How to Properly Massage your Dog
Here are some at home canine massage techniques that you can use to bond, nurture or heal your dog. Always be mindful of your dog's comfort level, as this should never be painful or cause your dog stress. Remember to always use gentle pressure.
- Place the dog on a stable but soft surface like a rug on the floor or on a bed.
- Using one of our Dog Massage Oils (optional), stand at the dog's head and place your hands, palms down, behind its ears. Using firm pressure (don't press too hard, this should not cause pain or discomfort), rub your hands down the dog's back. Start with several long, slow strokes from head to tail and then slightly increase the pressure. Continue this process for several minutes.
- Hold the tip of each ear between your thumb and fingers and rub in a circular motion using light pressure. Lightly grasp at the base of the ears with the entire ear in your hand and working your hands towards the tips of the ears, with a slightly firm grasp to massage all of the muscles in your dog’s ears. Rub each ear from tip to base and back again.
- Place your fingertips at the base of the dog's neck and use circular strokes to apply pressure to the neck and shoulder area. Move down the dog's back, keeping your fingers on either side of the spine until you reach the hip area. To massage around spine, walk thumbs down both sides of spine from base of head down to tail.
- Open your hands and rub firmly down each of back legs, starting from the hip joint and working down. If the dog will allow you to do so, lightly squeeze each of its back feet. Repeat this entire process for the front legs. To massage front legs, apply light pressure while turning your hands around the dogs legs. To massage hind legs, place both hands around the largest part of the leg and gently squeeze, working your way down to the paws. If your dog will allow you to touch their paws, you will lightly open their paw between the pad and toes and gently rub, you can stretch their toes apart lightly and rub those. Finish by holding the entire paw in your hand with a gentle squeeze.
- Massage the chest area by rubbing with an open flat hand in a clockwise motion
Never do deep tissue massage, always nice light stokes, starting at your dog's head, long and slow, not just petting your pet, but long strokes from head to tail, moving along the contour of your dog’s body,
When massaging sides of dog, long steady gentle stokes help to stimulate the organs and increase circulation which is especially beneficial in older dogs
The first time you massage your dog they may be anxious and not know how to relax.
Try as many of the techniques as your dog will allow.
Over time this will increase once they see how great this feels!