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Dog Massage

Dogs Love Physical Touch & Massage

Warning:

Always remember to consult with a certified professional before attempting to practice any form of medicine. :)

Any pet-owner is well-acquainted with the fact that, when it comes to our furry friends, physical touch can often communicate what words never could. We love to greet them with a pet or a hug as we return from work and their enthusiastic response is enough to keep us petting and scratching them throughout our days. The undisputed fact is this: dogs love physical touch, and physical touch does more than simply communicate our affection to them. So why not take a moment to think about the possible physical benefits your dog can reap while you pet, scratch, pat, and massage them!

Daily Massage

Dog massage is an excellent way to stay abreast of any physical problems that might arise while you give undivided attention to your dog. Try this daily massage routine to maximize the quality time you spend with your dog. Keep in mind that a daily massage is intended to bring pleasure and relaxation to your pet. If at any time she starts to squirm or tighten her muscles, just decrease youíre your pressure or your level of movement.

Now, letís get started!

Setting for the Massage

Choose a time of day and setting when your dog is relaxed. Speak gently to her while stroking her softly until she lies comfortably on her side.

Warm Up 1: Petting

First, spend a minute running your hands the length of her body, from head to feet, moving in the direction of her fur.

The Benefits of Canine Massage:
    • Increases blood and lymph circulation.
    • Brings strength to weakened muscles.
    • Disperses pain and swelling in tensed muscles.
    • Builds trust and bonding.
    • Aids behavioral problems.
    • Reduces stress and tension.
    • Restores mobility and flexibility.
    • Creates balance.

Warm-Up 2: Circular Motions

Then, using the palm of your hand, make circular motions with gentle-to-moderate intensity starting at her shoulders and continuing around the whole body. If your dog has a noticeable amount of excess skin (you will feel it sliding around during this part of the massage), feel free to stabilize it with your free hand while continuing to work with the other.

Walking down the Back

Next, 'walk' your fingers down her back with one finger on each side of the spinal column, starting at the base of the skull. This is a great opportunity to gently massage the soft tissue surrounding the spine (we know how good this feels for us humans!)

Massaging the Legs

Starting with her hind legs, run your hands from top to bottom. When you find the muscles just above the knees, massage them top-to-bottom and side-to-side then continue below the knee, seeking out and running your fingers along the tendons and the dips between tendon and bone. Finish by rubbing each toe pad and slipping your fingers into the areas between toes. Repeat this process with her front legs.

Rubbing the Face

Finally, lightly massage the small muscles around her muzzle, cheeks, forehead, and ears, being sure to use caution in these tender areas.

Cool Down

Now, you have concluded the body of the massage. You can finish by repeating Warm-Up 1, using slower strokes and continuing this time to the end of the tail as well as to the tip of her feet.

For a more therapeutic, in-depth therapy, see our Acupressure (often misspelled "acupressure") page.