5 Massage Therapy Techniques for Dogs

When your pet is experiencing some pain issues, whether it is from arthritis, an injury, or just sore muscles, you may wonder how to massage a dog or even do dogs like massages. Massage techniques can ease sore muscles and there is even dog massage for anxiety. The added bonus is that it is a wonderful way to build a close bond with your dog.

Do Massages Benefit Your Pets?

Yes! Just as it can help you when you have sore or strained muscles, the same is true for your dog. Veterinarian studies demonstrate that petting and massage can lower your pet’s blood pressure and their heart rate. Also, the simple act of touching releases beneficial hormones such as oxytocin. This increases their feelings of connection to you. It also gives you an opportunity to build trust and see if there are any health problems that need to be addressed. For instance, you may find a tumor or infected bug bite just by simply messaging your dog.

What to Know About Dog Massage

While it can be the simple act of petting or focusing on giving a rub in their shoulder area, if your pet has been injured or has significant issues, you may need assistance from a professional pet massage therapist who knows how the muscles work and how to most effectively work with them. However, for most dogs, there are simple techniques that can make them feel great and keep their muscles in good condition.

Massage Techniques to Explore with Your Dog

While deep tissue massage should be left to professionals, there are a few things that you can do to help your furry friend feel their best. These are simple to do and will make your dog relax and feel more comfortable. These are a few suggestions that you can use at home.

Stroking their Back

If you have never massaged your dog, one place to start is by simply giving them a gentle stroke down their back. Begin at the back of their head and start stroking down their back. Apply gentle pressure but be careful not to be too assertive.

Head Rubs

Dogs love having their foreheads rubbed gently. It’s calming and something that can be done while you are doing other things like watching tv. To start the rub, start at your dog’s nose and gently rub upward over its head. This can go on gently back and forth slowly.

Leg and Thigh Rubs

Just like us, dogs can develop muscular problems as they age. This can just be age or can be related to arthritis which can cause mobility issues. To work these muscles, use your thumbs to work the muscles on the legs upward to their buttocks then make small clockwise circles with your thumbs. You can also make small circles around their neck area to relieve stress in that area.

Everybody Loves Ear Rubs

Gently massage the inner side of your dog’s ear from the base to the outer tip. Just gently stroke the ear and finish with a small pull. It is a great way to calm your dog and is a bonding experience.

Tummy Rubs

Dogs love tummy rubs, so you can combine that with the work that you do on their thighs and legs. Simply work gently across the chest and down the tummy until you can work the inner thigh.

Things to Consider When Massaging Your Dog

Make massaging your dog something that is done at a time when you are both comfortable. This may be in the evening when everyone is relaxing. Avoid doing a massage when they are excited or not feeling well. Start with short five-minute sessions and work up to longer times if needed.

Tools That Can Help

Massaging your dog can help them feel better and move more easily. One tool that can help is the Curry on a Stik. This is a grooming and massage tool for animals both large and small. It can be used to help massage sore muscles on your dog, cat, or horse. It helps with shedding while providing therapeutic care for animals. The versatility of this tool means that it can be used on dogs, cats, and horses. This is a curry tool with an ergonomic handle that can use by everyone, even kids.

Massaging Your Dog for Better Health

Gently and slowly working with your pets can give them a better life. Hopefully this has helped you understand where to massage a dog. The important thing is to stop if the dog does not feel comfortable. Use tools like Curry on a Stik to work muscles. As a company focused on caring for animals, we want to make your experience and relationship with your pet the best. When you want the best for your pet’s health, contact us for more information.