Dogs are man’s best friend, they not only offer us some of the best possible friendship you can possible imagine but protect us on a daily basis from intruders and other harmful elements. Even so, dogs are just like human beings and can feel all sorts of stress and anxiety. And just like us, they like to have contact with their owners and love to be comforted, patted, rubbed and scratched. The best possible way to calm your canine is to give a nice relaxing massage. Here are some reasons why massages are good for dogs and how to perform it on them.
Why Giving your Dog a Massage is a good Idea.
If you’ve ever experienced a massage before then you can understand some of the reasons behind giving your dog a massage. The benefits of canine massages are far too beneficial to be ignored.
Dogs find it incredibly relaxing. Our canines can get stressed or anxious for a variety of reasons, such as unfamiliar environments, strange creatures or people, loud noises such as thunder or honking cars, and other insecurities. Massages will help soothe the dog and keep them relaxed and calm their nerves. A massage with ensures the dog’s nervous system relaxes, after all having a nervous dog makes them quite jumpy, leading to anxiousness and stressing out the body, leading to possible health issues. By massaging the pup you’re helping them with them stay healthy as possible. The massage will allow improvement of fluid circulation and blood pressure. Improving the flow of fluids in the dog’s body is great for their health. It can also help to strengthen their immune system to help combat any possible infections and disease they may contract.
Massages can also help reduce the pain your dog may be experiencing. Some dogs tend to suffer from certain chronic illness such as arthritis or cancer, a massage will relieve the pain they’re dealing with. Warming up the muscles will help alleviate pain and improve their joint mobility.
Muscle tension is another problem that can be easily relieved through a simple massage.The stress on muscles, tendons, and ligaments that come from everyday wear and tear can is easily dealt. This is especially beneficial towards aging dogs but can still be really helpful for younger pups as well. Digestion can also be aided by giving them massages, which is great for their general health and wellness. As an added bonus it keeps their coat and skin healthy. By performing these actions you’ll definitely improve their mood and help promote happiness in your dog.
Building a positive relationship with your dog is should be ideal for most owners and what better way to do so than through a massage. Any kind of close contact with your dog helps to further improve your connection. Having a strong connection with your dog will help ensure they remain obedient and easy to train. It also allows them to know that they are loved.
Not only will your connection improve between you and your dog, but it makes checking them for any health issues much easier. Regular massages allow you the chance to see if the pups body has undergone and sort of changes. While messaging you can feel for any wounds, ticks, infections, lump and other potentially hazardous changes. If anything seems out of the ordinary then make sure to take your pup to the vet as soon as possible.
How to Give Your Dog a Massage
First of all, don’t attempt to give a dog a massage if they are overly agitated. Try some simple exercises to help wear them down. Then simply wait a while until they’ve calmed down and mellowed quite a bit.
Now begin talking to your dog in a softer tone. Begin by petting your dog in order to help calm them even further and get them even more relaxed. Use a gentle pressure and circular motion while rubbing. The massages don’t need to be deep, just a light touch should be well enough. Don’t dig your fingers into them, soft touches with the palm of your hand should be good enough for them.
From here on out you want to start at the base of their neck and work your way down towards the shoulders. Then proceed to work down to the chest and front legs and paws. Continue to massage down the back and spine towards the back legs and tail area. Massage your dog’s ears and face as well, with a gentle, light touch. Don’t forget to also reach behind the ears, under their chins, and down the nose.
Include some gentle stretching into your massages as well. Stretching out your dog’s legs allows you to easily deal with muscle aches and pains. Make sure to do this gently and do not put any pressure on the joints. Your dog will most likely pull away from you if they don’t like it.
Be aware of how your dog is responding to your touches, particularly in much more sensitive areas such as the paw and tail areas. If your dog flinches away from your touch, then ease up on the pressure and move on to a different part of the body. Stop if your dog doesn’t seem interested or becomes aggressive towards you. The massages should take up to 5 to 10 minutes long, which is enough for them to feel the benefits of massages. Afterward simply give your dog some love and praise when you are done.
Signs to Stop Giving your Dog Massages
Not every dog will enjoy receiving a massage, so before you begin, start searching for signs your dog may not be comfortable with it and stop if your dog shows signs of not enjoying it.
Here are some you should keep an eye out for:
- Flinching or pulling away
- Nipping or snapping
- Growling or barking
- Flattened ears
- Tensing muscles
- Or they may just get up and walk away.
Massage Techniques for Canines
There are quite a few various techniques that can be used while massaging your pup. Which ones you decide to use really depends on how your dog reacts to the messages and what body part is being worked on.
One technique is called Compression, which is holding your dog between your hands. This is ideal for your dog’s legs and tail areas. Simply hold your dog between your palms and applying a minimal amount of pressure as you work on down.
Petrissage is another technique that works by kneading or a rolling motion. This can be done with either your palms, fingers or knuckles depending on which part of your dog you are working on. Begin with some light pressure and if your dog becomes relaxed, proceed to gradually increase the pressure.
Lastly, there is Effleurage which is a long gliding and soothing strokes using the palms while applying light pressure. The strokes should be done from head to tail.
Messages can be used as a different form of treat for your dog or simply a part of your regular grooming routine. If your dog sheds a lot you can try these messages with some gloves to make it much easier.