You already know how to massage your dog?


Performing a dog massage at home can be a good way to help a nervous animal and to strengthen the relationship with the pet in a healthy way

  • Author: By EVA SAN MARTÍN
  • Publication date: April 13, 2012

For the dog, as for people, receiving a massage can be a relaxing experience. Manipulating the body properly provides the can with benefits for your circulatory system, while it can relieve certain annoying muscle aches. Performing a massage at home to your pet will also help increase confidence in you.

Dog massage: benefits

Handling with caution the body of our dog can be a really pleasant experience for the pet. A massage helps the animal feel more calm and free from anxiety that he experiences in delicate moments of his life, such as the hard stage of canine gestation.

The therapeutic massages Professionals are increasingly frequent to treat certain types of nervousness that some pets suffer. It is even common to resort to them as a treatment to correct aggressive, undesirable behaviors in our dogs. In these situations, it is advisable to go to a clinic specialized in massage for pets or to consult the specific case with your usual veterinarian.

"The manipulation of the pet's body through massage technique is beneficialalso to improve the flexibility of the muscles of the dog, something that can be especially beneficial for sports dogs, "added from the school specialized in animal massage of Northwest, in the US This school has focused on training expert students In the massage of two types of animals: dogs and horses.

Find the right place at home for pet massage

Massages to your pet, however, do not have to be limited to professional treatments. At home, the owner himself can provide simple and pleasant sessions to his pet, a pleasant experience that can also help strengthen the relationship with your dog.

Finding the right place to perform the massage is essential when the animal is intended to relax. Locate a firm, quiet place, and cover it with a mat will be very comforting for your friend. Small-sized dogs may not require a special space if they are able to keep them, calm and without forcing them, in the lap. You will become the ideal "massage table" for your little friend.

A soft tone of voice, the caresses and the words of affection will favor the animal to experience the massage as a pleasant experience. This aspect is especially relevant when it is intended to turn it into a usual, fun and satisfying practice, both for your dog and for you.

Canine massage: neck and base of the legs

You can start the massage if you carefully manipulate the dog's neck area, with a gentle pressure when reaching the spine of the animal. Dogs are given special confidence in circular movements at the base of the ears.

You can accompany these movements with caresses on the skull and the base of the animal's legs, and with kind words. If you notice that your dog relaxes, and even that he drops his head forward, do not hesitate: he will be right with the movements and your pet is grateful.

Using the open palm of the hand to manipulate the head area, with circular movements, is another good alternative.

Gently manipulate the column area

Tracing the dog's natural spine path with your fingers can provide your pet with a pleasant feeling of tranquility, while helping you relax.

Place your index finger and thumb on each side of the column and explore the vertebrae until you reach the base of your pet's tail, being careful not to exert excessive pressure. This area, as in the body of people, is delicate.

Remember that massage can help your dog to feel calmer and free himself from the possible anxiety experienced in certain delicate moments of his life, such as in the hard stage of canine gestation.

The manipulation of the pet's body through the technique of massage is beneficial to improve the flexibility of the muscles of sports dogs.

Homemade massage can improve your dog's circulatory system and relieve certain annoying muscle aches easily.

Finding the right place to massage your furry friend is essential, if you want the animal to relax.

Finding a firm and quiet place, and covering it with a mat, is very comforting for your pet.

If your dog is small, your lap will be the ideal massage surface for your little friend.

Why massage a dog

We all like a good massage, because it relaxes us and brings us benefits physically and emotionally. Our dogs are no different in this case.

The best known benefits of canine massages are the following:

  • Improves circulation. Stimulation done externally dilates blood vessels and allows blood to circulate better. This will also allow your dog's life to be longer and healthier, as it will prevent cardiovascular diseases.
  • Reduce anxiety and stress. Dogs can go through various situations that release them and make them anxious. For example, boredom or lack of exercise.
  • Detect diseases. Occasionally, a swelling, a sting, or any other type of abnormality in the skin or under it, but that is perceived, can demonstrate a health problem of our dog that we did not know.
  • Release the love hormone. This hormone, which will also allow the bond between you and your dog to be reinforced, is released thanks to the massages you do.
  • Massaging your dog will make your friendship closer and that the coexistence improves. You will be dedicating a special time that he will value very much and will know how to reward you for it.

How to massage your dog

Obviously, for your dog to enjoy all these benefits, the massage must be well done. How to do this is what we explain below.

