Benefits Of Dog Massage Therapy

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Dog having belly rubbedYou don’t need a dog massage certification to give your dog a massage. You can give your pup a daily massage from the comfort of your home. Find out why dog massages are beneficial and how you can give your dog the best massage of her life.

What Is Canine Massage Therapy?

Canine massage therapy is a form of alternative therapy that promotes a dog’s health. It is proven that the touch given to a dog through massage can improve not only a dog’s physical but also his emotional well-being. Massages are great for dogs who suffer from nervousness, anxiousness and hyperactivity. Dog massage benefits include:

  • Relaxation
  • Increased oxygenation of the blood
  • Pain relief
  • Improved flexibility
  • Improved immune system
  • Reduced age-related issues
  • Reduced arthritis and hip dysplasia discomfort
  • Muscle tension, soreness, weakness and spasm relief

Implementing canine massage therapy along with professional veterinary care can reduce recovery time from injuries.

How to Massage a Dog

Dog massage techniques vary depending on what you want your dog to get out of the massage. Find out how to massage your dog below.

Daily Massage

A daily massage is used as a bonding experience for you and your dog as well as to stay connected with your dog’s health. Use a flat palm and slowly touch your dog moving around her body. Pay attention to how different areas feel. Notice her hair, skin, muscle, fat and bone. This will help you gain an understanding of what your dog’s body is like when she’s healthy, so in the future, you can notice sooner when something may be out of the ordinary. You may notice her temperature being different,  or that she is more sensitive to the touch. Perhaps she’s swollen somewhere or there is some other out of the ordinary characteristic which tells you something is wrong with her. Knowing your dog’s baseline can help you notice health conditions so that you can provide her with the care she needs sooner than later. These massages should take about ten minutes and are a great way to end a “ruff” day. 😉

Dog Massage for Anxiety or Nervousness

Whether it’s thunder rumbling or fireworks popping, this massage is a good way to calm your anxious dog. Softly rest your palm on top of your dog’s head or neck and make long strokes along the spine and down the tail. Repeat this several times slowly. You can increase the pressure gradually if you think your dog likes it. Make sure you don’t press down on the lower part of the back as this could create problems with your dog’s spine and hips. When you want to finish the massage, rest one hand at the base of your dog’s head and the other hand over the highest point of your dog’s hips. These two points are associated with the part of the spinal cord that is in charge of rest and relaxation. You can do this massage any time your dog is anxious, nervous, hyperactive, restless or fearful.

Could a Thunder Jacket Reduce Your Dog’s Anxiety?

Reasons to Seek a Professional Dog Massage Therapist

You may want to seek out a professional for help. A professional dog massage therapist can teach you the techniques to help your dog or can do the massage for you if you’d prefer someone else do the work 😉 . A massage therapist can give your dog the best massage to help with his ailments. We recommend going to a professional first and speaking to them about your dog’s needs beforehand. Then the two of you can have a game plan for how often your dog needs a massage and how often you want the massage therapist to check-in on your dog’s health.

What to Look For in a Dog Massage Therapist?

Choose a dog massage therapist similar to how you chose your dog’s vet. Below are some things you’ll want to consider.

  • Ask friends, family and vet for suggestions.
  • Are they close to your home?
  • How much will a visit cost?
  • What hours are they open?
  • When calling the office pay attention to how friendly the staff is.
  • A busy massage therapist typically means better, so don’t be put off by a massage therapist that is a little difficult to get an appointment with at first.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Massages?

Some pet insurance products will cover alternative therapies like acupuncture and therapeutic massages, but most do not. Keep in mind, that an office visit for a massage will have to be deemed necessary to treat a medical condition that is also covered by the pet insurance plan. Intrigued? Our comprehensive article can help you learn everything you need to know about pet insurance, including pros and cons, and even a financial analysis to help you determine if it makes sense.

Funniest Dogs Getting Massages

Watch this video of dogs getting massages. They are so happy it’s absolutely adorable.

Why Does Your Dog Love Having Her Ears Massaged?

My husband is guilty of this with every dog. He loves massaging dogs ears because he has yet to find a dog that hates it. But why do dogs love having their ears massaged? A dog’s ears have nerve centers, which makes them extremely sensitive to touch. Massaging a dog’s ears can be extremely relaxing for her. Speaking of dog’s ears, while you’re massaging your dog make sure to check out her ears and see if they need to be cleaned. If you need more information, check out our article on tips on how to clean dog’s ears.

How do you know when your dog is enjoying a massage?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories, and more. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly's natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs. Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child.

In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly’s research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today. One of Kimberly’s favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds, and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new pet health insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those of others who may be used for example purposes in this article.
Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

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colleen chuipek
February 12, 2020 6:52 pm

with regards to saying anyone can massage their dog…NO!!! You can pet them and stroke but to properly massage you need to be cert…alot is involved!!!

Sandra Garcia
April 24, 2019 1:39 am

My Nayna was abused as a very young puppy. We found her walking down the median of a 4 lane highway when she was just 8 weeks old. Her tail was broken and she could barely walk. But my girl had a lion ❤️. She picked that little golf ball sized head up and looked us straight in the eyes. She looked like a chicken bone wearing a fur coat. I loved her immediately. Anyway, as time wire in her mistreatment became evident. She was a nervous wreck. Acting at times as though she was afraid of ME. That broke my heart. I didn’t know what to do. One day I just picked her up anyway. I whispered softly in her ears and began to just rub her softly. My hand could almost cover her entire body. Her response brought tears to my eyes. She just sat in my lap rocking slowly from side to side with her eyes never leaving mine. Soon her head drooped and she just laid over and fell asleep with her head in the palm of my hand. We stayed that way a long time. This little dog is a gift of tremendous joy to me. She has come so far. Terrified of a shoe dropping at one point in time, she now runs to my husband who is operating power tools and waits patiently for Daddy to notice her. Did the massage change something her? Indeed. We do them as a rule once a day. We do them by choice anytime she feels anxious or afraid. She’s a little sweetie who weighs 5 pounds. For of that is heart. We use lavender and coconut oil.

Vivian Black
May 21, 2018 2:41 pm

My neighbor’s dog has been especially loud the past few nights as I have been trying to sleep and today my neighbor mentioned to me that her dog gets anxious when the weather is changing. I found it interesting that you mentioned the way two specific points of a dog’s spinal cord are associated with rest and relaxation and giving your dog a massage around those areas can decrease anxiety. Thanks for the tips on how to care for fearful or otherwise restless dogs.

Bobby Saint
December 20, 2017 12:33 am

I like that you provided some of the benefits of dog massage therapy such as it relieves anxiety and nervousness. You talked about your pet getting stressed with some of the fireworks, and what better way than to give them a much-deserved massage to ease their anxiety. They like it best when you stroke your hands from the top of their head down to their tail. It surely will make your best friend happy. I would make sure to take heed of your advice and make sure my pet dog doesn’t feel stressed. Thanks.

December 11, 2017 3:06 pm

There’s a doggy spa in my neighborhood and they offer massage treatments, I guess it’s the new trendy thing now!?