The Art of Dog Massage: Expert Tips for a Happy, Relaxed Pup

Giving your furry friend a massage can be a great way to bond and provide them with some much-needed relaxation. Whether you have a high-energy pup or an older dog that could benefit from some gentle touch, learning how to give a dog massage can be a valuable skill. In this article, we’ll share some tips and techniques for giving your dog a soothing massage that they’re sure to love. From understanding the benefits of dog massage to learning specific techniques, you’ll be able to give your pup the ultimate pampering session. So grab some treats and get ready to become your dog’s personal masseuse!

A few years ago if someone would have suggested massage for my dogs, I would have looked at them and said something like, “You’ve got to be kidding!” That all changed when my Wanda sprained a muscle in her leg while playing fetch.

Tips For Giving a Dog Massage

The veterinarian prescribed rest and aspirin for the pain. But if you know my Wanda, you know that she is not one for rest.

Luckily a friend of mine is a massage therapist. Teresa always did a great job for my husband and me, so I called and asked her if she could work on Wanda’s leg.

Wanda was a little reluctant at first, but then she loved it. Teresa showed me how to massage Wanda’s leg myself. In no time Wanda was out chasing her Kong Toy around the yard. I was a convert.

Massage can benefit dogs as much as humans. Massage speeds the healing process from surgery, alleviates arthritic pain, and relieves stress.

Michael Holloway, a Boca Raton pet massage therapist offers some practical tips and some do’s and don’ts for giving your dog massage:

Dog Massage
  1. Lay the pet on its side and rock to calm and relax them
  2. For trouble areas in dog’s body use a squeeze and release method of the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain and tension.
  3. For injured areas, apply ice for 10 minutes every 2 hours to relieve swelling and pain.
  4. When beginning massages with your pet be patient with yourself and with your pet, it may be the first time for the both of you.
  5. Always check with your Vet if you have any doubts.
  6. Massage will bring you and your pet even closer together.


  1. Do make a special time for massage.
  2. Do enjoy your time with your pet.
  3. Do be Consistent. Consistency brings about change.
  4. Do exercise together — swim, walk & play
  5. Do check with your Vet if any questions or doubts.


  1. Don’t be afraid to use strong pressure, your pet will tell you if doesn’t like it.
  2. Don’t make sudden changes in your pet’s lifestyle.
  3. Don’t massage deeply on a pet with cancer.

Giving your dog a massage can be a wonderful way to bond with them and provide them with relaxation and comfort. By following these tips for giving a dog massage, you can ensure that your furry friend receives all the benefits of this therapeutic practice. Remember to start slowly, use gentle and soothing strokes, and pay attention to your dog’s body language and cues. Whether it’s relieving tension, reducing anxiety, or simply enhancing their overall well-being, a dog massage can be a valuable addition to your pet care routine. If you have any questions or additional tips for giving a dog massage, please let us know in the comments. We would love to hear from you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does dog massage help with?

Canine massage works directly on the soft tissues of the dog, which helps to promote blood flow, relieve tension, lessen pain, relax tense and sore muscles, and promote healing from sprains and strains. Many people also think it lowers blood pressure, enhances digestion, and fortifies the immune system.

What is dog massage called?

The science and art of canine massage involves stimulating the muscles to enhance circulation, relieve toxins, lessen spasms, and expand joint range of motion.

What massage feels best for dogs?

Apply very light pressure as you work your way up and down each side of your dog’s spine, starting at the back of the head. Make sure not to touch the bone. Dogs respond well to this kind of back rub, according to Brandenburg. For dogs who are afraid of human touch in particular, it can be an effective dog massage for anxiety.

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