How to Massage Dog Legs

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Whether he spends most of the day running and jumping around outdoors, or takes it easy resting inside the house, especially in his older years, your dog’s leg muscles can benefit from massage. Here’s how to massage dog legs gently and effectively.

Front Legs

Lie your dog on her side. Sit down in front of her legs.

Run your hands down your dog’s front leg, from shoulder to feet, your palms and fingers flat. Alternate hands as you do so, getting your dog relaxed for the massage.

Wrap your hands around your dog’s shoulder muscle. Gently pull down the length of the leg out through the feet. Keep your hands wrapped throughout the movement.

Tap on your dog’s shoulder with your fingertips or knuckles to loosen up the muscle. Do this all over the shoulder area.

Take the shoulder muscle into your hands and gently knead the area to massage dog legs.

Pinch between your fingers and thumbs the long muscle that runs on the back of your dog’s leg, from the elbow to the foot. Gently work your way down the length of this muscle and back up again.

Repeat Step Three to end the massage of your dog’s front legs.

Repeat Steps One through Seven on the other front leg, but only after massaging the back leg on the same side, as instructed below. This way your dog does not have to roll over more than once.

Back Legs

Run your hands down your dog’s back leg, from thigh to feet, your palms and fingers flat. Alternate hands as you do so, getting your dog relaxed for the massage.

Wrap your hands around your dog’s thigh muscle. Gently pull down the length of the leg out through the feet. Keep your hands wrapped throughout the movement.

Take the thigh muscle into your hands and gently knead the area.

Place three fingertips on the thigh area. In small circular motions, work the entire thigh area – on the outer thigh and on the inner thigh.

Repeat Step Two to end your massage of your dog’s back leg.

Repeat Steps On through Five on the other back leg.

Tips & Warnings

  • • Make sure your pressure is firm enough to penetrate the leg muscles, but gentle enough to make your dog comfortable. Pay attention to your dog’s reactions – he’ll “tell” you if the pressure’s too much.
  • • When you massage dog legs, be especially careful with the hip area. Many dogs have hip problems, especially when they get older, and the last thing you want to do is aggravate or cause an injury. So be careful, and keep your dog’s leg massage below the hip area.

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