Stress, pain and anxiety in the dog can cause muscle tension. And in turn muscle tension can cause stress, pain and anxiety. This can be a circular effect that is difficult to break.
Sometimes this is seen as unwanted behaviours such as destructiveness or barking. Sometimes it is seen as hyperactivity, or an inability to settle and relax.
Massage stimulates the nerve receptors that control muscle tension and can help the muscles to relax which helps to reduce pain.
When the dog’s sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) is overstimulated it can have an effect on the immune system, and the general health and wellbeing of your dog can be compromised. Massage can counter this by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) which can increase the dogs sense of wellbeing and general health.