Everyone knows dogs like to be petted! Not only can it be calming for you, it can be extremely calming for your pet. But, did you know you can massage your canine companion too?
It may seem a little strange to massage your pet’s shoulders, but there are some surprising benefits that go above and beyond the benefits of simply petting your pooch.
It can calm a nervous dog
Even the calmest dogs can sometimes lose their cool in certain situations. Whether your pooch is nervous around new people or he takes off and hides under the bed when the thunder starts rolling, a professional veterinarian recommends giving a few massage techniques a try.
The best technique for calming a nervous dog is also one of the easiest to learn. It’s a lot like petting your pooch from the top of his head down to the base of his spine, except you’ll exert more pressure than you would simply be petting your furry friend. Focus your attention at the base of the skull and the pelvis as these areas control the rest and relax responses of the body.
Joint stiffness and soreness
It’s not just old dogs that can develop joint stiffness and soreness. If your pet was particularly active, or if he has spent more time inactive lately due to an illness or an injury, you may find that he’s more stiff and sore than usual.
Massaging certain areas can help relieve some of the pain. Start by petting the area around the joint. Then, apply gentle compression to the area. A pumping motion encourages fluids to move through the muscle, taking tension off the surrounding joint.
If you do these types of exercises regularly starting at a young age, you may even be able to prevent stiffness and pain that can cause arthritis.
Warm-up for active dogs
It’s a good idea for you to stretch before you start exercising. It’s a good idea for your dog too. Unfortunately, most canines get too excited and take off like a rocket with no stretching whatsoever.
By lifting and squeezing certain muscles, you can prevent a potential injury from taking place while your dog is playing or exercising.
To learn more about doggy massage, including more techniques you can do with your pooch, call your veterinarian care.