Massage for humans is proven to be helpful in relieving stress. It maintains our well-being and peace of mind. While this is true for humans, the same principle applies to your dog. As a pet parent, you need to be attentive to their physical and emotional well- being. This includes giving them massages regularly. However, you might wonder how to give your dog a massage, that’s why we listed ways on how to effectively massage your dog as well as other helpful things to remember.
Moreover, massage can heighten the dog’s alertness, immune system, and energy. Further, massage also realigns the spine and their body. This helps in blood circulation that eventually flushes toxins from the tissues. You don’t want your dog to suffer. With that in mind, preventing future health problems with massage is a must.
How to massage your dog
The key to a great dog massage is through gentle touch in the dog’s body. The motion should not be rough like how you massage a person. You always need to consider that your dog is comfortable and happy with the process.
Here are the effective ways to give your dog a relaxing massage:
1. First, you need to condition your dog
If this is new to the both of you, the need to prepare your dog should be done. We don’t want massage to be associated with fear just because we force this unto our dogs. Before starting, calm your dogs. You could walk for 15 minutes around the neighborhood or you could play catch. As long as your dog is submissive and not fearful then it’s okay to start.
2. The goal here is for your dog to relax
Make your dog lie down and pet him. You could rub the bellies first or talk to him so that in his mind it’s your bonding time. Music is also recommended, but only to those songs that have a high calming effect. Pet him in the areas where he likes best, for him to de-stress and relax.
3. When your dog is settled and relax, start massaging the dog’s head and neck
Use the heel of your hand and apply gentle circular motion to his neck. Before going any further, watch for some feedback cause this thing might make the dog uncomfortable. Just remember to steady the massage. Don’t rush things by pressing too much and stroking fast.
4. Next thing to do is to focus on the shoulders
The body parts should be covered all in all that includes the shoulders esp. in between. Again, continue the gentle stroke and see if the dog is really relaxing. Usually, shoulders are dog’s favorite because they couldn’t reach these parts. Use your fingers now while still having a gentle motion.
5. Now do the legs
Use a plat palm to slowly touch all the body parts. Squeeze the muscles and wrap your fingers around each lower leg. The dog should still be relaxed and comfortable. Nevertheless, if he’s not used to being touched on the legs and he flinches. Then, you should move to the next part of the body.
6. The dog’s back should be well massaged because it will align his spinal cord
Continue using your fingers in massaging your dog. Apply circular gentle motions. Massaging the dog’s back will improve the dog’s stomach health, skin elasticity and it will increase their comfort with human touch.
7. Now finish with the hind legs
Use the same method on the front legs. Wrap your fingers and gently squeeze it. Massaging this area will help in the dog’s sleep and relaxation.
8. When the leg is done, wrap up your massage session with an overall massage and petting your dog
Indeed, massaging your dog is very easy to do. Make it regular to maintain a healthy lifestyle for your dog. Have him exercise regularly also. These things will make you and your dog closer and develop a strong bond with each other. To help you more in massaging your dog, understand the different types of dog’s massage that you can do at home.
Different types of dog’s massage
These are the basic massages you can incorporate into your dog’s daily routine.
1. Soothing Massage
This massage will make your dog calm. This is very much applicable to dogs who are very energetic and to those dogs that had trauma. Consequently, these type of dogs is complicated and sensitive esp. to their surroundings. The massage could be soothing to some but others dogs might consider these as a kind of attack. Usually, the dogs who had experienced physical abuse consider massage as harmful.
Soothing Massage should be done to those dogs describe above. In order for them not to feel scared and unsafe, condition them first and pet them. Music with high calming effect is applicable while doing the slow graceful massage on your dog. Pressing too hard will not calm your dog but will create a much stressful feeling to those agitated and traumatic dogs. Massage the spinal column up to their tail. Also, focus on head because this is very soothing for them
2. Warm-up dog massage
When your dog engaged in active activities like playing catch or everyday jog at the park. Then this kind of massage suits you. This will stretch the muscles and will prevent further injuries along the way. After doing your active routine, pet your dog and prepare him for a warm-up massage. Focus on the neck, shoulders, legs, thighs and the pelvic bone. The massage in here is just like how you massage a dough. Squeeze each leg to allow circulation. After the massage pet your dog again so that the massage incorporates quality time to the both of you.
3. Daily 10-minute massage
The massage should be habitual. Make it daily if possible because it only takes 10 minutes a day. Plat palm is used in this kind of massage focusing on hair and the skin. Massage at a slow pace and apply a bit of pressure into the massage. In addition, this will help you spot possible problems into your dog. He might have lumps in his body and he is enduring it for quite some time. Further, this is a kind of bonding you and your dog should have.
