Did you know that your dog, even cats, can benefit from a gentle massage? While you can indeed opt for professional services, you can also help your dog enjoy better health by giving it a massage at home. According to PetMD, giving your dog a massage will improve its body’s flexibility and motion range, the tone of the muscles, boost the digestion, and helps the lymph flow better.
You should not wait for your dog to have health issues to start giving it a massage. Dogs love to receive pets and cuddles from their owners, so you can very well give it a massage instead of the regular pet. Considering that it regulates blood pressure, reduces anxiety, boost the immune system, and relieve tension, a massage is a much better option than simply caressing your dog.
In the case of dogs suffering from arthritis, hip dysplasia, and inflammation, a massage can offer them a much-needed relief from physical pain and discomfort. So, you have more than enough reasons that a massage is a great way to improve your dog’s condition and health. To do this right, follow the pieces of advice and techniques mentioned in the following lines.
• What to have in mind before proceeding to dog massages
The first thing you need to bear in mind is that it is recommended to give your dog a massage when it is in a calm state. So, you should watch your dog and see when it is calm and relaxed and then proceed to give it a massage. You should not attempt to massage your dog after a walk, play session, and another kind of physical activity. In any of these cases, give the dog sufficient time to calm down.
When massaging your dog, pay attention to its reaction, as it will tell you when enough is enough. You’re probably wondering how long should a dog massage last. Well, it can be anywhere between 10 minutes and one full hour. Yet again, keep an eye on your dog while performing the massage, as it will tell you when you can stop. It will either raise its head and look at you or it may try to get up slowly, with the purpose of moving away from you or finding a quieter spot.
Choose a quiet and calm area in your house for the massage session. You can place a towel, blanket, or yoga mat on the floor in order to make it more comfortable. Keep in mind that you should allow your dog to choose its preferred position. While some will lay down next to you, others will prefer just to sit or even stand. Don’t force your dog in any way and deliver the massage while they are in the preferred position. This is supposed to be a relaxing experience, so do it in their own terms.
Do not give massages to a dog that suffers from an infection, especially bacterial or fungal skin infections, with a fever, or one that is trying to recover from a shock. Instead of relaxing them, a massage can actually make things worse in these cases.
• How to give your dog a massage?
Your strokes and movements should be gentle. The size of your dog matters when offering your companion a massage. Larger dogs should enjoy larger hand movements than small dogs. Start by massaging your dog on the length of its body, in order to relieve the accumulated tension. But, don’t forget about massaging the head, face, neck, and ears, as they are also important.
If you are a more practical person a comb or brush can also be added to the massage, so you will also groom the dog meanwhile. But, do not use any other products during a massage session. Be careful at the dog’s reactions during the massage. The dog’s state and reactions will tell you if it is enjoying the massage. For example, if the dog is very relaxed or even falls asleep, then you really know how to offer a good massage.
• The best dog massaging techniques
For relieving stress
When dealing with an anxious or stressed dog, the massage should be gentle. Start by gently massaging its neck and slowly work your way on the dog’s back. On the back, use gentle and long strokes. To calm down your dog, you can put one of your hands on its neck, while the others calmly stroke the back. Adopt a calm state of mind and avoid squeezing your dog. Rub the body of your dog gently and try to find out its body’s tensed spots. You will feel the muscles relax once the dog is calmer.
For rehabilitation from injury
This type of massage will depend on the type of injury suffered by your dog. The vet may indicate a few movements you can use for the massage session. Because your dog is a rather sensitive state, do not start the massage if you’re not advised to do so. The massage used for injury recovery is mostly composed of gentle motions. The massage sessions should start with movements that will help your dog relax. Once it reaches a calm state, you should continue the session by taking the injured limb and performing movements that are natural for that limb. In case this part is painful or uncomfortable for your dog, stop doing it, and return to the relaxation massage.
For recovery from pain
This massage should start with gentle movements, as presented earlier. This will get the dog’s body ready for the massage. Then use compressing and pumping motions on its body. Under these movements, the muscles of the dog will relax and relieve the accumulated tension. Just bear in mind not to use harsh motions and avoid applying to much pressure on areas that appear to be painful for the dog. End the massage session with gentle strokes again, which induce a state of relaxation.
While dog massages will allow you to enjoy a healthy dog, the best way to make sure that you will indeed have a healthy companion starts with picking the puppy. Get your puppy only from reliable dog breeders, which guarantee for the quality of the puppies and breeds them in a responsible manner. Premier Pups is the best place to start looking for your perfect puppy, as the website collaborates with responsible dog breeders only. Check it out and see for yourself that it was developed out of pure love for dogs and dog enthusiasts.