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DOG MASSAGE TECHNIQUES

This excellent information on massaging your dog was written by Kimberley Schreyer. She has very generously allowed me to post it on this website. Permission to reprint for non-profit purposes such as club newsletters is granted provided the article is printed as written and full credit is given to the author. Needless to say these massage techniques are applicable to all breeds of dog.

Massaging your dog has many benefits:
1)Relaxes your dog.
2) Soothes tired or sore muscles.
3) Eases pain from surgery or other injuries.
4) Helps your dog suffering from ailments caused by old age to feel better.
5) Gains your dog's trust.
6) Noticeably increases the bond between you and your dog.

Many people hardly ever touch their dogs any more other than just petting or an occasional brushing. I believe dogs feel love and affection and need to be touched by their loved ones just like humans do. Take 5 minutes a day and massage your dog on almost every part of its body from his head to his toes and you will not only get to know your dog better, but your touch will also stimulate something in your dog that will make your dog respond to you in ways I cannot explain. I guarantee you will notice the change in your dog's attitude within as little as 2 - 3 days!!!! Instructions for dog massage: Use a very light oil. (I recommend Neutrogena Light Sesame Body Oil but baby oil is O.K.) Rub a very small amount (the size of a dime) into your hands and start at the top of the head and slowly stroke down the back to the base of the tail 3 - 4 times. Do an additional 2 - 3 times including the tail this time all the way to the tip. Use a very gentle but firm "squeeze-grip" on the tail as you slide your hand down to the tip, starting with a pause as you squeeze at the base of the tail, keeping your grip all the way to the tip of the tail. Next, gently rub the back of the neck behind the ears with your forefingers for a few seconds. Then, hold your dog's head in your hands by the cheeks and under the ears (with the dog facing you) and rock the head gently side-to-side 4 - 5 times. Massage the ears, taking care when you finish by inserting the tip of your thumb into the ear (about 1/8") and rub the ears between your thumb and forefinger. Massage your dog's eyes (they will close automatically) very lightly with your thumbs and stroke your forefinger down the nose, starting between the eyes. Gently pinch your dog's cheeks and lips several times and finally stroke the throat and chin. Add a drop more oil to your hands and massage the chest (while the dog is standing), moving your hands under the armpits and rubbing gently. Allow your hands to slide from the armpits to the forelegs. Slide your hands down the forelegs (like you did for the tail) with a soft but firm grip all the way down to the paws. Gently hold the paws (one at a time) and squeeze gently for a few seconds. Repeat this procedure, starting with the chest, 2 - 3 times. *A note: It is best to straddle your dog standing over him like you would sit on a horse when you start with the chest massage (don't sit on him!!!). Then turn the opposite direction and massage the buttock, sliding your hands down the hind legs and massaging down to the paws. (Just as you did for the forelegs.) You can also massage the chest, armpits, legs and paws while your dog is laying down. Either on his side or on his back. And during the whole procedure, speak to your dog in a sweet, soft voice..........

Kimberly and Bruno(Boonie) CGC, NJC and 1/3 AD. GardenGrove, CA

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