How to Give a Dog a Massage on the Hips

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Injuries, hip dysplasia, canine arthritis; whatever the reason, watching your dog limp can be almost as painful for you as it is for your dog. Veterinary treatments are available to treat and prevent hip joint pain in dogs including oral medications, injections, even diet and exercise programs. One easy treatment to try at home is massage. While massage will not cure any medical conditions, it can provide your dog some temporary pain relief.

Things You'll Need

  • Cushion for floor
  • Massaging dog brush
  • Place a cushion on the surface of the floor where you intend to give the massage to make the floor more comfortable for the dog.

  • Have the dog lie down on the cushion.

  • Using a massaging pet brush (available in pet stores or online), brush the dog's entire body. This relaxes the dog so he will be more prepared for the hip massage.

  • Gently pet the dog's hip area. After the dog is relaxed from petting, begin to gently knead the hip area.

  • As you need, move your fingers in small circles. Gradually begin to move in larger circles.

  • Finally, place your hand on the thigh and hold that muscle group for a few moments. Do not apply pressure, just allow your hand to rest there. This is a practice called passive touch. After using passive touch on both thighs, do the same thing on each hip to finish the massage.

Tips & Warnings

  • A bed comforter can be substituted for the cushion on the floor, or the massage can be done on a table or sofa. Make sure that the spot you choose to do the massage in is peaceful, quiet and relaxing so that your dog can receive the full benefit of the massage.
  • Do not force a dog to submit to a massage. Instead, let him get used to the process gradually until he is ready for a massage. If during the massage the dog appears to be uncomfortable or in pain, stop the massage immediately and try again another time.

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