Follow these simple steps:

  • Make him relax. The first thing is to look for a place where the animal feels calm and with good temperature, that is comfortable. Then stroke it while lying. You know him better than anyone and you know which way is the most feasible to relax him.
  • Start by the neck. In a gentle way, just with the fingertips, massage your neck with circular movements that you will adapt to the size of the dog.
  • Then, lower gently towards the shoulders because in this way the massage goes gradually without the animal noticing and will relax.
  • From shoulders to chest and front legs.
  • Then go back and end up on the hind legs. If you do not like to have your tail touched, it is better to avoid doing it also in the massage.
  • If during or after the massage you have slept>

Dog massages: benefits and contraindications

Dog massages are a good tool to face endless problems, not only physical, but also emotional. Today we will focus on its benefits at the muscular level and emotional level. Good massage for dogs can stimulate the blood circulation of the muscles. In this way, oxygenation and nutrition of the same occurs, which, in turn, causes the toxic accumulated in the area to be expelled. This idea is the fundamental key to the benefit of massage for dogs at the muscular level.

Benefits of dog massages

Through the massage, those damaged and atrophied fibers are broken, promoting the formation of new capillaries and new fibers. If we add a good stretch to the massage, we will give directionality to these fibers and these will be generated in the right direction.

Massage has an important benefit in the nervous tissue of the dog. By promoting circulation, it improves the nutrition of the cells that compose it. In addition, thanks to the application of temperature and pressure, the sensory neurons will become saturated with information, which causes a deep and pleasant relaxation, the muscles and their associated nerves will relax.

Benefits according to the massaged areas

Studies on canine health show that each area of ​​the dog's body that has been massaged brings benefits to certain attitudes and feelings. These are the results obtained:

  • Head. Massage in this area helps the nervous system and stomach.
  • Ears. Massaging this area will help against stress and anxiety.
  • Back. It will be very useful for restless and hyperactive dogs.
  • Belly. Digestive problems.
  • Legs. It will help the good function of the joints, as well as prevent infections.
  • Chest. It will favor the proper functioning of the heart avoiding heart disease.
  • Feet. The lower part of the legs will improve your comfort and your confidence with yourself and with you.
  • Hind legs. It will help flexibility and a range of movements.

Do not stop massaging your dog, will thank you and improve the coexistence between both.

Contraindications of dog massages

Before launching without further ado, the dog and its conditions should be evaluated so as not to harm him. However, there are some contraindications that, whatever the case, should be observed:

  • A massage should not be done if the dog has just eaten. It is possible that the blood goes to the massage area, emptying the belly and possibly causing some indigestion problem.
  • Avoid massage if there is a problem with the skin, such as eczema, fungi, burns, her> If you start to get tired of encountering stressed dogs and have to waste time until you can start working with them, master different massage strategies For dogs it can be an alternative to keep in mind.

You can get tangible results in no time. In this way, you can focus on the true problem of the dog and not only on its most acute manifestations of stress.

How to give a dog a good anti-stress massage?

It does not serve any massage. I've seen everything, believe me. It is not about giving structured caresses according to a protocol. To get obvious results, it is necessary to master some maneuvers, know when it is good to use the massage, know when it is harmful ...

For this reason I have prepared a course of Canine Anti-Stress Massage. I have decided to put at your disposal a practical training and that you can implement from day one. I think about how to make you optimize your time as a professional. I know you're already spending many hours, so I don't want to waste your time.

I want you to learn four fundamental maneuvers to really reduce the stress levels of a dog, with its variants. In addition, you will be very clear when to use the massage and, above all, when to avoid it. And, to curl the curl, I will also give you some notions of Aromatherapy applied to anti-stress massage, so that you can enhance the relaxing effects of massage using Essential Oils.

If you want to get indormed of what you will find in the course, you can click on this link.

As you can see, I rely heavily on massage to reduce stress to dogs. It is a simple tool to use and that brings a lot of benefit to the dog.

And you? Do you use massage in your day to day professional with the dog? How do you use it?

How to massage the dog?

The first thing you have to do is call and caress him making gentle movements where you know he likes, preferably sitting or lying down to make him feel more comfortable. Talk to him in a calm tone of voice while doing the massage, so he will feel even better. After a little while, massage your neck, using the fingertips just below the head. Make circular movements without exerting almost pressure.

Now, go down to the shoulders. Surely you will enjoy a lot, because it is an area of ​​the body where it does not arrive well by itself, so we recommend that you dedicate more time to that place. Then, go to the chest and legs. He may not like you to massage his limbs too much, so if you see him shrink or lie back, he goes to his back.

How long does the massage session have to last?

Ideally, it should last 5 to 10 minutes, but at first you may not feel too comfortable not being accustomed. Therefore, the first few times must last 1 minute or 2, at most. Observe the reactions of your dog to know when you should stop or, if on the contrary, you can continue a little more.

