Massages provide numerous benefits for dogs and for ourselves, since they will relax and improve in many physical aspects as well as strengthen ties with us thanks to contact.
There are several ways to massage a dog, although most are practically similar with the only difference being to focus more on certain areas. The friction produced by our hands will help your dog much more than you imagine.
If you want to strengthen the relationship with your dog, gain even more his confidence and make him have a good time helping him to relax, learn to massage him correctly, as we explain from Dogsis.
We also recommend you read: How to calm a dog easily.
Index of contents
- 1 Benefits of massaging our dog
- 2 Getting ready for the massage
- 3 Guide to give a massage to our dog
- 3.1 Second part, sacrum and extremities
- 4 How to give a head massage
- 5 When not to massage our dog
Benefits of massaging our dog
It goes without saying that one of the greatest benefits of giving our dog a massage is the relaxation that he gets as a result, a relaxed and calm dog is a balanced and respectful dog.
But that is not all really, the physical contact that occurs when giving the massage also helps to gain the confidence of the dog, on a much deeper level. This is very beneficial for the relationship between the two, as ties are strengthened.
Dogs with osteoarthritis or dysplasia suffering from muscle and joint pain will be alleviated thanks to a good massage. They even help repair contractures and improve circulation at general levels.
Getting ready for the massage
As important as giving a good massage is knowing how to condition the environment where it is going to take place, so that both you and the dog can be calm and relaxed to enjoy the moment.
We should look for a quiet and bright room, where we are not bothered by noise or external factors such as air or other people or animals.
We must also prepare a soft and soft mat, where the dog can lie down relaxed to receive his massage. It goes without saying that the temperature of the room is also important, neither too cold nor too hot.
We will remove any watch, ring or the like that we have in our hands or wrists. To the dog we will remove any collar or harness that he is wearing, to be able to carry out the massage comfortably.
Guide to give a massage to our dog
We begin with the massage by making our dog lie on the soft mat, so that it is very comfortable. We must do all the movements in a relaxed and unhurried way, we will take a moment for ourselves and our dog.
Before starting the massage, we must clarify that you should never press on the dog, the massage does not consist in moving all its muscles but in stroking them to relax. If at any point it shows signs of pain or discomfort, we will avoid that point entirely, thus respecting our dog.
We will start petting our dog from the top of the head to the end of his trunk, where the tail begins (we will avoid the tail for now). We must caress it with both hands so that there is always one hand in contact with it.
We will do long strokes that go from the head to the tail and when we finish the other hand it will be starting the same route, so that there will always be a hand in friction with it.
Caresses will always go in the same direction as your hair, since stroking it against the hair can cause skin irritation and discomfort. So we will always slide our hands from front to back.
We will repeat this exercise for a long time, so that our dog relaxes and lets itself be done. You will see how in a short time he is completely relaxed, waiting for you to continue with the massage.
Second part, sacrum and extremities
Once it has relaxed, we can leave the longitudinal caresses and massage the area of the sacrum a little, which is where your spine ends (a little before where the tail begins).
For this we will rest the palm of our hand on his sacrum and massage in a circular manner in a counterclockwise direction. Without pressing too much, just a little so that you feel the contact with our hand.
Then we can continue with the muscles of its limbs, the hind legs and then the front ones. For this we can apply what is known as the palmar digital kneading maneuver.
This maneuver is focused on massaging muscles, such as those of your legs, and consists of using the tip of our fingers more than the palm, gently pressing and releasing while making semicircular movements.
When we want to get to their legs we must be very careful because although it may seem otherwise they are extremely sensitive. In this area we will simply caress gently with our fingers, without losing contact.
To do all the massage correctly we must take at least fifteen to twenty minutes, although we can spend more time if we want the experience to be more intense for our dog.
How to give a head massage
The head massage consists of focusing on its neck and head exclusively, we can apply it after giving it a comfortable body massage or when our dog is simply relaxed.
Some people stretch their legs and place their dog on them with the belly up and the head close to our body, to give the massage more comfortably. But it is not a posture that all dogs like, so we recommend leaving our dog lying down as in the previous example.
The head massage does not consist either in pressing or moving your muscles, but in gently caressing the different areas of your head. We will start at the neck, where with the help of the fingers we will make very soft and delicate grips.
Then we will go up to the skull where we will simply caress our dog forming small circles with the help of our fingers. When you are completely relaxed, we can gently caress your ears and muzzle, always avoiding the inside of the ears and the eye area.
We will repeat these exercises for at least ten minutes so that the effects of the head massage are noticeable.
When not to massage our dog
If our dog is excited, the ideal is to take him for a walk to let him vent, not try to relax him with a massage. It goes without saying that the best massages are given after long walks where the dog can relieve himself and expend energy.
Nor should we massage our dog if he did something wrong, because if he has behaved badly and we give him a massage, you can interpret it as an award and think that it is okay to do bad things.
If our dog has an infection, allergic dermatitis or skin disease We must avoid massaging it because we could damage it. The same happens if you are ill or have recently had an operation.
Nor should we massage our dog if he does not want or complains on contact, massage is something to enjoy and relax, so it should never be compulsory.