Giving Your Dog a Massage
For us humans, getting a massage can be a very relaxing experience that we may do to treat ourselves. On top of all the physical benefits, massages actually have many mental and stress relieving benefits as well. While we probably want to get massages all the time, have you ever considered giving your dog a massage? Belly rubs and scratches are great and your pup loves them. But giving them a full-on massage also can be very beneficial for them. Many dogs will love it and beyond just the health benefits, it can be a great great bonding experience between you and your pup. This quality time can give them so much comfort and ease. Check out some tips on how to massage your dog!
Benefits of Massages
Here are some reasons you should try to give your dog a massage every once in a while.
Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Is your pup anxious or stressed? Massages could help! If your dog gets upsets during rainstorms or on a road trip, try giving them a massage before or during this stressful time to reduce some of their stress. Giving them some attention and a massage could make them calm down and help their worries go away.
Beyond just the mental benefits, massages can also help a variety of physical health issues. Just to name a few, it can improve circulation, aid digestion, and stimulate their kidney and liver. Even after the massage is over, your pup’s lymphatic fluid movement, blood pressure, and breathing are improved. This can also benefit their health because during the massage, you can also spend the time looking for anything on their body that is out of the ordinary. Look for any potential cysts or unfavorable health and or skin conditions.
If your dog was recently injured, sometimes massages can improve them. If your dog has been suffering from a strained or pulled muscle, ask your vet if massages will help. When you massage your dog, you are getting the blood circulating, which can reduce swelling and pain in that area. Massaging a spot also can help if your dog has injury involving scar tissue and help your pup heal quickly. Be sure to touch base with your vet on your massaging technique so you don’t massage a place that should be avoided.
How to Massage
Here are some general tips on how to massage your dog!
- Exercise go on a long walk before so your dog is tired out and calm.
- Speak calmly and quietly so your dog stays relaxed and doesn’t get nervous.
- Be aware of how much pressure you are using for the massage.
- If your dog flinches or reacts poorly to your touch somewhere, analyze why. They may have an injury or other health problem there that needs looking into.
Follow these steps to massage:
- Start by petting your dog all over their body as a way to get them familiar with the feeling. Move down to the neck in circular movements.
- Move down the body to the shoulders, chest, then to the front legs, and down to the paws.
- Be careful between the paws, since dogs will sometimes have a reflex to kick if you touch in between the pads on their paws.
- Move down the back and continue moving up and down in circular movements.
It can be hard to find time to be alone with your dog, so massage can be a great habit to build into your schedule to bonding time and a great experience for your pup. Enjoy!