Before we go any further — yes, we are now talking about giving your dog a massage. Because there’s no way she’s spoiled enough yet!
Anway. You know how awesome it is to get a massage?
(If the answer to that is no, I know what you should ask for this Christmas!)
Massages aren’t just an indulgence; they offer numerous health benefits.
In addition to pain relief, they help the immune system fight off or heal from infection, ease anxiety and depression, and can even help with digestion and inflammation.
That’s for people.
But did you know that dogs can reap similar benefits from massage?
Benefits of canine massage:
- Helps open blood vessels and improves circulation
- Reduces stress
- Strengthens the doggy / human bond
- Helps you discover potential abnormalities in your dog (because you’ll be touching her all the time)
It’s best to start massages at a young age, so your gal gets comfortable with your touch (and doesn’t just see it as a game).
Full Body Dog Massage (You can do this at home.)
Ears. Massage the ear from the base of the ear all the way to the end of the flap. You can apply a bit more pressure near the base, but lighten your touch as you get toward the end. Pay attention to how your dog is responding — you’ll be able to tell if she likes it (or not). Usually this will relax her.
Head. Pay close attention to the temples and areas above the eyes. There are pressure points around the eyes that can be associated with the stomach, bladder and gallbladder. Be sure to be gentle here.
Back. Massage both sides of the spine and along the torso to relieve stomach pains and symptoms associated with stomach illnesses and vomiting. Remember to keep your hand gentle and firm. Try alternating between massaging the muscles and lightly scratching against the direction of fur growth.
Stomach. For many dogs, this is their favorite area, and they’ll offer it up to anyone who seems interested in giving some love. Rub anywhere on the belly, any way she likes, for as long as you want.
Legs and Elbows. This often-neglected area is also one of the most hardworking. Massage the crease behind her elbow to cope with infections and allergies.
Back Toes. Many believe that energy pathways start and end at your dog’s toes. Massage the entire foot, or go toe by toe. If the paw pads are feeling a little rough, rub in some coconut oil to bring back moisture.
Pay close attention to your dog’s body language. She’ll make it very clear if you’re pressing too hard, or if something hurts that’s not supposed to.
She’ll also make it very clear that she’s totally relaxed and loving every second.
Want to indulge your best friend even more? Get her a box full of treats and toys!