Who wouldn’t like a good massage? In addition to the physical benefits, massages make us relax and increase our feeling of peace and well-being . Well, did you know that they are also suitable for dogs? Have you ever made one to yours? We explain all the benefits they bring to our animals and how we can make them right.
Benefits of massages for our animals
Our dogs not only enjoy massages as much as we do but they also benefit enormously both physically and emotionally. Emotionally, they will feel relaxed, loved and peaceful.
From a physical point of view, the benefits of massages are the following:
- They improve circulation . External stimulation dilates the blood vessels, therefore circulation improves and your dog’s life will lengthen. In addition, they will help prevent cardiovascular disease.
- They reduce stress and anxiety. It is a very similar effect to what massages have on us, as feeling at peace and relaxed favors the disappearance of stress and anxiety . Can a dog be stressed? Absolutely yes, for many reasons, among them stand out boredom, lack of exercise and more.
- They allow to identify diseases. Massaging your dog can be as useful as any check for suspicious bumps or other types of abnormalities, including parasites.
- They release oxytocin . This hormone, known as the hormone of happiness, is released through physical contact, so massages will stimulate its production in a very simple way.
- They strengthen the bond with the dog. Your bond will become even closer, as you will dedicate special time to the dog, which in other circumstances you may not have done.
Well, for massages to have an effect, it is clear that they must be done in the correct way. But how?
How and where to massage dogs
There are several factors to take into consideration before giving our dog a massage:
- Make him relax. Let’s be realistic, even if our dog likes massages, we rarely get him to lie down and relax. Therefore it is necessary to start with some preambles, stroking the areas where we know it loves to be touched. This way he will relax and, before we know it, we will be providing him with the massage he needs.
- Start with the neck. With your fingertips, gently stroke her neck in circular motions. Depending on the size of the dog, they will be more or less large.
- Go behind. Then go down to the shoulders. This will make the dog relax gradually, without him realizing it. Do not apply too much pressure, they must be circular and gentle movements.
- Legs and chest. These will be the next areas to be massaged. Do not let him lift his legs , or massage them from top to bottom in the same way you would do it with your chest.
- Back and hind legs. Run your fingers up and under his back several times, then finish on his hind legs.
- Choose the moment. It must be a time when both of you are relaxed, without stress or rush. The evening, for example, is an appropriate time, perhaps while both of you are on the sofa watching television or are simply resting.
- Increase the time gradually. The pet may not feel comfortable at first, so massages can only last a few seconds or minutes. Do not force it, do it only during the time your dog allows it and you will see how, little by little, you will be able to reach up to 10 minutes.
- Don’t pretend to be an expert. Remember that you are not a professional, so do not praise yourself for intense massages. Your massages should simply aim at relaxing the dog and identifying any anomalies that may occur.
For deeper massages you will need to contact a veterinarian who will be able to point you in turn to a professional in the sector. Overdoing is never a good idea and could only harm your pet.