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4 Simple Dog Massage Therapy Techniques by Pet Experts

Looking after your canine is important, and one of the best ways to do that is by giving him a massage. Do dogs like massages? Yes, a soothe massage can have a myriad of health benefits for your pooch. In addition, massaging a dog is a great way to bond with the dog while also helping them feel more relaxed and stress-free. A relaxing massage is an act of love for your pet. It involves caring touch and massage tips to help your dog relax and feel comfortable with you. Here are the simple tips from experts about how to give a good massage to your pet.

Why You Should Give Your Dog A Massage?

Dogs love to be petted, and that’s because it can improve their health in many different ways. Learn how to massage a dog and how it can help your dog with these simple tips.

Pre-Activity Warm-Up

Like humans tend to do a pre-workout warm-up, the same goes for dogs. A massage before a workout and exercise can have many benefits for dogs. It improves blood circulation, frees up joints and muscles, and stimulates a better flow of energy within the body, thus preparing the dog for carrying out all sorts of activities and exercises. Massaging also reduces muscle soreness and the risk of injuries during the workout.

Post-Activity Cool Down

Cooling down the body post-workout is equally important as a pre-workout warm-up. It lowers the body temperature and breathing rate allowing it to get normal. Dog massage to cool down the body reduces soreness, post-workout stiffness, and recovery time between different exercise sessions. It also helps reduce discomfort.

Reduce Stress

The effects of massage on dogs are pretty similar to humans. Dogs, too, enjoy body massages as much as we do. It is an excellent way of relaxing and rehabilitation. An acupressure for dogs can calm a dog’s nervous system and relieves them from stress and anxiety. In addition, a dog massage for anxiety provides a sense of comfort to pets as they tend to forget their worries and pain.


Giving a body massage to your dog helps rejuvenate them. They feel refreshed and revitalized as massaging promotes overall wellness. Massaging strengthens a dog’s body, improves body movements, and nourishes their skin and coat.

Pain Relief

Massaging involves gentle rubbing and kneading, it acts as a healing aid for tissue injuries. The gentle pressure applied by hands while massaging reduces pain and swelling caused by strain or sprain. In addition, it increases blood circulation throughout the body leading to fast recovery.

Improves Health

Massage is a hands-on therapy that helps relax dog muscles. It reduces fatigue and relieves pain, reduces stress, frees up joints, strengthens bones and tissues, and improves blood circulation in dogs. As a result, it benefits the mental and physical health of pets.

Simple Dog Massage Techniques


This massaging technique begins from the back of the dog’s head. Start by rubbing gently over the dog’s back and slightly applying pressure on either end. Continue this technique while moving downwards from the head. Avoid putting pressure on the spine. This backstroke massage technique is very useful in calming and relaxing the pet. This type of back rub helps reduce stress and makes the dog comfortable to human touch. This is also a great massage technique for beginner pet parents who carry out massage sessions at home.

Ear Rub

Ear rub is a fundamental massage technique and is also loved by many dogs. Ear rub involves therapeutic movements, which are great at calming dogs. One can start from the inner side of the dog’s ear. Using your thumb, exert slight pressure on the inside of the base of the dog’s ear while moving your index finger on the outside of the ear. While continuing this method, gradually slow down at the ends of the ears concluding with a slight pull.

Forehead Rub

A forehead massage is a quick stress relief technique similar to acupuncture. There are acupuncture points located on a dog’s head. By applying slight pressure on these points, one can calm their dog. Using your thumb to put gentle pressure on the top of the dog’s nose or just gentle rubs on their forehead can be calming as well as healing.

Thigh and Glute Rub

Ever wonder how to massage a dog with arthritis? Thigh and glute rub find great use in therapeutic sessions of arthritis. Using this dog pressure points massage technique, old and aged dogs who suffer from mobility issues can be massaged. A thumb-circle technique is used to massage the dog’s back legs and gluteus muscles. Apply gentle pressure with the thumb and work clockwise, making backward ‘C’ movement throughout the thigh and glute areas. The same technique can be used to massage around a dog’s neck.

How to Massage a Dog?

If you are a beginner and have no idea about how to give a dog a massage, here are some simple step by step process.

  • Step 1: Choose a quiet and peaceful part of the house to carry out massage sessions to make your dog comfortable. Start by gently stroking the dog’s hair.
  • Step 2: By flat palms, gently apply pressure on the areas of interest to see if the dog feels comfortable. Then gently move your hands across the dog’s body in sweeping motions. Avoid using too much pressure. Do not continue any further if the dog gets uncomfortable.
  • Step 3: Use the above described massaging techniques, starting from the head and gradually moving downward. Avoid the spine and bone areas where your dog doesn’t like to be touched. Work down the body slowly and gently.
  • Step 4: While massaging, do note any injuries or swelling on the dog’s body. Rubbing gently and massaging over these areas can reduce pain and relieve the dog. To massage over the pressure points of your dog’s body, consult a professional before using any specific technique.


Massaging is an easy and promising way to keep your dog healthy and happy. Keeping it simple and gentle on dog pressure points can help build a bond of trust between the pet and the parent while maintaining a positive atmosphere for both. It also initiates opportunities for social bonding. Though it can also be done at home, consulting professional help for massage therapies and learning new techniques can be of greater use.