Yes, we know, it’s completely indulgent and humanizing to give your dog a massage – but c’mon! If you’ve ever enjoyed a massage we’re confident you can understand why your dog deserves to experience it, too. While your pet won’t exactly absorb the tranquility we humans love at the spa, they can certainly reap the benefits of having their muscles kneaded and relaxed, especially if they’re working animals like hunting dogs or herders. With the way humans spend on their pets, there should be places in your area that administer professional dog massages, if that’s what you prefer, but we just like to give Fido a little rub down when we’re relaxing after our walk. (Not only does it save us money, it’s an opportunity to bond. We love when our dogs know they’re being spoiled by us.)
There is a science behind dog massage and techniques that can range from novice to bona fide masseuse, so if you’re seeking therapeutic treatment for a specific ailment, consult your veterinarian or a professional in the field. If you’re like us and just want to indulge your dog in something to make him feel great, here are a couple of tips and spots we’ve noticed our dogs just love:
- Use your palm or top four fingers to knead the muscles in a circular motion. Try your best to administer even pressure with your hand to avoid ‘digging in’ to their muscle, which can actually cause sensitivity rather than alleviating it.
- Gauge your pet’s reaction. It’s best to start with light pressure and watch their reaction as you increasingly push a little harder. If they jolt at any point, it’s likely you’ve hit an injury you didn’t know existed – stop the massage and call your veterinarian; you may have just discovered something that needs professional assessment.
- We’ve noticed our dogs’ favorite spots to be massaged are their upper shoulders, behind their ears, and their back legs. And don’t forget about their paws! You’ll know your pup’s enjoying it if their body feels completely relaxed and their eyes are slowly opening and closing.
Remember that this is just a loose guide to indulging your pooch in a new way to relax. If you’re really looking to perfect your craft, there are plenty of informational resources available online, in addition to getting your vet’s recommendations.
If you really want to go the extra mile, consider throwing in a grooming session and pawdicure – head over to our Miracle Care™ page to find the perfect tools to further beautify your pooch!