Are you looking for a way to help your pet unwind? Does your dog have a lot of tension, stress and anxiety? Or is your pet elderly or extremely active?
If so, your pet may benefit from a massage! It may sound like a delightful luxury, but a massage can help your pet relax, thereby relieving the stress, anxiety and tension that can contribute to many behavioral problems. Older pets and extremely active pets can also benefit from a massage, as it helps to soothe those aching muscles, all while improving blood flow, improving lymphatic system drainage, and offering relaxation, even pain relief.
To get started, start by massaging your dogs legs, moving from the paw toward the torso. Use your thumbs to rub in a gentle, circular motion toward the torso. You don’t need to use lots of pressure; gentle is always best. It’s also important to watch your dog’s reaction. Some pets may not like having their feet handled, for instance, which is perfectly okay — it’s supposed to be enjoyable for your pet!
Once you’ve massaged the legs, you can work up the spine, paying special attention to the hips and shoulders. Always work toward the heart and pay special attention to joints and other muscular areas. Think of what hurts and aches the most in your body — your back and joints. The same goes for your dog.
It’s also important to remember to consult your veterinarian if your dog suffers from or is recovering from a musculoskeletal ailment or injury, such as back or joint problems, hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, broken bones, damaged tendons or pulled/strained muscles. Your veterinarian can show you how to perform a massage on any areas that are sensitive due to one of these injuries or conditions.