How to Massage a Dog (April 2019)

If you have a dog who suffers from arthritis or has had an injury recently, giving them an at-home massage can make a world of a difference.

In fact, you can give your dog a massage to help just about any problem out there, be it anxiety, arthritis, or even just to warm up their joints before a long play session.

Either way, here are some techniques you can use so you can learn how to massage a dog.

Compression Massage

This type of massage uses a bit of pressure to help the fibrous tissues, which is perfect for dogs who have poor circulation and experience muscle spasms.

This also works for dogs who aren’t active all the time, such as seniors for example.

Applying pressure and rubbing the area, starting gently and then applying more pressure as you go, the joints, stiffness, and soreness will start to alleviate while you do it over time.

Make sure you’re not using too much pressure so you don’t hurt your dog.

Rehabilitation Massage

If your pup has had an injury, your vet will have most likely given you some instructions for rehabilitation techniques at home, including a massage.

Although, most of them typically consist of motion exercises that are gentle, short, and not painful.

Full body strokes to keep your dog calm and then gently moving the injured limb using a motion that’s of a normal range is perfect.

If, however, the limb is too stiff or results in yips of pain, stop what you’re doing.

Stress Relief

This type of massage is great for dogs who are constantly on edge or are put into a fearful, anxiety-fueled state.

I, personally, like to focus this type of massage on the head. Use slow, calming pets on the head where your dog likes to be pet the most.

Do your best not to constrict them or make your pup feel like they’re being squeezed into submission.

After awhile, you’ll feel your dog start to release tension and slowly calm down.

Simple Dog Massages You Can Do At Home

Whatever the reason, make sure your dog is calm, that they feel safe, and they know you’re trying to help. Dog massages can be extremely beneficial in some areas of their health, especially where anxiety is concerned.


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