How to Massage a Dog to Sleep

10 - 30 Minutes
1 Day


Many dogs have trouble sleeping. Older dogs may have trouble getting comfortable because of tired sore muscles or even arthritis, while active younger dogs may be restless from exciting days spent running, playing, or working outside. When your dog doesn’t sleep well, it might affect your sleep also. There are massage techniques you can use to send your dog off to sleep offering relaxation and comfort for sore and tired muscles. When you spend time every night massaging your dog, you'll see his sleep improve along with his overall life and mobility in the days to follow the massage.

Dog's Perspective

Your dog might be overly tired from not sleeping well, or he may be anxious and tense and in need of a good night's sleep. A relaxing massage can help either one of these cases but because of his anxieties or inability to relax it may take some time to get him used to a massage to help him sleep.

Caution & Considerations

  • You could help your dog relax more by setting the stage with a relaxing ambiance. Music, lights, even relaxing scents can help your dog fall asleep while you offer him a relaxing massage.
  • If your dog is mobile, getting him exercise before bedtime might help him relax more. A dog who is tired will be more eager to lie down and relax while you massage his tired muscles.
  • Be cautious of any sore or tender spots your dog may have. These swollen muscles might need a bit of extra work during your daily massages.
  • With time, tired muscles can soften and relax causing less discomfort during the evening massage.
  • Try to give your dog an evening massage in his own bed so he doesn’t have to get up to go to sleep. Also be sure to do this after his evening trip outside to go potty.
  • If your dog is experiencing uncomfortable dry and itchy skin you can offer him a massage with coconut oil which will help him to relax as well as soothe his skin so he can sleep better all night.
  • If you use essential oils, you can apply a drop or two of your favorite relaxing scent such as lavender or vanilla to help him sleep.


A massage is the best way to fall asleep. Helping your dog cope through a long day with sore muscles can create a soothing atmosphere sending the sandman his way. Set your pup up for a good night's sleep with a gentle evening massage.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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