Like you, your dog can enjoy reduced stress, eased discomfort and improved mobility and blood flow from massage. Be your furry friend’s dog massage therapist with these simple tips:
- Make sure your dog is calm and lying comfortably.
- Start the massage by using a simple compression technique. Place your dog’s leg between the palms of your hands and apply light pressure. Repeat this process moving down your dog’s leg from the shoulder to the paw. Be careful to note any tension you feel and any reaction that might indicate pain or discomfort. Then proceed by applying pressure hand over hand along your dog’s sides.
- Now move on to effleurage, small circular stroking movements with the palm of your hands. Start with your dog’s head and work your way to your dog’s tail using these small circular movements with light pressure. Avoid applying pressure directly to your dog’s spine, and continue to watch for signs of pain or discomfort.
- Next, use a kneading or rolling motion to focus on the areas of tension you found during the compression and effleurage parts of the massage. Use only light pressure, since you know these areas are sensitive.
- If you have the time and your dog permits, you can finish the massage with additional effleurage and/or compression.
- Remember, you need only apply light pressure and if your dog shows signs of discomfort (pulls their leg away from you, rapidly moves, or whimpers or yelps) stop the massage and seek treatment.
Using these techniques regularly can create profound improvements in your dog’s health. You may see improvements in your dog’s activity level, a reduction in their stress, and improvements in the function of their immune system and overall health. Taking the time to massage your dog will allow you to identify any potential health issues early and with the help of your veterinarian get ahead of them. And don’t forget the greatest benefit. Making the effort to spend this quality time with your dog will strengthen the bond between you and your furry family member.