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The Benefits of Massage

There are numerous benefits to massage for us humans, and those benefits also exist for our canine companions. Massaging helps to open blood vessels and improve blood circulation, maintaining your pet’s well-being and expediting recover. Techniques can be used to reduce stress on a nervous dog or one that is anxious at times, and spending time touching your companion helps to strengthen the human-animal bond. Using your hands over their entire body will also help you discover potential abnormalities in your dog that may need the attention of your veterinarian, potentially saving your dog’s life. We created this handy infographic to illustrate where the best areas for canine massage are and provide you with some great tips along the way.

Focus on these areas for special results:

The Ears

The ears of your dog are like a reflection of their overall physique. Massaging the ear and ear flaps will relax and invigorate her entire body.

The Head

Massaging a dog’s head will help relax the dog. Pay particular attention to the temples and areas above the eyes. Pressur epoints near the eye are associated to the stomach, bladder and gallbladder.

The Back

Massaging here, on both sides of the spine just above the stomach will relieve pains associated with stomach illnesses and vomiting.

Front Legs & Elbows

Working in the crease behind your dog’s elbow will help him cope with infections and allergies

Back Toes

Many meridians, or energy pathways throughout the body, begin or end on the sides of your dog’s toes. Massage each toe or the entire foot for all-over well-being.

Here are some additional tips while you are massaging:

- Use a steady hand and a consistent speed to avoid creating stress

- Massage in a relaxed environment, away from external stresses and other dogs

- Start with light pressure and if the dog is comfortable, only then should you apply more

Contact your veterinarian or canine massage specialist before attempting advanced techniques on your dog.

Illustration by Amanda Olson for LIFE+DOG. 

BrettThis article was written by LIFE+DOG publisher Brett Chisholm.

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