In the event that at some point he growls, he bites your hand, or runs away by gently touching an area, do not hesitate to take him to the veterinarian because he probably feels pain.

Benefits of massaging our dog

Needless to say, one of the biggest benefits of giving our dog a massage is the relaxation he gets as a result, a relaxed and calm dog is a balanced and respectful dog.

But that is not all in reality, the physical contact that occurs when giving the massage also helps to gain the trust of the dog, at a much deeper level. This is very beneficial for the relationship between the two, as bonds are strengthened.

Dogs with osteoarthritis or dysplasia suffering from pain in muscles and joints will be relieved thanks to good massage. They even help repair contractures and improve circulation at general levels.

Getting ready for the massage

So important how to give a good massage is to know how to condition the environment where it will be produced, so that both the dog and you can be calm and relaxed to enjoy the moment.

We must look for a quiet and bright room, where noise and other external factors such as air or other people or animals do not bother us.

We must also prepare a soft and soft mat, where the dog can lie down to receive his massage. Needless to say, the temperature of the room is also important, neither too cold nor too hot.

We will remove any watch, ring or similar that we have in our hands or wrists. The dog will take off any collar or harness that he wears, to be able to perform the massage comfortably.

Guide to give our dog a massage

We start with the massage by making our dog lie on the soft mat, so that it is very comfortable. We must do all the movements in a relaxed and unhurried way, we will take a moment for ourselves and our dog.

Before starting with the massage, we must clarify that you never have to press on the dog, the massage does not consist in moving all your muscles but in stroking them to relax. If at any point it shows signs of pain or discomfort, we will avoid that point completely, thus respecting our dog.

We will begin to pet our dog from the top of the head to the end of its trunk, where the tail begins (we will avoid the tail for the moment). We must caress it with both hands so that there is always a hand in contact with it.

We will make long caresses that go from the head to the tail and when we finish the other hand it will be starting the same route, so that there will always be a hand in friction with it.

The caresses will always go in the same direction as your hair, since stroking it against the hair can cause skin irritation and discomfort. So we will always slide our hands from front to back.

We will repeat this exercise for a long time, so that our dog relaxes and lets himself be done. You will see how in a short time he stays completely relaxed, waiting for you to continue with the massage.

Second part, sacrum and limbs

Once it has relaxed, we can leave the longitudinal caresses and massage the sacrum area a little, which is where your spine ends (a little before where the tail begins).

To do this we will rest the palm of our hand on its sacrum and massage circularly counterclockwise. Without pressing too much, just a little to feel the contact with our hand.

Then we can continue with the muscles of his limbs, the hind legs and then the front. For this we can apply what is known as palmar digital kneading maneuver.

This maneuver is focused on massaging muscles, like those of its legs and consists of using more the tips of our fingers than the palm, pressing gently and releasing while doing semicircular movements.

When we want to reach their legs we must be very careful because although we think otherwise they are extremely sensitive. In this area we will simply caress gently with our fingers, without losing contact.

To perform all the massage correctly we must take at least fifteen to twenty minutes, although we can spend more time if we want the experience to be more intense for our dog.

How to give a head massage

The head massage is to focus on your neck and head exclusively, we can apply it after giving a comfortable body massage or when our dog is simply relaxed.

There are those who stretch their legs and place their dog on them with the belly up and the head attached to our body, to give the massage more comfortably. But it is not a position that all dogs like, so we recommend leaving our dog lying in the same way as in the previous example.

The head massage does not consist either in pressing or moving your muscles, but in gently stroking the different areas of your head. We will start with the neck, where with the help of the fingers we will make very soft and delicate grips.

Then we will go up to the skull where we will simply pet our dog forming small circles with the help of our fingers. When you are completely relaxed, we can gently caress your ears and snout, always avoiding the inside of the ears and the eye area.

We will repeat these exercises for at least ten minutes so that the effects of head massage are noticeable.

When not to massage our dog

If our dog is excited, the ideal thing is to take him for a walk to let him off, not to try to relax him by means of a massage. Needless to say, the best massages are given after great walks where the dog can do his needs and spend energy.

Nor should we massage our dog if he did something wrong, since if he has had a bad behavior and we give him a massage, he can interpret it as a reward and think that it is okay to do bad things.

If our dog has an infection, allergic dermatitis or skin disease, we should avoid massaging it because we could damage it. The same happens if you are sick or have recently had an operation.

Nor should we massage our dog if he does not want or complains to the contact, massage is something to enjoy and relax so it should never be a must.