Dog Massage Technique

Canine massage can help relieve tension and stress.
Canine massage can help relieve tension and stress. (Image: dog image by Michal Tudek from

Dogs experience stress, tension, muscle fatigue and anxiety just as humans do. Canine massage, commonly called dog massage, can help pets who are experiencing stress. It is relatively easy to learn and can pay big dividends in your dog's quality of life.

Place the dog on a stable but soft surface like a rug on the floor or on a bed.

Stand at the dog's head and place your hands, palms down, behind its ears. Using firm pressure (don't press too hard, this should not cause pain or discomfort), rub your hands down the dog's back. Start with several long, slow strokes from head to tail and then slightly increase the pressure. Continue this process for several minutes.

Hold the tip of each ear between your thumb and fingers and rub in a circular motion using light pressure. Rub each ear from tip to base and back again.

Place your fingertips at the base of the dog's neck and use circular strokes to apply pressure to the neck and shoulder area. Move down the dog's back, keeping your fingers on either side of the spine until you reach the hip area.

Open your hands and rub firmly down each of back legs, starting from the hip joint and working down. If the dog will allow you to do so, lightly squeeze each of its back feet. Repeat this entire process for the front legs.

Tips & Warnings

  • If in doubt, consult a professional. There are professional dog masseurs that can provide aid for dogs with arthritis and other musculoskeletal issues.

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