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8 Areas of Your Dog That Are Crucial to Massage (Your Dog Will Thank You)

We all know that massage can reduce fatigue after a long working day, relieve pain, or even improve our health. But if you think that massage is a pleasure for humans only, you’ll be surprised to know that it can work wonders for your dog too. A good massage can calm your dog’s nervous system, warm up their muscles before an active game or walk, and even relieve strained muscles and sore joints.

Here at Bright Side we want to tell you which parts of your dog’s body you need to massage to keep them fit, healthy, and calm.

1. Head

A dog’s head contains muscles, organs, and numerous blood vessels which will all benefit from the increased blood flow provided by a good massage. The muscles located in the dog’s head suffer from tension and spasms just like all the other muscles in the body, so a head massage will also help to relieve stress and muscle stiffness. Follow these simple steps to give a good head massage to your dog. It should only take you 10-15 minutes. Be gentle and don’t apply too much pressure to the sensitive areas of the head, otherwise your dog can become nervous.

2. Ears

Gently pull ear flaps and massage them to improve the blood circulation. Rotate ear flaps to open the ear canal and increase the air circulation. Finish the massage by gliding your fingers down the ear flaps. Be careful and avoid applying too much pressure on the dog’s ears.

3. Neck

If you notice that instead of turning its head to look at things your dog turns the entire body, it may mean that your pet has a stiff and sore neck. Dogs can strain or injure their necks easily, so it’s better to visit a vet to exclude any serious injuries. If it's not injured, try this massage technique to relax the dog’s neck and relieve any pain or stiffness. If its neck causes your dog some discomfort, you will probably need to use petting and treats during the massage to keep your dog calm.

4. Back

There are different techniques of a spinal dog massage that serve different needs. Flat hand massage, for example, will help to relax your dog and stretch the skin and muscles, while back-and-forth rolling motions will improve the blood circulation and unlock contracted muscles. Follow these steps to choose the best back massage technique for your dog. Take into account that if your dog’s back aches badly and you press it hard, the pet might leave or even bite you, so be gentle.

5. Stomach

Improper diet, overeating, parasites, and other factors may lead to dogs having problems with digestion. Massage your dog’s belly with gentle circular, clockwise movements to stimulate the colon and eliminate stomach issues.

6. Legs

Whether young or old, your dog can suffer from muscle strain, arthritis, and joint problems. A leg massage will help to soothe the pain and relieve fatigue. This video gives detailed instructions on how to perform a leg massage that loosens up your pet's muscles.

7. Paws

Giving your dog a paw massage is similar to giving a human a foot or hand massage. It will relax your dog, improve the blood circulation, and give you some time to check your pet’s paws for any abnormalities. Follow these detailed instructions to give your dog an enjoyable paw massage.

8. Chest

The area where the head and neck connect is where the parasympathetic nervous system is located, so massaging this area may have a calming effect. This area is also connected to the circulatory system which makes chest massage beneficial for heart health and blood pressure. This video will give you a hint on how to perform the proper massage movements.

A good massage can reduce your dog’s anxiety, improve its digestion, strengthen their immune system, relieve muscle tension, and increase joint flexibility. Try spending 10 minutes a day massaging your dog and see how your pet reacts. After a few days of regular massage you will notice how different massage techniques work for your dog and you'll be able to choose the right strategy.

Do you have a dog? Would you like to try out any of these massage techniques? Tell us in the comments!