Puppy Massage – why you should start them young.

Puppy Massage

As a massage therapist, I sometimes get asked at what age a puppy should have their first massage.

The short answer is to start them as soon as you can.

Handling your puppy is an important part of puppy training. There is a lot of reference material available on the importance of handling your puppy especially within the first 16 weeks of their life. The first 16 weeks of a puppies life is often referred to as the critical period. Exposure to the right type of handling during this period will no doubt assist your puppy in the long run.

All handling of a puppy should be gentle and non-threatening. We want to teach the puppy that human touch is something to enjoy. Indeed human touch can be very calming and lead to the release of hormones that will relax the puppy. If your puppy learns this and experiences this from a young age they will learn to enjoy and seek out human touch.

Often the very first time a puppy is placed on a table is at the Vet clinic or the Groomers which can be a time of stress for both the owner and the puppy. If your puppy has already experienced a relaxing and positive time on a massage table, they may be more comfortable and accepting of the vet or groomers table. A puppy used to massage is also more likely to accept lying down on their side. This will surely make examination, treatment or grooming a much less traumatic experience.

A massage therapist can help you develop a massage routine for your puppy.

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