A massage is one of the many ways you can pamper your dog and improve his wellbeing. It is a highly beneficial activity as it allows you to spot potential health problems while bonding with your pet at the same time. There are many reasons why you should give your pup a regular massage but here are a few below.
Benefits of dog massage
- A dog massage helps to ease your pet’s stress and lower his anxiety.
- It helps to accelerate the healing process after an injury or surgery.
- It aids to improve blood circulation, reduce blood pressure and strengthen his immune system.
- A dog massage helps to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
- It helps to detect health problems like tumours and sore spots and thus nip a more serious problem in the bud.
How to massage your dog
Here the basic techniques to use when you want to give your pet a massage he will love and want to have again.
- The first thing to do is to make sure your dog is calm and relaxed so he can settle down and relax to enjoy it. If your dog is anxious, take him for a walk and speak to him in soft tones to help him relax.
- When he is finally settled and comfortable, start your massage by stroking your dog’s body, from head to tail. Then massage your dog’s neck by making circular motions and applying light pressure with your fingers.
- Continue massaging downward, and the next point should be his shoulders which is a favourite spot. Dogs can’t reach this part of their body, so spend extra time there so he can enjoy it.
- Now do the front legs and chest. Don’t be surprised if your canine won’t let you touch his some sides of his legs with the most common sign being that he flinches whenever he is touched there. In fact, some dogs have a kick reflex when you touch the pads of their feet, but if you can avoid that part, you will be helping your dog run faster and function at his best when you concentrate on his legs.
- Now work your way starting from your dog’s shoulders to the base of his tale. Apply gentle pressure on his muscles using circular motions.
- Complete the massage by working your way to his back legs and tail area. Remember to give his tail a gentle squeeze motion from the base to the tip but be careful not to squeeze it as it may startle your dog and unsettle him.
To cap it all, a dog massage routine shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes even though you can extend the time if you notice your dog is enjoying the massage. However, it’s also important to watch for your dog’s reactions so you can stop if he doesn’t like it. Signs to look out for include growling, stiffening, flinching, biting and running away. If your pup doesn’t like the massage, start the process all over again another day and be gentle when next you’re giving your dog a massage.