Published at Sunday, July 22nd, 2018 - 16:11:43 PM. . By Karyn Bates.
The focus of animal massage for many years was horses, particularly racing and show horses. The benefit of massage for horses is well recognized among horse owners. Massage certification has been offered in equine massage therapy for years, but only recently has the focused turned toward pet massage certification. With literally billions of dollars flowing into the pet care industry and pets living longer and more active lives, pet massage therapy is now being offered at veterinarian clinics, grooming salons and doggie daycare establishments all over the country.
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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