4. Joint massage
This is the kind of massage that needs to be applied to your dogs who already suffered arthritis or injuries. This will help relieve soreness in muscles. Massage carefully the affected areas and don’t use too much force. When your dog suffered injury and he is flinching in a huge pain then it’s best to ask your vet first.
Benefits of dog’s massage
Here are the things you need to know why massage is best for your dog. These benefits can make your dog healthy. It will be less stress for you as well since your dog will not give you additional problems.
1. Reduces stress
You might think that there’s no way your dog will feel anxiety and stress. But, you are absolutely wrong. Dogs easily get stressed esp. when the environment is new. Possible reasons could be too much noise, thunder or even seeing a cat around. Conveniently, massaging your dog can soothe and relax him.
When your dog has injuries or suffering some sort of pain. The massage is helpful to ease the pain. This allows your dog to heal strains, reduce swelling, rehabilitate and keep scar tissue to a minimum. Before doing this, allow your vet to advise you first so that massage doesn’t harm your dog any further.
3. Make your dog healthy
Massaging your dog improves his well-being. In addition, it improves the organs and tissues of your dog. It circulates blood, improves the immune system, stimulate the kidney and liver, aids digestion and improve lymphatic fluid movement. Bonding Time
4. Strengthens communication
When you massage your dog, silent communication happens. This is the kind of communication you and your dog have by doing frequent massage.
5. Emotional benefit
When you do frequent massage to your dog this will make him feel loved and valued. This will make him feel that you put him first and that you consider his feelings and well-being.
6. Deeper relationship
Massage time is a bonding time for your dog. This will strengthen the relationship even more. The massage should be accompanied by fun things also like music and treating him food afterward. By doing this, your dog will love you and protect you all the time.
With the benefits given above, you better get started doing massages in your dog.
Things to keep in mind
Massage to dogs and humans are similar, but not to all things. There are still things to mind in massaging your dog. Pressure should be mild and the strokes should be a slow pace. Otherwise, you might injure your dog by putting too much pressure on your dog.
Oils and scents are not applicable to dogs also. This may be helpful in relaxing for humans but not for dogs because it will affect their digestive system. Massages in dogs should be a gentle stroke, mild pressure, and petting.
1. Enhance massages
Massages should be fun and calming when done in a home. You could watch tv while doing the massage. Another thing, the two of you can also take a bath while massaging your dog in the tub and play splashing water.
2. Areas that need to be massage
These areas need to be massage frequently for the wellness of your dog. When you massage these areas you will early detect the possible sickness or lumps in your dog’s body.
Ears are also essential to maintaining a healthy life for your dogs. Usually, ears are related to stress and anxiety that is why it is recommended to massage the ears. It will produce relaxing effect on the entire body and this will combat stress and anxiety
This area will create calming effect too in the nervous system of your dog. Also, the points near the eye are associated with the gallbladder, bladder and the stomach. You will reap a healthy stomach, bladder, and gallbladder by massaging the head.
Massaging the back also improved in stomach health, skin elasticity, and increased comfort in human touch. It will also align the spinal cord in your back
Rub the belly because this will comfort your dog. This will also solve digestive problems. Further, this will also stop the dog from bloating.
7. Front legs
Massaging Front legs is essential to avoid injuries while doing active activities. This will flex the muscles.
A gentle rub in your dog’s chest is good for their overall health. The chest is connected to your dog’s circulatory system that’s why massaging the chest circulates blood for your pet. Your dog will be much healthier when the massage on the chest is frequent.
Dog’s paws are very sensitive areas on the dog. These paws were used in walking and all sorts of things. Massaging this sensitive part will be great to the overall health of the dog.
10. Hind legs
Just like front legs, the hind legs need to be massage as well. This will increase flexibility for the dog and prepare him for extreme activities. Massaging the Pelvic area will rest and increase the relaxation of the dog.
11. Whole body
Full body massage will increase the energy, concentration, and alertness of your dog. Your dog will appreciate these things and this will enhance the emotional well-being of your dog
We love our dogs dearly and it is a relief when they are okay and happy. To become an effective pet parent, add massage sessions in his daily activity. The first step is learning how to give your dog a massage. These will establish too much comfort and relaxation for your dog. Your dog may not tell you directly how thankful he is, but deep inside him, he loved you dearly for doing massages for him. All in all, massages is important not just to humans but also to your adorable canine pets.