How to Give your Dog a Deep Tissue Massage

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Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

Giving your dog a deep tissue massage can have many benefits for him. You don't need to be a massage therapist to do the job. Daily massages can help keep Robbie's muscles more relaxed and his blood circulating more freely. You can use deep tissue massage to help relieve sprains and strains, relieve the pain of arthritis, improve a number of body functions such as the lymphatic fluids, the stimulation of many organs, and help his body to rid itself of numerous toxins. An added advantage to giving Robbie a full body deep tissue massage has been found to improve a dog's immune system. 

Dog's Perspective

Just about everyone loves getting a full body deep tissue massage, but what about Robbie? What are the odds he will enjoy one? Well, if you do it right, he will enjoy it just as much as you do. The best way to get him used to a deep tissue massage is to start out with more gentle massages until he is used to them and then increase the "intensity" over time. 

The After a Walk Method

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Step
1
Start with a relaxing walk
Start out by taking Robbie for a nice, long walk. This is a great way to stretch out those muscles and tire him out a bit which in turn, will help him to relax.
Step
2
Start out with petting
Pet Robbie all over as this will help stimulate the blood flow through his muscles. It will also help to relax him and get him ready for what comes next.
Step
3
Continue gently
Start out with a gentle, all over body massage. The idea is to get Robbie used to the feeling of being massaged. This will also help to further relax Robbie so he is truly ready for when you start kneading his muscles more intently.
Step
4
The deep massage
Using your hands like you would to knead bread dough, work from his shoulders down his back. Use a significant amount of pressure as you work. The idea is to reach deep down into the muscles and work out the knots. A deep tissue massage will help stretch out muscle fibers and significantly improve blood flow.
Step
5
Final massage
Go back to a gentle massage for a few minutes and then pet him all over. This will help stimulate blood flow and reenergize Robbie. Give him a treat and let him go lay down somewhere to relax and enjoy the afterglow.
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The Large Muscle Method

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Step
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Take a hike
Take Robbie on a nice long hike. This will help burn off any excess energy, give him time to go potty, tire him out, and relax him. It can make it much easier to calm down and enjoy the massage you're going to offer him.
Step
2
Start with the big guns
Start out by kneading Robbie's large muscles. These include the neck, shoulders, thighs, and rear. Use the heel of your hands to massage the muscles, then lift the muscles and squeeze them using the palm of your hand and your fingers. Don't squeeze too hard, or you can cause discomfort.
Step
3
Legs next
Take your hand and wrap it around Robbie's leg. Work your way down from shoulder or hip to paw, squeezing the muscle as you go. Start with his front legs first and then move to his rear legs. Take your time with this process.
Step
4
As you work
As you work your way along, if you find any areas of excess tension, use a little more pressure and knead the area. If you are causing him pain, back off on the pressure. Your goal is to relax, not to over stimulate.
Step
5
Finish it up
Finish up by using long, gentle strokes all over his body. Pet him to finish the job. You should have one very happy and relaxed pup. Give him a treat and let him go lay down for a nice long nap after the massage is done.
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Caution & Considerations

  • Be very careful with how much pressure you use as you can cause a deep tissue injury that can be very painful and hard to heal.
  • If Robbie shows any signs that you are causing discomfort, stop, or at the very least, reduce the pressure you are using. This will help reduce the risk of injury.
  • This is a good time to check Robbie's body all over for any signs of injury, fleas or ticks. 
  • Talk to your vet before beginning a regular deep tissue massage routine. They may be able to demonstrate proper massage techniques that can get the most out of each massage. 
  • Let Robbie tell you if you are applying too much pressure or are hitting a very tender spot. If he barks, growls, flinches, or pulls away, you'll want to wait a little while before trying again.
  • Never put pressure on an extreme injury such as a broken bone, a strained muscle, or other injury that should be looked at by a veterinarian. Consult your dog's vet beforehand to ensure that you are doing what is best for Robbie. 

Conclusion

There are many benefits to giving Robbie a regular deep tissue massage, ranging from easing sore muscles to helping reduce the pain of arthritis. It can also help with circulation, organ function, and more. It is a wonderful way for you to spend time with your pup and a great way for the two of you to bond. Remember to start out gently and finish the same way if you want to achieve the best results. Robbie will thank you for it! 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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