Dog massage: What are the benefits & how to massage your dog!

Many people are often surprised or laugh when they hear that you can actually massage your dog! Think how do you feel after having a massage? Relaxed, calm and pampered, right? Just like people can benefit from massage therapy so can our precious four-legged pals. Massage is a wonderful way to maintain physical health and emotional wellbeing as well as strengthen the bond even more between you and your dog.

We look at the benefits of massage as well as how to massage your  dog.

Benefits of massaging your dog

Dogs of all ages and breeds can reap the wonderful benefits of massage therapy which will have a positive effect on an animal’s body system.

Here are several ways in which massage can help your dog’s health and wellbeing:

• Reduces anxiety and stress
• Helps to build feelings of self confidence, trust, belonging and sociability
• Aids in circulation and increases blood flow throughout the body
• Relieves muscle tension and spasm
• Reduces pain, stiffness and swelling
• Provides more flexibility and increases greater range of motion
• Lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health
• Strengthens the immune system
• Promotes healthy digestion
• Supports deeper and easier breathing
• Helps with quick recovery after injury or surgery
• Improves skin and coat health
• Promotes healthy functioning of the liver and kidneys
• Encourages positive feelings of wellbeing
HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
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How to massage your dog

Getting started

Massage your dog in a calm and relaxed environment away from outside interferences. Make sure that Fido is calm and not in a playful mood or else the massage session is not going to go well.

Try massaging your dog after a long walk when he is feeling tired but quite relaxed. When you start massaging, remember to keep your hands steady and use a consistent speed.

Initially, apply light pressure and as your dog becomes more comfortable, you can apply more pressure. Use long, slow strokes (effleurage), pressure without moving the skin (friction), kneading (petrissage) or drumming with the fingers or hands (percussion).
HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
E-mail the PetAlive team FREE of charge for advice, click here    

Massage Technique

1. Get your dog to lie down on a soft but firm surface. Avoid using soft cushions to lie your dog on because he may wiggle around too much.
2. Once your dog is calm, use long, slow and gentle strokes from head to tail.
3. Rest the palm of your hand on top of the dog’s neck or head.
4. Use long, sweeping strokes along the length of the spine and tail. Do this movement slowly and repeat this several times.
5. Give the paws and feet a squeeze if your dog will allow this.
6. Use long, slow and gentle strokes until your dog becomes restless or fidgety. You’ll know when he wants to stop.    
7. When you are ready to finish, rest one of your hands at the base of your dog’s head and the other over the pelvis area.
HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
E-mail the PetAlive team FREE of charge for advice, click here     

Remember to keep your strokes gentle and light! Your pooch should be  relaxed and ready for a nap or a good night’s rest after the end of the massage session!  

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