Published at Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 - 22:57:43 PM. . By Kathleen Fields.
For many, pet massage sounds like a luxury for pampered pets only. However, many canines receive massage to help recover from surgery or injury and athletes such as racehorses or agility dogs receive sport massage to improve performance. Service dogs and dogs used in police or military service have high stress jobs where massage can mean the difference between early retirement and more time on the job.
Animal trainers can use certain massage techniques as reinforcement for performed behaviors when food rewards are not safe or effective. Massage can improve nerve function and brain function as well, making training easier. Enrichment involves providing activities to captive animals that stimulate them physically and psychologically and improve their quality of life. Studies indicate that enrichment programs in zoological parks may contribute to the longevity of individual animals and may reduce safety concerns with animals that may become aggressive due to stress or boredom. Massage can be a valuable tool in enrichment programs for many species.
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