Dog Massage a How To Guide
Dog Massage for the dog lover:
Why should massage be an integral part of dog care? Because it a scientific fact that massage can alleviate stress and lower blood pressure, especially when petting an animal. That is what this is, intentional petting, healing petting. It will benefit you both. Here are a few other reasons why you should massage:
Regular massage can help slow down the degeneration of joints.
Reduces muscular tension, which helps relieve some of the aches and pains associated with arthritis.
Stimulates circulation and helps Lymph drainage.
Helps remove toxins
Puts the dog in a more relaxed state of mind
May help reduce vet bills
Lowers your blood pressure, de-stresses you release endorphin's. Create feelings of peacefulness and calming.
How to Massage a Dog:
Start by taking a moment to inhale and exhale any stress you are feeling. Gently put your hands on the dogs body and set your energy and intent to heal and relax with the dog. Make a heart connection. This is the most important step.
Use long, light strokes along the length of the dog’s body (from head to tail) to warm up the muscles and relax them. You can do this in the Bathing Tub while you are getting the dog wet.
This works great when applying the shampoo and conditioner. Massage with small circles with your thumbs on either side of the spine. You can also use your fingers to “walk” along the spine. This feels great and helps with overall circulation, lymphatic drainage and spinal health.
Doing an in tub massage is a great way to relax a pet before grooming. Begin by gently working the shampoo into the pet with the grain (the direction the hair grows) of the coat. Use caution around eyes and sensitive areas.
Use a very light kneading motion over tight muscles (like kneading dough), to help loosen the muscle fibers and stimulate deeper circulation. Make sure to massage the face, head, neck and shoulders because your dog will most likely adore you for it!
Incorporate long, light strokes to encourage the lymph system to drain.
Massage the feet (if your dog can tolerate it-take care to avoid getting bitten by foot-sensitive animals) by gently squeezing and pull slowly down the toes. This physical therapy technique can improve the neurological connection from the brain to the feet, improving mobility.
Massage the legs (front and back) with long strokes, adding a light twisting action will help circulation. Start with the feet and moving up the leg towards the hip and buttocks.
Use the gentle kneading motion around the hips and buttocks. Remember, do not work directly over arthritic joints, and work on the muscles around them.
Do some easy stretching exercises to help the joints and surrounding tissues with mobility and flexibility. Gently bend and flex arthritic joints to improve range of motion.
Mindfully begin massaging the ears with slow, gentle rubbing of the inside and outside of each ear.
End the massage by gently stroking your dog’s entire body for deep relaxation.
If doing an in tub massage, rinse the dog well and continue with drying routine.
Times when you do not want to massage the pet:
After a pet has just eaten- wait at least two hours after eating.
If the pet is sick they may not want to be touched- just be sure to listen to their signals- they will let you know!
Avoid massaging the back and belly of a pregnant animal.
Just after intense exercise. Wait until the dog has a chance to cool down and rest.
Essential Oils: Most commonly used
Lavender Oil;Calming, soothing, eases aches, bug repellent, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial,
Eucalyptus Oil; De-greasing, opens breathing and lungs, bug repellent, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial,
Tea Tree Oil; Anti-Viral, Antiseptic, Antibacterial , bug repellent, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial,
Citrus Oils & Mints; Revitalizing, refreshing, energy, , bug repellent, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial
Be sure and use quality essential oils, and mix them in with a good carrier oil. You can purchase relaxation blends to use or mix your own. Essential Oils are powerful tools that can help the body rejuvenate, relax and heal from any traumas.
Apply a small amount of the oil mixture to the joints, belly, paw pads or ear leather. Slowly massage into these points gently.
Touch is a powerful tool to communicate with our four legged friends. Take the time to bond with the animals that come into your life, it is worth it to both you and the pets.