How you can Therapeutic massage Your Canine, Based on Licensed Canine Therapeutic massage Therapists [With Instructional Video]

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How you can therapeutic massage your canine at dwelling

“Some of the vital issues you are able to do earlier than you truly therapeutic massage your canine is a snout-to-tail evaluation, which you must do weekly,” says Jonas. Appear and feel for any modifications, like cracks of their nostril, ear odor, modifications to their coat, lumps or bumps, abrasions on the paws, modifications in gum colour (which needs to be pink), and nail size. After checking in with how your canine is doing, there are just a few methods the consultants suggest for at-home canine therapeutic massage.

Passive contact

“With this system, you’re resting your hand on the canine and easily being current,” Snelling says. “Consider while you relaxation your hand in your thigh—after a number of seconds, you are feeling a heat beneath your palm.” This heat transfers into physique tissues, which softens stress and will increase circulation.

How you can do it:

  • Place your relaxed palms onto the canine, like over the hips, shoulders, or alongside the again.

  • Let your hand relaxation alongside the form of the physique half for about 10 to 30 seconds.

“Passive contact can be utilized at any time, and the applying may be very superficial in stress,” Snelling says. “This method makes use of each palms and could be utilized wherever on the physique the place the canine has stress or soreness.”


It is a Swedish therapeutic massage approach utilizing lengthy, sweeping strokes. “Effleurage warms the tissue by rising circulation and lymph perform, softens tissue, and relaxes musculature to create a way of well-being and connectedness,” Snelling says.

How you can do effleurage therapeutic massage in your canine:

  • Place your palms calmly on the canine, with palms relaxed and fingers held collectively.

  • Transfer in sluggish, fluid, sweeping motions within the course of the fur after which again in opposition to it, taking further care with longer-hair canines to not snag their coat.

  • Use simply sufficient stress to have interaction the pores and skin.

  • Your palms don’t want to remain in unison, simply discover a stress-free rhythm that feels pure.

As you move your palms alongside the canine’s physique, take note of the totally different textures and make psychological notes of any areas that really feel notably tight or delicate to the canine. “Regular muscle tissue ought to really feel like a ripe avocado, with just a little give to the construction,” Snelling says.


“Many canines discover this very, very stress-free,” Jonas says of petrissage therapeutic massage. “It’s a movement that’s sort of like while you knead bread.” This method helps launch muscle stress, promote circulation, and might ease anxious pets.

How you can do it:

  • Use your fingers and thumbs to calmly seize areas with free pores and skin, just like the again of the neck and shoulders

  • Very gently (and slowly) therapeutic massage the pores and skin in kneading or rolling motions.

Snelling provides that with any of those methods, you possibly can apply a light-weight rub to widespread stress factors, encouraging leisure: The chest on the sternum, the highest of the nostril between the eyes, and the bottom of the tail.

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What not to do while you therapeutic massage your canine

“Monitoring a canine’s physique language is extremely vital when offering therapeutic massage,” Snelling says. “Canine talk via behavioral cues and indicators, and infrequently these are very delicate.” You’ll know they’re having fun with the therapeutic massage in case you see a softness of facial options, they settle into a snug place, or let loose a deep sigh. “In the event you’re ever not sure, take a second to test in by stopping and see if the canine cues you to proceed,” she says. “In the event that they stroll off, don’t take it personally! They’re both finished with the session or not at the moment.”

However the largest error individuals make is making use of an excessive amount of stress throughout their canine’s therapeutic massage, Jonas says. “Much less is at all times higher,” she explains. “Take into consideration in case you touched your eyeball—that’s in regards to the quantity of stress you need to be utilizing.”

There’s additionally a restrict to what you must do with at-home canine therapeutic massage remedy. “There are different methods we use, like vibration and rocking, compression, and vary of movement workouts that individuals shouldn’t do at dwelling,” Jonas says. Most of these therapeutic massage remedy could be very efficient in serving to canines get better from an damage or enhance their mobility in previous age, however ought to solely be finished by a licensed skilled.

Then there are some areas consultants say to avoid throughout at-home therapeutic massage. “We inform people to keep away from the neck as a result of there’s a vagus nerve up there, and we don’t need you to press on their backbone,” Jonas says. “You don’t wish to press on any sort of bones, both—canines have nerves beneath their armpits and of their elbows, behind the knee; these are referred to as engagement websites, and also you wish to keep away from these.”