are many more things I can suggest to help you have a healthy, happy dog, but this is a start. Incorporate as many of these into your daily life as you can, and it can help your pet live a longer, healthier and happier life. Your pets will thank you for it!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Make the Most of Your Time with Your Dog
I was talking with a friend today and she mentioned how she has an agreement with her dog that her dog will live to be 24 years old. She asked how I could have a preference for bigger dogs which typically have a shortened life span. I told her we never know what’s going to happen in life. One minute everything’s fine, the next minute, not. One of my neighbors, a relatively young guy, was attending a conference in Haiti when the earthquake struck. He was at his hotel, which collapsed. He’s been missing since then. He has a wife and a child, and I’m sure they never expected this sort of outcome when he boarded that plane to Haiti. I’m sure they fully expected to grow old together.

Then, I reminded my friend about me and my husband – we have a large age difference. When we got together, we decided then and there to make the most of every day, because of our age difference, we didn’t know how much time we would have together. We figured if we had 5 years that would be great – we would take it and enjoy it. We’re lucky though because it’s now been 22 years and counting, and we still treasure the time we have together.

It’s the same with my dogs. A dog comes into our life as either a cute puppy or an adult, possibly a rescue. From the size or breed we have an idea of how long our dog should theoretically live. But that means nothing. Anything can happen. From getting hit by a car to cancer, the beloved dog we fully expect to have in our lives for18 years may die at five.

I don’t mean to sound morbid, but it’s my belief that we should treasure the time we have with our dogs because we just don’t know. Too often for example, we come home from work stressed and we don’t give our dogs the attention they crave after spending the day without us. Or we get busy with our lives and forget. There are many reasons.

But today, just for a moment, remember why you brought that special doggie soul into your life. Give them the attention they deserve. Take time to play, go for a walk, or watch a movie with your dog lying beside you on the couch. You get the idea – spend quality time with your dog. I think you’ll also find you become less stressed when you do.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Great idea if you’re thinking of starting to try to massage your dog!

One of the most important things to remember though is not how to do the various strokes. You will learn those strokes as you practice. What’s more important is to find a quiet time when both you and your dog are “in the mood.” Your dog must want to receive a massage, and you must be in the proper frame of mind to give a massage. You should be as stress free as possible, and not thinking of the kids, or what you have to cook for dinner, or how your day was at work.

When you have that time, find a place that’s quiet, and away from the kids and other dogs. Then relax, breathe, and focus. Set your full attention on your dog, and set your intention to help him stay healthy. Then place your hands on him. If you do nothing else than passive touch – placing your hands gently on various parts of your dog’s body – you have made a positive difference in his life. Congratulations!