Yes! It’s a good idea. Most dogs enjoy having a massage. Apart from being a great way to bond with your dog and being relaxing for both of you, it can have many benefits.
Regular massage can be preventative: by detecting areas of tightness or soreness you can treat them before they become more serious.
Massage can help your dog recover from injuries and surgery. There will usually be some tightness, scar tissue, adhesions, perhaps pain after an accident or surgical procedure, as well as just life and aging. Appropriate massage can be really beneficial, healing and therapeutic.
By working on tight tissue and constrictions you allow muscles and fascia to lengthen, taking the load of joints, and allowing a return to fluid, pain free movement.
Before you start massaging your dog:
Choose a quiet part of the house for the massage to help your dog feel calm. Do not try to massage your dog if he’s likely to be distracted e.g meal time, walkies time, noisy visitors.
During this video, I demonstrate some massage techniques you can use on your dog at home, including:
- Effleurage – a gentle, sweeping technique used at the start of a massage
- Kneading or skin rolling
- Acupressure applied to the muscles on either side of the spine
- Neck, head and ear massage to target acupressure points
- Forelimb and hindlimb massage
- tail stretch and mobilisation
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