Dogs have muscles too! Dog massage is a great way to bond with your dog while helping him relax. Massage can also help relieve stiffness and tension in your dog’s joints and muscles, and is particularly good for older dogs or for dogs who have gone through a traumatic experience (such as an injury, illness, or prolonged separation from you).
Learn more with Dog Massage Secrets by a Certified Canine Massage Therapist.
Basic Massage for Your Dog
The most important aspect to massaging your dog is to listen. Never do anything that aggravates your dog.
Lay your dog on her side and stroke her until she starts to relax. Make this stroking (effleurage) light and gentle. Keep one hand on your dog at all times, while the other hand slowly slides down over the face, head, body, tail, and outside of the legs. Make sure to go in the direction of the hair growth.
Now find tight spots in the muscles and use a firm circular motion to ease tension. You can also gently squeeze and then release the muscle.
For more specific and detailed techniques, check out these DVDs: Hands On – Canine Therapeutic Massage for Sports and Pet Dogs and Massage for Dogs.