Doesn’t a spa day feel great?
A facial or manicure is nice, but massage is the best part!
Guess what! Your aging pup benefits from TLC, too.
In fact, massage is a wonderful way to help alleviate your dog’s arthritis pain.
Benefits of Dog Arthritis Massage
Massage is the gentle manipulation of superficial and deep soft tissues and is medically beneficial for the following reasons:
- Prevents adhesions of muscles, tendons, and ligaments
- Reduces muscle spasm, swelling, and joint stiffness
- Improves tissue relaxation, muscle flexibility, and blood flow
- Maintains muscle mass while decreasing pain
Furthermore, dogs seem to enjoy massage and its benefits.
Know Which Joints Ache
Your dog, Boss, is a nine year old coonhound that has trouble getting in and out of the car.
When he was four years old, he had surgery for a hip popped out of place.
He was also hit by a car as a puppy.
His joints hurt!
How can you make your dog’s hip feel better?
Dog arthritis massage is one technique you can provide at home will help Boss with his pain.
But, before you start, you must know a few things:
- Where is the arthritic pain? Is the pain in the knee, carpus, hip, shoulder or back?
- What are the general techniques and exercises?
- How often and how much should you massage your dog?
You must know where in the body the arthritis pain originates.
The reason is certain joints are massaged differently.
Your veterinarian can tell you the exact joints affected and also give you tips on dog massage.
A typical massage session should last 10 to 15 minutes in small and medium dogs, possibly longer in large dogs.
Morning massages can help with any overnight stiffness, while an evening massage is perfect for reducing any muscle pain from daily activities.
When learning how to massage a dog, be sure to maintain a calm and relaxing environment to ease your dog into the massage session.
- Start by petting your dog all over, then focus on the area you wish to massage.
- Continue to stroke the area with a very light amount of pressure. This will increase the circulation in the muscles.
- Be sure not to massage directly on your dog’s painful joints but instead focus on the areas around the painful joints.
- Next, lightly knead any tight muscles.
- Do not overwork a muscle.
- If your pet begins to resist in a certain area, move on to another area that feels good to him or her.
- Alternate between periods of kneading and periods of lighter pressure to encourage circulation throughout the massage.
- To finish the massage, soothe your pet into a state of total relaxation by petting him all over, and be sure to give him a treat for good behavior!
If you notice any areas of inflammation after the massage, wrap a cold towel around the area to help reduce swelling.
Avoid giving your dog a deep tissue or intensive massage.
Deep tissue and intensive massages should only be performed by a licensed canine massage therapist.
The video below will show you examples of how to massage some basic joints often affected by arthritis or injury.
Are you interested in learning more about how to manage your dog’s arthritis?