How to give your dog a massage and how it can help them

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Many of us enjoy a nice relaxing massage. With 5 years experience in small animal physio/rehabilitation. I’m here to give you some tips and tricks How to give your dog a massage and how it can help them.

How to give your dog a massage and how it can help them

Women massaging dogs skin

When and why should we be massaging our pet?


Studying the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for: Anxiety. Digestive disorders.

relaxed kitten

When is massage BENEFICIAL for my dog?
my dog:

1. Is Suffering from arthritis

2. Has an injury.

3. Is a working dog

4. A competition dog eg agility or obedience

5. They are deserving of a treat and would love this!

Also see my other related content:

Ways to help an arthritic pet:

Overfeeding in our pets:

white and black siberian husky puppy 3663082

Let’s go over some different types of massages.

Effleurage Massage

Effleurage is a French word meaning “to skim” or “to touch lightly on”, is a series of massage strokes used to warm up the muscle before deep tissue work. This is a soothing, stroking movement used at the beginning and sometimes the end of a session.

Deep tissue massage

Is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronic aches and pains and contracted areas.
(This type of massage is best performed by a professional on your pet).

Trigger point release

Trigger point release –  Trigger point myotherapy also known as neuromuscular therapy or sometimes massage therapy consists of alternating levels of concentrated pressure on the areas of muscle spasm.
(This type of massage should only be performed by a professional on your pet).


Now that we’ve determined the different types, let us go over how to pamper your pooch with a nice rub down.

1. Setting up a nice place for your pet to lie down, make sure you’re using nice soft cosy bedding.

2. Making sure your dog is in a calm mood. Trying to massage your dog when they are ready for playing and walking is not the right time! Waiting until you are done exercising your dog, or in the evening when everyone is settling in by the fire or in front of the TV.

3. Starting with Effleurage massage – Nice gentle soft stroking (Slightly firmer than a pat). Use the palm of your hands and flats of your fingers, never dig in with the tips of your fingers or nails and avoid bony prominences massaging over bone is not relaxing, stick to the muscle zones and watch your pet melt.

4. Moving into a lighter tissue massage next (Deep tissue is best performed by a trained professional). Using the flats of your fingers try applying slightly more pressure than effleurage. using smaller circles and again avoid the bony prominences.

There is no time limit for either massage, keep going until either you or your pet is over it. Enjoy treating your pet as you would yourself = )
As always thanks for reading.

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Three little puppies sleeping close together

2 Replies to “How to give your dog a massage and how it can help them”

  1. This is such a sweet idea! Never thought of massage before, and it’s a better way than just giving treats all the time.

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