Dog Massage: Basic Technique, Video, and Canine Massage Schools

Person Doing Dog Massage

Dog massage has become increasingly popular as people realize that animals can benefit from massage as much as people do. Canine massage therapy is especially good for older dogs or ones recovering from injury. Some of the many benefits include:

  • Improves the quality of movement by relaxing muscles and supporting the health and function of joints
  • Stimulates circulation
  • Improves coordination and athletic agility
  • Helps release restrictions such as adhesions and knots
  • Helps reduce the risk of injuries
  • Relaxes the animal, providing benefits such as lower blood pressure, improved digestion, and better immune system function

You can take your dog to a professional pet massage therapist, a good idea if the animal has a specific problem that needs to be addressed. However, learning some basic massage techniques to use with your pet can help the two of you bond.

Basic Massage For Dogs

The first thing to know about massaging your dog is to listen and never do anything to aggravate her. Here's a basic massage:

  1. Lay your dog on her side and stroke her lightly and gently in the direction of hair growth until she starts to relax. Keep one hand on your dog at all times, using your other hand to massage slowly down over your dog's head, face, body, legs, tail, and outside of the legs. 
  2. Gently massage up the inside of your dog's legs, against the hair growth.
  3. Find tight spots in the muscles and use a firm circular motion on them. You can also gently squeeze and then release the muscle.

You can also use essential oils with dogs.

Dog Massage Video

For more specific and detailed massage techniques for dogs, take a look at these DVDs: Hands On - Canine Therapeutic Massage for Sports and Pet Dogs or Therapeutic Holistic Dog Massage.

Canine Massage Schools

Abundant Life Canine Massage, Sarasota, Florida

Brandenburg Massage Therapy, Martins Ferry, Ohio

Equissage, Round Hill, Virginia

La Paw Spas Academy of Canine Aquatic Studies, Sequim, Washington

Lang Institute for Canine Massage Loveland, Colorado

Northwest School of Animal Massage, Fall City, Washington

PetMassage™ Training and Research Institute, Toledo, Ohio

Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure & Massage, Carbondale, Colorado

Also, see the International Association of Animal Massage & Bodywork.

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Photo Credit: msgrafixx / 123RF Stock Photo

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