Bones & Joints

Doggie Massage Basics

How to Give your Dog a Relaxing Massage

1. With your hands, start by stroking your dog from the back of his head down to the base of his tail. Just stroke gently in line with the lay of your dog’s fur.

2. With your fingertips, try to make small circular motions on each side of his spine: first clockwise, and then counterclockwise. Just begin near his shoulders, and then work your way to the base of his tail.

3. Start applying gentle, vertical pressure using your thumbs on each side of your pooch’s spine. Work down each leg to his paws with the same motion.

4. As you work on his back, try lifting your dog’s excess skin upward. Knead or roll between your fingers and thumbs while starting at his shoulders down to the base of his tail.

5. With the use of circular finger motion, massage Fido’s rump area.

6. After this, start massaging the base of your pooch’s skull where his head joins the back of his neck by putting your fingers on one side and the thumb on the other.

7. This time, massage Fido’s cheek muscles by gently sliding your hands frontward on the sides of his face.

8. While following the lay of your dog’s fur, try flattening your hand, and stroking from his nose up to the top of his head.

9. Hold the base of his ears, and then pull from there to its tip as you rub his earflaps between your fingers.

10. Let your pooch lie on his side. Massage the muscles on his shoulders with slow, deep, circular motions. Next, start massaging his forelegs between your thumb and fingers as you work your way to his paws.

11. Try squeezing muscles between and along your dog’s toes, and then start moving each of his toes up and down with the use of a gentle, wiggling motion.

12. Flex your dog’s paws gently as you extend each one inward and rotate it to relax the tendons. Using your hands, give his thigh a deep, gentle massage.

13. Using your fingers, massage Fido’s hip joint in a circular movement. Try massaging down the back of his leg to his foot. Knead his paws and toes. Help your pup turn over, and then work on his legs on the other side.

14. Finish the session by talking calmly to Fido as you use slow strokes using your palm and fingers. Do this from his head, down to his back, and then to the tip of his tail. Perform the same procedure from his hip, to his hind foot, and then shoulders to his forepaw.

Some dogs are sensitive to having certain parts of their bodies touched. You know your dog best, so, if he hates to have his paws touched, don’t force it – remember, this is supposed to be relaxing for you both! Eventually, he may become relaxed enough to let those toes finally be touched!

Do you give your dog massages? Have any special tricks or techniques? We’d love to hear them!

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