Rescue dogs and dogs with anxiety
I see a lot of rescue dogs with separation anxiety which makes life complicated for both owner and dog – and no wonder! Think about it for a second, a lot of them have been abandoned, stayed at shelters, abused and re-homed, some more than once.
One would think that once the dog is removed from the abusive environment, things would change. The thing is, when we are in danger, the nervous system puts us in “fight or flight” mode. It stresses the body tremendously when the body gets stuck
in that level of high alert. On top of that the body remembers even if the brain knows to let go. The constant muscle tension can actually end up making the dog physically ill, by lowering circulation and impacting the immune system.
Trust is often non-existent for these dogs, and it needs to be regained slowly. Gentle massage can aid in the process, letting the dog reconnect and learn to accept human touch. It helps release fear and tension, relaxes the dog and helps rebuild their confidence. It is very effective to use a combination of massage, acupressure and essential oils when working with anxiety issues. Most issues will improve greatly after just a few sessions.
I do not work with dogs having dog-on-human fear based aggression issues. It is a behavior that needs to be dealt with by working with a skilled behaviorist.
By law, massage and acupressure is required to be done under the direct or general supervision of a licensed veterinarian.