A Pampered Pooch Can Live a Longer Life

Massage therapy helps dogs thrive

By Cary Berglund and Debbie Fischer
|  Saturday, Oct 1, 2011  |  Updated 3:13 PM PDT
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Massage can help dogs live longer.

Massage can help dogs live longer.

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The expression "it's a dog's life" comes from the assumption that there's just nothing better -- no clock to punch, no bills to pay, no worries, no stress.

But massage therapist Athena Arnado, who is used to finding stress and getting rid of it, said dogs can have bad days and stressful weeks, too.

"Loud noises don't bother us as much," said Arnado. "We know what loud noises are, where they are coming from. Dogs don't necessarily know that."

So Arnado took what she already knew and started applying it to dogs.

"Every time I was at the dog park, and a dog would approach me or pass by me, I would stop and I would basically ask his permission, basically communicate that I wanted him to come to me," said Arnado. "And the dog would come to me and I would start massaging him just using the human techniques that I had learned. And every one of them responded well to it."
 
She may not be the first masseuse for canines, but she may be one of the more generous. Arnado is eager to give her trade secrets away, even to her clients who actually pay the bills.

"Even just a five-minute massage a day can increase longevity and improve the quality of life for your dog," she said.

Arnado said it's just one more thing your pets will adore you for. And there is even a fast version, if they'll let you stop.

Arnado has created a video to teach pet owners how to massage their pets called "Take 5 for Fido," available through Arnado's website.

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