Here are some at home canine massage techniques that you can use to bond,
nurture or heal your dog. Always be mindful of your dog's comfort level,
as this should never be painful or cause your dog stress. Remember to
always use gentle pressure.
1. Place the dog on a stable but soft surface like a rug on the floor
or on a bed.
2.Stand at the dog's head and place your hands, palms down, behind
its ears. Using firm pressure (don't press too hard, this should not cause
pain or discomfort), rub your hands down the dog's back. Start with several
long, slow strokes from head to tail and then slightly increase the
pressure. Continue this process for several minutes.
3.Hold the tip of each ear between your thumb and fingers and rub
in a circular motion using light pressure. Lightly grasp at the base of the ears
with the entire ear in your hand and working your hands towards the tips of
the ears, with a slightly firm grasp to massage all of the muscles in your
dog’s ears. Rub each ear from tip to base and back again.
4. Place your fingertips at the base of the dog's neck and use
circular strokes to apply pressure to the neck and shoulder area. Move down
the dog's back, keeping your fingers on either side of the spine until you
reach the hip area. To massage around spine, walk thumbs down both sides of
spine from base of head down to tail.
5. Open your hands and rub firmly down each of back legs, starting
from the hip joint and working down. If the dog will allow you to do so,
lightly squeeze each of its back feet. Repeat this entire process for the
To massage front legs, apply light pressure while turning your
hands around the dogs legs. To massage hind legs, place both hands around the largest part of
the leg and gently squeeze, working your way down to the paws. If your
dog will allow you to touch their paws, you will lightly open their paw
between the pad and toes and gently rub, you can stretch their toes apart
lightly and rub those. Finish by holding the entire paw in your hand with a
6. Massage the chest area by rubbing with an open flat hand in a
Never do deep tissue massage, always nice light stokes, starting at
your dog's head, long and slow, not just petting your pet, but long strokes
from head to tail, moving along the contour of your dog’s body,
When massaging sides of dog, long steady gentle stokes help to
stimulate the organs and increase circulation which is especially beneficial
in older dogs
The first time you massage your dog they
may be anxious and not know how to relax.
Try as many of the techniques as your dog
Over time this will increase once they see
how great this feels!