Learning Dog Massage: How to Properly Relax your Dog

Dog massage

Dogs love a good relaxing massage too.

There's nothing better than a massage for deep relaxation. Your dog will certainly agree! Read here how you can truly pamper your dog and why a dog massage is good for its health.

What effect does a dog massage have?

Dog massages have been renowned for a long time for their positive effects on canine health. As a result, they aren't just for veterinary practices, but a treat at home too.

Targeted pressure on the muscles helps to relieve painful tension and reduces circulatory disorders. The latter increases the body's oxygen supply, which has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Nervous disorders can also be alleviated by a massage, since the nerves are mechanically stimulated by the movements. At the same time, this leads to the relaxation of the body by stimulating what are known as parasympathetic nerve fibres.

Learning dog massage – Step by step

With the following steps, it is possible for you to perform a gentle massage on your dog in no time at all:

  1. Ensure a relaxed and cosy atmosphere before the massage takes place. Speak calmly to your dog and place a soft blanket on a flat surface. The surface (e.g. a stable table) should be at your hip height so that you don't put excessive strain on your back during the massage.
  2. Lay your dog on its side and stroke it with the palm of your hand, beginning with the head. Work your way down to the neck and back to the legs and paws.
  3. Massage your dog's head by applying gentle pressure to its forehead and cheeks with circular Always be aware of your dog's behaviour. If it appears unsettled, you should apply less pressure.
  4. The ears are next. Massage them gently with circular motions.
  5. You can apply more pressure to the muscles when you reach the neck and back. Since your dog cannot reach these areas itself, you can knead these areas particularly intensively. Try to massage every muscle group and avoid protruding bone areas like the
  6. Release tension in the legs by gently stroking the muscles and tendons from top to bottom. There are manty noticeable bones here, which is why you have to be particularly careful with the limbs.
  7. Since dog paws are particularly sensitive to touch, they should be handled with care. Try to knead the pads with increasing pressure and gently stretch each joint. Don't forget the areas between the claws.
Dog receiving a massage
Dog massages can be helpful in many cases.

When does my dog need a massage?

In general, you can give your dog a massage at any time – regardless of age and state of health. However, a nice massage is particularly useful in the following cases:

For stress

Dogs experience stress too. In this case, they are prone to muscle tension. To reduce this painful tension, it helps to massage the affected muscle parts and move the affected joints in a controlled way. Dog massages also help your dog to relax and reduce stress.

In high-performance sport

The muscles of very sporty dogs are put under particularly severe strain. Massages can be given before and after dog sport to protect them from painful tension and injuries.

For diseases of the joint and muscle system

Dog massages are commonly given in veterinary medicine for joint, tendon and muscle disorders. The most common health reasons for a mandated dog massage are:

  1. Muscular shortening and atrophy
  2. Shortening, adhesions and inflammation of the joints
  3. Rheumatic diseases
  4. Paralysis
  5. Joint diseases (e.g. arthrosis) in young dogs and senior dogs with or without clinical symptoms

After operations

Dogs are often limited in terms of mobility for several days or even weeks following invasive surgery, such as after abdominal or cruciate ligament rupture surgery. They lie more on one side during this period, therefore painful pressure points and muscle tensions develop.

Physiotherapy is very helpful in order to avoid this and continue to stimulate the muscles. If your dog is stationary in a veterinary clinic, treatment is usually carried out on site by a veterinary surgeon or a knowledgeable veterinary nurse. Continuing with the massage treatment at home is recommended to maintain the benefits of physiotherapy once your furry friend has been discharged.

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