Brent here from boywhoblogs.com! I've teamed up with the Bark n' Fun company to bring you more information on how to massage your dog by writing this guest post. I know my one year old Boston Terrier/Frenchie mix loves them and I truly hope your dog does to. Massaging your dog is beneficial for the both of you. Not only is this a great way to bond with your four-legged friend but by doing so, you'll also be able to feel your dog for irregular lumps, sore spots or even ticks. If your dog is like mine, he or she will also love the extra attention and relaxation.
To start, pet your dog just like normal. Not hard by any means but a nice firm pet from the head to the back end. Doing this will allow your dog to relax a bit and warm up to the idea of being handled. The point of a gentle massage is to create both relaxing and soothing motions instead of a deep tissue massage that you would receive from a Registered Massage Therapist.
Your dog can be sitting, laying down, or standing for this process. After a few pets from the head to the rear, you will likely notice your dog is loving it and has become slightly more relaxed. To continue to de-stress your dog, talk to him or her in a soothing voice. Don't sound angry, but don't sound overly excited either. Use a gentle, low tone. You can now continue to pet your dog but now focus on the sides of your dog, along their rib cage. After a few pets there, begin to rub behind their ears. My dog loves behind her ears rubbed!
From there you can move along to their neck. Use your thumbs to make circular motions, small circles for a little dog and larger circles on a larger dog. Be firm but remember to keep it gentle. You're not trying to remove any knots, you're just getting the circulation going and hopefully relieving a bit of pressure.
Next, I like to use two fingers, my index and middle fingers to run my fingers in a straight motion along the spine from head to the start of their tail. Repeat this three or four times. Now you can move to the shoulders and into the front chest area. Dogs tend to love this spot massaged, likely because they can't reach it themselves! Continue creating circular motions with your thumbs, going around the shoulder blades and finish it off the front with a couple gentle pets down along their chest. Repeat what you did with their shoulders on their hips, where their hind legs are.
I find that this is also a good time for a nail trim. But if your dog isn't comfortable with having their nails done, don't ruin the massage for them. Just let them relax. You can ease your way into a nail trim by massaging the pads of their feet lightly. This will help them get used to having their paws touched and they will learn that not every time you touch their paws are you going to trim their nails.
I've got a couple other tips to keep in mind. The time of day is key. Don't try to massage them right after a walk or playtime. It's also not recommended to try this when you first get home after work, or when their are other dogs around. They will be too excited and won't relax as much as they could have. You'll be lucky if they cooperate in these circumstances. Keep in mind that not all dogs will enjoy this. If you're dog isn't enjoying it, don't pressure them. And lastly, if you think your dog could benefit from a deep tissue massage. Call your vet and see if this is a service they offer. If you haven't studied dog anatomy you could cause your loved one some discomfort or injury by trying to do a deep tissue massage.
Don't hesitate to check out my blog at boywhoblogs.com for more informative posts. I look forward to posting more dog related content in the New Year.