Ask the Dog Guide: Canine Massage

November 9th, 2007 by Dan

Question: I want to give my dog a massage. I’ve heard that dog’s like massages. Do you have any suggestions about how to best give a dog a massage?

Answer: We at the guide think this is a great idea! Massage can be a wonderful way to increase the bond with your dog as well as provide some valuable health benefits! Please remember this is a very basic set of tips as we (and you) are not professional canine massage therapists and thus should not be advising ANY deep tissue massage on your pet. All touches should be light and gentle.

Massage is beneficial to pets for many of the same reasons it is for humans: It releases stress and tension, increases range of motion of the muscular system and can help animals who are experiencing discomfort due to arthritic conditions.

The ideal setting for the massage is a location where your pet is most comfortable. Most people find a favorite bed or blanket on the floor to be a good choice. Begin with a very normal movement of petting your dog in long strokes from her head down to her tail, calmly. Then move onto her head, scratching small circles behind the ears, around the cheeks and under the chin. When your dog begins to relax, scratch gently behind the ears, moving to the cheeks, under the chin. The ears are an especially sensitive area with many pressure points. Using your thumb and forefinger, work your way from the tip to the base, squeezing lightly.

Next focus on your dogs torso, shoulders and chest. You can use a circular rubbing pattern or small scratches depending on what your dog prefers. Rubbing the loose skin gently should feel good to your pooch. Be aware of your dogs sensitivities as you handle his limbs, as some dogs are not so keen on having their legs and feet rubbed.

Finally work your way down your dogs back with light “finger steps” down his spine. If at anytime your dog is uncomfortable with any of the motions you are attempting, stop right away! This should be a pleasant experience for both of you. Massage can be a great way to bond with a new puppy or a shy adoptee. It is also an ideal way to get to know your dogs physic and to be aware of any sudden changes in his or her body (lumps, bumps, ticks, etc).

Good luck and I hope you both Enjoy!

4 Responses to “Ask the Dog Guide: Canine Massage”

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    [...] So you think you have heard of everything when something new comes along! The newest trend slowly creeping into large metropolitan cities is Doga or Yoga for dogs! In Doga classes, dogs and their human companions work as one unit (how very zen) – the owners help the dogs into different poses and in some cases the dogs are used as props while the two footed members of the pair are posing. The classes also incorporate chanting (in the direction of your dog, since the dogs can’t chant) and canine massage. [...]

  2. Posh California Mall Goes To The Dogs | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] The mall has facilities where pampered pooches can find the latest in pet couture and even get a massage. The mall even hosted a canine fashion show to introduce a fragrance for dogs. Yes, for [...]

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    [...] Give Your Dog A Spa Treatment: If your dog likes being bathed, brushed and generally pampered – use your time inside to give him some TLC. Many dogs find the repetitive steps of grooming to be soothing and if you’d like to take things a step further, why not give your pup a massage? Here’s some tips to get you started! [...]

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    [...] An English Bulldog gets a nice massage. [...]

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