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9 Areas Of Your Dog You Should Be Massaging For Their Health

by Phil Mutz
Phil is an Editor at LittleThings. He loves writing and the outdoors. You can often find him at the movies or the park.

As a responsible pet owner, I know that I constantly have to be looking out for my dog’s health and overall well-being. However, I never realized that I might actually have quite a large degree of control over their physical health.

According to Heal Animal Massage Therapy, “Along with regular veterinary visits, massage is a proactive therapy that addresses future health issues and also helps with certain problems your pet may already have.”

Just as there are reflexology points that a person can massage to maintain a healthy body, there are just as many points on your dog’s body that can be enormously beneficial to their health.

Massaging specific areas of your dog can be good for very specific organs, systems, and parts of the body.

Scroll through below for an exclusive look at the benefits of puppy massage, and to see exactly where you should massage them in order to achieve the specific health benefits you are looking for.

And while this should never take the place of a vet’s medical advice, I will definitely be trying out these massages on my canine companion. He may not know I’m doing it for his health, but I’m sure he will absolutely love the physical attention and bonding time!

Will you be trying out puppy massage with your pet? Let us know in the comments.

How Do I Massage My Dog?

health benefits of puppy massage
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According to Modern Dog magazine, massaging your pup can be quite simple.

“Use a flat palm to slowly touch all the parts of your dog’s body. Really focus on what you are feeling, and pay attention to all the layers, from hair through skin, fat, muscle, and down to bone.”

While rubbing is great for the larger muscles, they recommend that for the legs you “wrap your fingers around each lower leg and squeeze gently.”

You can then finish up any massage session with a gentle full-body petting.

1. Ears

health benefits of puppy massage
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Always pay attention to your dog’s ears. The ears are the part of your dog most closely related to stress and anxiety levels.

According to Life & Dog, “Massaging the ear and ear flaps will relax and invigorate her entire body.”

Paying close attention to the ears can help combat their stress as well as overall fatigue.

2. Head

health benefits of puppy massage
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Sometimes you have to go beyond simply scratching your dog on the head. Massaging their head can have some truly incredible benefits for their nervous system and their stomach.

According to Iheartdogs.com, your dog’s “nervous system is directly correlated to the cranial [area].”

Life & Dog goes on to say, “Pressure points near the eye are associated to the stomach, bladder, and gallbladder.”

3. Back

health benefits of puppy massage
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Everyone deserves a pat on the back now and then, and your dog is no exception. Massaging the back of your dog is good for combatting restlessness or hyperactivity.

Iheartdogs.com writes that this massage “can calm down a hyper puppy or a reactive adult dog.”

Other benefits associated with massaging the back include improved stomach health, increased skin elasticity, and increased comfort with human touch.

4. Belly

health benefits of puppy massage
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

If your dog is suffering from digestive issues, the belly is a great place to focus your massage.

Working the belly with the palm of your hand will help your dog’s stomach muscles to relax.

In the long run, this will help them to stay more regular, and will cut down on gas and bloating.

5. Front Legs

health benefits of puppy massage
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Your dog’s legs are absolutely crucial to their ability to run, play, and function overall. Massaging your dog’s front legs is a great idea prior to any physical activity.

Warming up the muscles will not only help prevent injury, but it is good for your dog’s joint health.

Life & Dog goes so far as to say that “working in the crease behind your dog’s elbow will help him cope with infections and allergies.”

6. Chest

health benefits of puppy massage
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Just as the chest is an important area when it comes to human health, the chest is also one of the most important areas that you can massage on your dog.

The chest is directly connected to your pet’s circulatory system, so a gentle rub can be good for their overall heart health.

This area can also be known to have a positive influence on their blood pressure.

7. Paws

health benefits of puppy massage
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

The paws can be one of the most sensitive areas on your dog, because the paws are actually directly connected to many different parts of the body.

Massaging your dog’s paws can be great for the health of several of their body’s systems.

This area also is great for building trust between your dog and yourself.

8. Hind Legs

health benefits of puppy massage
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

Similar to the front legs, the hind legs are a great place to massage before any extreme physical activity.

This spot can help increase your dog’s overall flexibility, and improve their range of motion.

According to Modern Dog magazine, paying attention to the pelvic area just above the hind legs can be great for “the rest and relaxation responses of the body (for example, sleep, digestion, and tissue repair).”

9. Whole Body

health benefits of puppy massage
Maya Borenstein for LittleThings

And, as if the specifically focused massage benefits weren’t enough, there are a massive amount of overall massage benefits that might just encourage you to give your canine a full body work-over.

Kneaded Pets writes, “Beyond the obvious benefits of relieving muscle tension, it can be a powerful tool for realigning the spine and body. Massage aids in the circulation of the body, which assists the joints and muscles [to] flush toxins from the tissues.”

They also report that dog massage “increases energy, concentration, and alertness, heightens immune system function, promotes longevity, and slows degenerative processes.”

The benefits of puppy massage are absolutely incredible. Not only will your dog appreciate the physical affection, but their bodies will be extremely thankful as well!

Will you be giving these massage techniques a try? Let us know in the comments.

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