9 “Life Changing” Benefits Of Dog Massage
April 24, 2019 | 3 min read
Updated April 24, 2019
By Becca Trigg
Published: April 24, 2019
Updated: December 14, 2021
Summary: In this blog, we learn why massaging a dog can be just as beneficial to them as it is to us! We'll learn what canine massage therapy is, 9 benefits of dog massage and ultimately how to massage a dog too...
How amazing would a nice, long massage be right now? Those positive thoughts and feelings from deep tissue massage is great, right? Well, did you know that your pup would love one as well? That's right - Your dog could benefit from a massage, too!
Just like us humans, massaging your pooch can release endorphins which will help them feel relaxed, calm and content. Plus, not only will a dog massage make them feel more comfortable, it will also help support your pup’s physical and mental health in more ways than you may think...
There are lots of daily factors that could cause your dog to benefit from a few belly rubs and tickles; including stress, anxiety or a physical injury. As their owner, you already know what stress can do to your body, so imagine all those aches and pains happening to your beloved dog, too.
It can become a bit of a mine field when it comes to knowing how to support your pup the right way, so that’s why here at PetLab Co., we have found ways to help keep your dog in the best of health, including the odd canine massage. So, picking up a few of these simple massage tips could do wonders for your pooch’s health...
What Is Canine Massage Therapy?
So let's begin, a canine massage is exactly what you think it is…a massage for your pup. A massage has some incredible benefits for dogs, including relaxation, rejuvenation and overall better health. This type of therapy is part of a holistic approach to your pup’s healthcare and is a great, natural way to help reduce pain and stress.
Unfortunately, there isn't a lot we can do as puppy parents to stop our pets feeling stress completely, as it is a very normal reaction and emotion. But, as their owner, you can help reduce the negative effects from anxiety and tension.
You may sometimes feel like you’re doing things wrong and it can be hard to know what is best for your pup when they’re suffering from anxiety, pain, and stress. It’s even more frustrating that they can’t tell you when something is wrong! Making sure that you know your dog well enough to notice any changes in their behavior could help you discover when they’re suffering.
Once you know your dog’s anxiety and stress triggers, you’ll be able to help them relax with a nice doggy massage. And of course, your dog doesn't have to be suffering for them to benefit from a bit of TLC... Just like us, a spontaneous massage will make them feel great!
The Health Benefits Of Dog Massage
The health benefits of giving your pooch a massage aren’t only physical, but it can hugely help their emotional health, too. Also, a massage can help any dog, any age, breed or size, so take a look at some of the incredible positives your dog will gain by massaging them a few times a week:
- Reduces anxiety
- Relieves muscle tension
- Improves joint flexibility
- Increases range of motion
- Decreases blood pressure
- Reduces pain
- Supports digestion
- Improves circulation
- Reduces muscles spasms
We all want what is best for our dogs, so helping them with the odd massage seems perfect! It's completely free and you can do it in the comfort of your own home - all you need is time.
PetLab Co. Pro Tip: We completely understand that not all dogs are tactile…If you have a dog that is nervous or agitated, getting them to relax through a massage will need a lot of patience and reassurance on your part. Be calm and gentle, giving them a lot of space if needed. You don’t want to cause more stress and damage by forcing things too much.
How To Massage A Dog
The better you know your dog, the easier you’ll discover a massage pattern that benefits them best. For example, if you know your dog has health difficulties with their joints, you can focus a lot of your time supporting their legs and hips.
We have a few great starter tips on how to massage a dog, to help relax and rejuvenate them:
How To Give A Dog A Massage
Start at the top…
Either way, it’s a good idea to start with the ears and head. Gently rubbing your pooch’s ears and ear flaps in a circular motion will relax and invigorate their entire body. Try to massage both ears at the same time, the motion will be extremely beneficial to the muscles around your dog’s ears, eyes, and skull. Massaging the head can have a huge positive impact on the nervous system. Just like us, your dog’s central nervous system is directly correlated to the cranial area. A few lightly pressured rubs around their head and face could encourage relaxation around the whole body.
Next, move to the belly
You probably already spend some time focusing on your pup’s belly… but did you know that the more your massage their stomach, the more help you’re giving their digestive system? Gently performing circular motions with a flat hand on their stomach can help relieve gas and relax their muscles, helping them to reduce bloating and pain.
Then, it's time for the legs
Your dog will sometimes spend all day on their legs, so it makes sense that their limbs will need a little kneading. Although the massage won’t stop injury, it can hugely support their joints and relieve pain! Try to work your way from their paws, all the way up to the crease behind your pup’s elbow. Bear in mind what your dog does and doesn't like... Don't force a dog massage if they're uncomfortable when contact is made to their paws.
Applying small amounts of pressure to these areas can help encourage blood flow and will also help keep your dog’s muscles and joints limber for activity.
A Whole Body Dog Massage
As mentioned above, if you know where your dog has difficulties, you can focus your energies on those areas, but it is also a good idea to massage everywhere, too. You probably wouldn’t say no to a full body massage, and neither would your dog!
The relief of tension in the muscles and joints from a simple massage is powerful. Improving circulation and flushing toxins from tissues is an incredible benefit from a few lightly pressured rubs here and there.
You don’t have to be a qualified masseuse to give your dog a massage. As long as you’re following these simple steps, you will have your dog feeling relaxed and refreshed in no time.
There are an abundance of incredible benefits from massaging your pooch. It doesn’t take long, and it can only improve your bond with them, along with their health. Anxieties and stresses in canines can be hard to manage, but if you have ways of combating these troubles, the easier you can make your dog’s life and wellbeing. It a free, easy answer to help support your pooch through pain and stress…So, why wouldn’t you do it?
"Why Massage" Heal Animal Massage Therapy https://www.healnw.com/why-massage
Author Withers, Grant "Anxiety In Dogs: How To Spot And Help It" Sit Stay, Feb 08. 2017 https://sitstay.com/blogs/good-dog-blog/anxiety-in-dogs
"Benefits Of Professional Pet Massage Therapies" Kneaded Pets http://kneadedpets.com/benefits-of-pet-massage/
An all round animal lover, who absolutely adores writing and researching anything puppy! Over the past few years, I have been able to gain ample pet knowledge; specifically joint health and dental hygiene. When I'm not typing away in the office, I can be found sitting in a country pub or growing chillies