Just like us humans, massaging your dog releases endorphins that help him relax and calm down. What's more, a massage not only makes your dog feel better, but it also boosts his physical and mental health in more ways than you may realise....
There are many everyday factors that can cause a dog to benefit from a few belly rubs and tickles, such as stress, anxiety or a physical injury. As a dog owner, you already know what stress can do to your own body. So imagine that all this pain is also causing your beloved dog.
WHAT IS DOG MASSAGE THERAPY?
First of all, a dog massage is exactly what you think it is: a massage for your dog. A massage has some incredible benefits for dogs, including relaxation and overall health improvement. This type of therapy is part of a holistic approach to your dog's health and is a great, natural way to relieve pain and stress.
Unfortunately, as dog owners there is not much we can do to completely stop our pets feeling stress, as it is a very normal reaction and emotion. But as owners, we can help reduce the negative effects of anxiety and tension. Once you know your dog's anxiety and stress triggers, you can help them relax during or after these situations with an extensive massage.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS
Not only does a dog massage have physical benefits, but it can also help your dog's emotional health. Plus, a massage can help any dog, regardless of age, breed or size. They can benefit incredibly from you massaging your dog just a few times a week:
Relieves muscle tension
Improves joint mobility
Increases range of motion
Lowers blood pressure
Improves blood circulation
Reduces muscle spasms
If you have a dog that is nervous or agitated, you may need a lot of patience and reassurance to relax him with massage. Stay calm and be gentle and give plenty of space if needed.
HOW TO MASSAGE A DOG
The better you know your dog, the easier it will be to find a massage pattern that works best for him. For example, if you know your dog has joint health problems, you can spend a lot of your time supporting his legs and hips.
We've got some great tips to get you started on giving your dog a restorative and relaxing massage:
START AT THE TOP...
In any case, it's a good idea to start with the ears and head. Gently massaging your dog's ears and earlobes in a circular motion will relax and revitalise the whole body. Try to massage both ears at the same time, as the movement has a very positive effect on the muscles around the ears, the eyes and your dog's skull. Massaging the head can have a very positive effect on the nervous system. Just like us, your dog's central nervous system is directly connected to the cranial area. A few light pressure massages to the head and face can promote relaxation of the entire body.
You probably already spend some time on your dog's tummy.... but did you know that the more you massage the belly, the more you help his digestive system? Gentle circular motions with the flat of the hand on the belly help to relieve bloating and relax the muscles, reducing gas and pain.
As your dog is sometimes on his feet all day, it's only logical that his limbs need a little kneading too. While massage can't prevent injury, it can provide tremendous joint support and pain relief! Try to work your way from the paws to the crease behind the elbow. Be aware of what your dog likes and doesn't like.... don't force a massage if he is uncomfortable with paw contact.
Applying light pressure to these areas can promote circulation and help keep muscles and joints flexible.
THE WHOLE BODY MASSAGE
If you know where your dog is having trouble, you can focus on just those areas, but it's also a good idea to massage the whole body. A simple massage will relieve tension in the muscles and joints and is very effective. Improving circulation and flushing toxins from the tissues is an incredible benefit of a few light pressure massages here and there.
Massaging your dog offers a wealth of incredible benefits. It doesn't take long, and it can improve your bond and health tremendously. Anxiety and stress in dogs can be difficult to manage, but the more ways you have to combat these issues, the easier you can make your dog's life and well-being. It's a free, simple solution to help your dog with pain and stress.