In addition to building a solid relationship, massaging your dog can help check for health problems, such as tumors or sore spots before they become serious. Giving a dog a massage is different from providing a human massage. You need to be gentle so your pet is relaxed and comfortable, not deep tissue massage to relax muscles. Consider grooming your dog after the massage to make him feel loved, healthy and happy.
The right way to massage
1. Start with a gentle caress. Stroke the part of the dog that likes to be touched the most so that he can calm down, relax, and enjoy the massage. Gently stroke his head, belly, back and other body parts.
Have the dog sit, lie down or stand in a comfortable position.
Talk to the dog with a calm, relaxed demeanor and a gentle tone of voice to relieve its stress.
2. Massage the dog’s neck. Use your fingertips to massage the underside of the head in a circular motion. Press gently, not too hard, so the dog does not feel uncomfortable.
For small dogs to use a relatively small amplitude of movement, and for large dogs to use a larger amplitude of the signal.
Don’t press too hard on the dog’s body, so it doesn’t flinch from the pain. Remember, this is not a deep tissue massage, you just want to gently massage the body to calm it and bond with it.
3. Massage downward into the shoulders. Slowly move down the neck to the middle of the shoulders on both sides. This is one of the places the dog likes to be touched because it can’t reach this area on its own, spend more time massaging it well.
How to help your dog get a massage4. Then massage the front legs and chest. Some dogs don’t like to have their legs touched. If the dog flinches, remove your hand and pat the next part. If it likes you to feel the legs, you may want to take it a step further and see if it likes you to massage the paws.
5. Massage the dog’s back. Fingers back to the middle of the shoulders, and then slowly massage along the back. Fingers on both sides of the spine in a circular manner massage.
6. Finally, massage the hind legs. Continue massaging to the tail root. Gently massage down the dog’s hind legs. If the dog likes you to lift its legs, you may wish to rub down the paws.
You can stretch your dog’s hind legs to help relieve joint stiffness.
Help your dog feel comfortable
1. Choose to massage at the most peaceful time of the day. Massage when you and your dog are relaxed and at ease, such as after work and dinner. This way, the dog is more likely to relax under your touch.
If the dog is excited for one reason or another, it’s best to wait until it calms down before massaging.
Do not massage the dog immediately after exercising; let it rest for about half an hour.
If the dog is not feeling well, do not press to give it a massage. You can gently pet it, but it may not be suitable to receive a massage.
2. Slowly extend the massage to 5 or 10 minutes. In the beginning, the dog may not like the massage. Maybe it’s just not used to it. Massage 1 minute to see if it is acceptable, then slowly extend the massage time. As long as the dog enjoys the massage, you want to massage as long as you can, but usually, 5 or 10 minutes is enough to massage its whole body thoroughly.
3. If the dog does not like the massage, please stop immediately. The purpose of massage is to make the dog feel happy and relaxed, so if it does not like it, do not force it. If the dog likes the massage, it will straighten its limbs and breathe easily and comfortably. If he does not like it, the following behaviors may occur.
Stiffen up when you go from gentle stroking to massage.
Bite your hand
4. Consider combining massage and grooming. Now that the dog is calm and relaxed grooming him may be a good time. Only do this if the dog is enjoying the grooming process immensely. Otherwise, it may associate the massage time with emotions such as discomfort and anxiety.
A good brushing of the hair from the head to the tail
Trim nails (if they are long)
Trim long hairs around the face, limbs, or tail
Treat massage as a routine health check
1. Help relieve your dog’s arthritis pain. If your dog is older and suffers from arthritis, massage can help. Gently knead around the affected area to help reduce the pain. Do not press too hard and do not massage the affected area directly.
You can also gently flex and stretch the dog’s limbs to help relieve the pain.
Some dogs like it when you do this. Others do not. If the dog flinches, stop the massage immediately. Forcing your dog does not help but makes it feel more painful.
2. Feel for lumps or which area is becoming inflamed. Massaging your dog frequently will also allow you to check his body in passing for any sore spots that need veterinary attention. Watch for lumps or bruises that you overlooked before. Don’t ignore the phenomenon if the dog screams in pain when you touch an area. Take your dog to the veterinarian for an examination as soon as you notice a problematic condition.
The best way to check for lumps is to hold your hand firmly against the dog’s body and slide it down the body in an uninterrupted motion. Touch the abdomen, extremities, chest, and back, and don’t neglect any areas.
3. Leave the deep tissue massage to the professionals. Make a veterinary appointment if you think your dog could benefit from a deep tissue massage. This massage helps the animal, but people who don’t understand your dog’s body structure may harm your pet.
Dogs love it when you massage their ears, too!
Dogs also love it when you scratch their bellies, so spend a little time gently stroking their bellies and rubbing them along the way.
Untie the collar to make it easier to massage the entire neck area.
Massage time is also an excellent time to help groom your dog.
If the dog is smaller, you may want to massage it with your fingertips but still, apply the required force.
Don’t forget that dogs need some relaxation time too!