Whether or not you're a massage therapist, you can help your dog manage stress easily simply by petting them. Here are some techniques to massage your pup to help calm them down and lower their stress.
Start and End with Long Strokes
To help relax them and help their muscles relax, be sure to massage your pup with long strokes, from their head to their tail. This is relaxing for many pups and will help them calm down so that you can focus on massaging other key points.
Kneading and Twisting the Skin
Your pup's skin can carry tension, too. Grab the skin and kneed and twist it in order to massage the tissues underneath the skin and to help remove adhesions.
Focus on Tense Points
When massaging your pup, focus on their points of tension. This can vary from dog to dog depending on how active they are or where they hold their stress (just like humans). Here are a few spots you can focus on:
Head and Neck - Pressure points are located throughout a pup's head. Massage around their head and neck in circular motions to hep relieve these pressure points.
Back and Spine - Massaging between your dog's shoulder blades and along their spine can relieve stomach and digestive issues.
Paws and Toes - While pups can sometimes view squeezing their paws and toes as a negative action (since it can be uncomfortable), properly and gently massaging the points in between their toes can help relive pain.
Front and Back Legs - Massing your dog's front and back legs can help promote general wellness and relive general soreness or stiffness. Gently massage around your dog's knees to help him feel better.
Whether your dog has separation anxiety, trauma from a past home, or just carries a lot of tension, using these techniques can help them feel better!