If I had to bet, I would guess that you like a massage from time to time? As a licensed massage therapist I know how much I love both giving and receiving massages. Massages have so many proven benefits, some of which include: increased circulation, improved digestion, strengthened immunity, stress relief, and muscle relaxation.
But what if I told you that your pup can really benefit from massages too? What if I said that doggie massages have been shown to improve circulation, reduce stress/ anxiety, find injuries or problems and relieve pain, all while strengthening your relationship with your dog.
Would you be interested in trying one on your little guy?
Here are some important things to remember before giving it a whirl. First, start with a light pressure (only to be increased if your dog seems comfortable). Second, maintain an even speed (you don’t want to make him worried!). Third, find a comfortable place and… finally, make sure there are no other animals near-by so that you and your doggie can completely relax. You might even want to light a candle, listen to relaxing music, and turn it into an incredible bonding experience between the two of you. That’s what I do.
Begin at the neck. Open your hands as if you were lightly grabbing a ball and place one hand on each side of the dog’s neck. Lightly press each finger around his neck and gently rub in a circular movement. Oooo! Ahhhh! This feels so good to your dog—you can see the eyes softening as his body begins to relax.
Next, move along his spine. Keep your fingers moving and gently knead the dog’s muscles, as you move them down his back. Go slowly and keep the touch soft. Add more pressure if he feels comfortable (you will both know).
Once you get to the base of his spine, use your thumbs to gently knead the spot right above the dog’s tail. Warning: Although most dogs like this, some may not, so proceed with caution.
Once you’ve finished the tail area, move back up the spine. Spread-out your hands and move along the sides of his body (A little lower from where you went down his back).
Now, move to his chest. Open your hands like a butterfly. With the palms pressed gently on the middle of the dog’s breastbone, knead your fingers on either side of his chest.
Finally, end with his head. Slide your hands up to the top of your pooch’s head and cup them around his ears. Use your thumbs and forefingers to massage the tender points right behind the ears. Slowly move your hands down the sides of his face, coming to a point beneath his chin.
If you are unsure about any technique, always check with your vet or animal specialist before proceeding.