Touch therapy is much more than just a massage for your dog. The most noted form of touch therapy for animals is the TTouch (Tellington Touch) mode of therapy, which was created by Linda Tellington-Jones. It focuses on circular fingertip and full hand massage for all kinds of animals, but dogs are among the most common recipients of the therapy. Reiki and even body wrapping (like swaddling) are also common ways of bringing touch to a dog’s life with therapeutic results. While the reasoning behind the practice may sound kind of touchy-feely, so to speak, the benefits are harder to brush aside. It is important to note that this should not be used instead of veterinary care or thoughtful training. It is best when used along more traditional methods of caring for your dog.
This is primarily done for dogs who have pain issues. Gentle focused massage can help to relieve some pain in areas with particular sensitivity and deterioration, or you can give a more all-over approach to touch therapy to generally promote wellness and muscle relaxation.
Dogs who tend to be stressed out or upset are often shifted by this kind of intimate, relaxing touch. It’s a chance to be massaged purely for their sake as opposed to the kind of give and take that petting brings about. They just need to relax and receive, letting go of what is often expected of them.
This is especially good for dogs who tend to be tightly wound or high strung. It puts them into a subdued state and melts away a lot of the tension of life, as humans feel with massage. You don’t need to make a doggy spa, but regular massage can sometimes gradually mean greater calm outside of the touch therapy situation.
A happier, calmer dog is more likely to appreciate and take in attempts at training. While touch therapy is definitely not a full replacement for behavioral adaptation, adding the soothing benefits of touch into what might otherwise be times of misbehaving does wonders to re-route the energy and diffuse the situation.
The dog gets most of the more obvious benefits, but consecrating time to be with your dog and to enjoy this gentle, loving activity together is good for the owner’s well-being, too. It’s a relaxing form of gentle circular massage that can be almost hypnotic. It also makes you feel better because you’re doing something kind for your dog. You’re giving care in yet another way.