Your dog loves to be pet, but he’d be even happier if learn some dog massage techniques.
Yes, you heard that right, dog massage techniques. Nothing feels better than a good rub down, and why should humans have all the fun? While studies on dog massage benefits are limited, there is information showing that massage stimulates the immune system. Massage also a great way to calm anxiety, improve circulation and help you form a better bond with your dog. According to the Whole Dog Journal, “The easiest and most enjoyable way to enhance your dog’s immune system is to put your hands to fur.” Just ten minutes a night can make all the difference in the health and relaxation of your pup.
To start a dog massage you want to make sure you start with a relaxed pup.
Has your dog had their daily exercise? Are they willingly able to lay with you and be calm? Your dog has to be calm for this to work. Once they’re relaxed, you can begin to give them a spa quality massage in the comfort of your own home.
Here are seven easy steps to massaging your dog:
- Once your dog is ready to be pampered, find a quiet spot such as the couch or their bed. Gently touch him in the places you know he already loves to be pet to get him settled and ready for the next step.
- Next, rub his head and neck in small, circular motions with a slight bit of pressure. You don’t want to press very hard at all, just gently. Gentle pressure will help improve their circulation. Spend a minute or so on each step before moving onto the next.
- Move down from the neck to his shoulders. Dogs especially love this spot because it’s the hardest for them to reach themselves. Take your time and give this area a little extra attention. Engage in small circular motions, long strokes along his shoulder blades, then some long, gentle pats down his back before you move on.
- Rub his chest and front legs with a little gentle pressure. Not all dogs enjoy their legs or feet being touched so adjust your routine depending on what makes them comfortable. You can continue to massage his feet and legs if he seems to enjoy it.
- Now give your attention to his back. Again, use slight pressure, but this time place your thumbs on either side of the spine going up and down, then back to his shoulders. You can use little circular motions, then straight up and down. Alternate and repeat for a few minutes.
- Massage his tail and hind legs the same way you did the front, and if your dog is enjoying it, he may roll onto his back. If he does and loves stomach rubs, go for it. You can also continue some more leg massage and rub under his ‘armpit’ area which is another spot dogs seem to enjoy since it’s hard for them to reach themselves.
- Finish your dog’s massage with some long, gentle strokes down his entire body. Use one hand and then the other, alternating along the length of his body for a few more minutes. You may find that he is so relaxed that he fell asleep, which means you did a fantastic job!
Dog massage techniques aren’t hard to learn, and they’re very easy to do. If you are more of a visual learner, you can also find some useful tutorials like this one from the American Animal Hospital Association on YouTube.
Establishing a massage routine is beneficial for you and your pet. It only takes about ten minutes a day to give them a good rub down. That’s right, just ten minutes to improve the health of your pet, while strengthening your bond.
Have you mastered the art of pet massage? What are some dog massage techniques your best friend enjoys? Leave us a comment!
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