Can Dogs Feel Massages? 5 Benefits Explained


Massage is very beneficial for the strengthening and conditioning of a dog’s muscles. 

Also, this hands-on therapy can increase circulation, eliminate naturally occurring toxins, and help bring healing cells to the area.

This article provides the benefits of dog massage therapy and answers to whether a dog can feel the massage.

Can Dogs Feel Massages?

Yes, dogs can feel massages. Besides, this pet loves all kinds of affection, including massage therapy. Little wonder dog massage is becoming a popular trend in dog care. Moreover, it’s yielding positive results. 

Massaging dogs can have a therapeutic effect on them. It can relax muscles, lower blood pressure and reduce stress. 

Moreover, regular dog massage can strengthen your bond with your pet. In addition, you get to understand and know your dog better.

How Do You Know If Your Dog Likes Massages?

Deep relaxation is a body language sign that indicates a dog is feeling a massage. 

Nevertheless, the following signs mentioned below would help you know if your pet likes massage:

  • Sighing Sleepiness
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Ears drop
  • Tail wagging 
  • Stomach flip 
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Tongue hanging
  • Relaxed limbs
  • Deep breathing 
  • Calm behavior

How To Give Your Dog Massage

Knowing how to massage your dog is a technique you must do with caution. 

It’s best to combine both effleurage and petrissage strokes to give your pet a basic full body massage at home.

You must begin massage therapy with a session that lasts a few minutes at a time. 

After that, you can work your way up to longer massage sessions that last 10 minutes or more.

Here are excellent tips to massage your dog:

  • Start by using some gentle petting to calm your dog down. Ensure you use long, slow movements on your dog back, stomach, and other parts of the body where it likes to be touched
  • Start by using your fingertips to apply light pressure in a circular motion at the back of your dog’s neck. 
  • Ensure to move your fingers down and gently press between your dog’s shoulder blades in a circular motion.
  • Go to the front legs. Start with your hands on your pet’s ankles and slowly move them up to the back of its knees. Your dogs may not like it when their legs are touched. Hence lookout for signs of any discomfort.
  • Stroke the back of your dog and gently squeeze your fingers as you pull it from the head to the tail base on one side of the spine. And on the other side of the spine, from the tail to the head. However, ensure not to exert much pressure on the bone itself.
  • Go to the hind legs. Press lightly with your hands on the pet’s ankles. Afterward, move slowly to the back of the knee and then to the thighs. Also, try to gently straighten your dog’s hind legs if it’s stiff.
  • You should conclude your dog massage session with an ear rub. Do this by putting your thumb at your dog’s ear(the base of the inner side). Then also, place your index finger on the outer side. Ensure you use gentle pressure to slide them out towards the ear tip.
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Note: don’t put too much pressure or do the deep tissue massage yourself to avoid causing injuries to your pet. Besides, you should consult a professional with profound dog anatomy knowledge to apply deep tissue massage.

Also Read: Do Animals Like Massages? (Answered)

5 Benefits of Dog Massage

Below are excellent reasons giving your dog a massage isn’t a bad idea:

1). Improves Body Functions

Massaging your dog will help boost its circulation, lower blood pressure, and improve its lymphatic fluid movement. 

Massage therapy also strengthens the immune system, enhances deeper breathing, aids digestion, and stimulates the kidneys and liver.

2). Healing Aid

If your dog is injured, massage therapy may be precisely what a vet will recommend. 

Dog massage can help improve rehabilitation, alleviate pain and swelling, heal strains and sprains faster, and minimize scar tissue. 

Nevertheless, it’s best you first seek advice from your veterinarian on doing this correctly and safely!

3). Stress And Anxiety Reduction.

Dogs are easily prone to stress and anxiety. And this can be as a result of a thunderstorm, loud noise, or the glimpse of even a cat. 

However, irrespective of the cause of its anxiety, massaging your dog will go a long way to relieve the pet of its stress and help it forget about its worries.

4). Deepens Your Bond And Relationship.

Giving your dog a regular massage may be a new concept for the pet. 

But then, once it begins to feel great and also understands you’re the one making him feel good, it will strengthen your bond and relationship with your dog.

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5). Promotes Overall Well-being

Whenever you receive a message, you notice you feel balanced, refreshed, and revitalized. So just like humans, your dog will feel the same way after getting a nice massage.

3 Technique On How To Massage Your Dog

There are various ways to massage. However, there are three main techniques to improve your dog’s health. They’re as follows: 

#1. Effleurage

This involves long, flowing strokes. And it’s done at the beginning and end of a massage session. Effleurage can help to warm up your dog tissues.

#2. Petrissage

Petrissage combines kneading and twisting your dog’s skin and tissue to get rid of adhesions. This technique also helps massage the underlying tissues under the dog’s skin.

#3. Compression

The compression technique can be applied in a “pumping” motion. It’s used to increase blood flow and relieve muscle spasms. And it helps with the fibrous tissues underneath. 

Although several other techniques are available, the ones mentioned above are the basics required for an at-home session.

Also Read: How To Massage Your Cat To Sleep (4 Helpful Tips)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Good To Give Your Dog A Massage?

Yes, it’s good to give your dog a nice massage. Besides, massage therapy will benefit your dog’s mental and physical health. 

What Is A Canine Massage Therapy?

Canine massage is a therapy that involves massaging all the soft tissues of a dog’s body to help the dog relieve a variety of physical and emotional challenges such as tension, muscle pain, etc.

Are There Times I Shouldn’t Practice Canine Massage?

Yes, there are times you shouldn’t practice canine massage. This is because, in some cases, massage may not be beneficial to your dog and can cause problems such as organ dysfunction, broken and sprained limbs, and many others. 

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Also, avoid massage of surgical sites, except when your vet recommends it as part of a rehabilitation program.

Final Words

Before you massage your dog, ensure to put on a relaxed and calm demeanor. This is important because pets quickly pick up on human energy.

Furthermore, don’t forget to monitor the body language of your dog. You will notice that when your pet is enjoying the massage, it will not only stretch and lean into your hands. But it will also be calm to the point of falling asleep.

On the other hand, when your dog feels comfortable, it will growl and try to escape from your reach.

Lastly, massaging your dog is good. But before you do the dog massage, ensure you have a solid knowledge of the massage techniques so you don’t scare your pet away. Or better still, find a canine massage therapist to massage your dog.

Disclaimer:The information contained in this article is a result of in-depth research on the subject matter. This article is only for informational and educational purposes, and it’s not intended as medical or health advice. Hence, I suggest you always ensure to seek the opinion of your doctor or other qualified health personnel regarding any questions that relate to health objectives or medical conditions.

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