We all know how dogs love it when we give their bellies a little rub or when we scratch behind their ears. But did you know that massages can be something they can enjoy as well? It definitely sounds weird, but there are benefits to giving your dog a massage.
Dog massage benefits
- It reduces stress and anxiety. A lot of things – even simple ones – can get a dog in a stressed or anxious state. Be it the sight of a cat, a loud noise or a thunderstorm, your dog will surely react to the situation. Giving them a massage can ease that tension and cause them to relax. If getting a massage temporarily makes you forget about your worries, the same thing can be said for your canine companion.
- It aids the recovery process if they are injured. The life of a dog often involves injuries and giving them a massage while they’re recuperating helps alleviate the pain and other symptoms they’re feeling. Also, massaging can keep scar tissue down which is always good news.
- It promotes better body function. A lot of things can be improved by a massage including circulation and blood pressure; massaging your dog increases their circulation and lowers their blood pressure. A massage can also make their immune system stronger, enhance their lymphatic fluid movement, help their digestion and stimulate their liver and kidneys.
- It forges a stronger bond. Your dog may not understand what is going on at first, they will soon realize that what you’re doing is making them feel better. Knowing it’s you behind why they’re feeling good strengthens your bond.
- It enhances your dog’s well-being. You walk out of a massage feeling good. The same thing can be said when you give your pooch a massage.
Dog massaging guide
A dog massage isn’t like a regular massage where you have to apply pressure to certain areas. Your furry friend will definitely take offense to that. This is what you should do instead:
- Make sure they are calm. There’s no point in getting your dog to relax when they are already in an anxious state. A massage works best when they are calm.
- Massage them gently. Pet your dog all over and make sure to talk to them while you do it as it keeps them calm.
- Work on the neck. Use circular motions and do it gently.
- Massage down towards the shoulders. Since this is an area they can’t reach, stay in this area for a while.
- Work on the chest and front legs. Some dogs may not like you touching their leg area so see if they ignite any response when you do. If they are fine with it, try massaging their paws but be careful as it’s natural for them to kick when the pads of their feet is touched.
- Work on the back. Use circular motions as you go up and down the spine.
- Work down towards the back legs and tail.
Massages are good for dogs and you can try giving them one using the steps presented here. But before you do, always make sure they are calm.