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Dogs, Quick Tips

Calming Dog Massage Techniques

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

If your dog has anxiety, then you’re probably familiar with the struggle to naturally calm them down. 

Whether it’s trying to nail down the root of the problem, finding the right supplements, or committing to never leaving your dog alone (separation anxiety is real!), it can seem daunting to keep your precious pup as comfortable as possible. 

While there’s plenty of dog-friendly supplements that can help reduce your dog’s stress, dog owners may feel like they aren’t doing enough to support their furry friends. If this sounds familiar and you want to go the extra mile, then a calming massage can do just the trick! 

 Whether your dog is stressed, anxious, or just needs to let go of the tension from the day, these dog massage techniques can help bring more calm and comfort to your fur baby.

Start with a simple backstroke

This massage technique is very simple and a great place to start when introducing your dog to massages. Slowly stroke up and down on both sides of your dog’s spine, but without touching the bone. Apply some pressure, but not too much. 

While this doesn’t seem like much, this technique is very relaxing for your pup! 

Don’t forget a head massage 

While applying light pressure, rub your fingers from your dog’s nose, between the eyes, and onto the forehead. Move back and forth, using slow motions. 

This massage hits acupressure points which is excellent for calming, healing, and relaxing. 

Then, move onto an ear rub (they’re going to love this one!)

Dogs love ear scratches, but did you know rubbing this area can also be very therapeutic? Your dog’s ears are full of nerve endings, and when you rub them, it sends signals to their brain that can produce a calming effect. 

To rub your pup’s ears, start at the base of the ear and grasp it firmly but gently between your thumb and index finger. Rub between your fingers down to the tip and repeat. Continue this motion gently and slowly. 

Do a full-body rub if they’re feeling extra anxious…

Rubbing your hand down the entirety of your dog’s body can help relax the nervous system, but there are a few techniques to make this extra effective. 

Lightly place one hand at the base of your dog’s neck and leave it there to provide security and stability. With your other hand, make long sweeping strokes down your dog’s spine and over the tail. Continue making this motion as your dog calms down. 

Before you end the massage, leave your hands on the base of their neck and on top of their pelvic bone. This technique applies light pressure to pressure points that invoke relaxation. 

A few things to note about dog massages…

What works for other dogs may not work for your dog, be open to feedback from your pup! 

Observe their body language. If your pup moves away from you during a massage technique, they might not be enjoying it. Always be mindful of your pressure, and don’t force your dog into a massage as that may cause even more stress!

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