You can learn to massage your dog
You too can massage your dog! Really! In my article Massage for dogs – more than just wellness I gave you a lot of theoretical information about massage:
- How the massage was born and came to the dog
- When a massage is good for your dog
- When massage is taboo for your dog
- What happens during the massage
- Before you start – feel-good atmosphere is important
- How to find out if and where your dog is tense
- What to consider
In this article I will explain the first massage technique: strokes.
What are deletions? When do you apply them?
The strokes are an elementary massage hold. With them you initiate the massage. You use it as a smooth transition between grips. And lets the massage end with it. They are very gentle and soothing and are performed slowly. During the strokes, the hand glides over the entire body over a large area with even pressure. You feel tension and hardening of the muscles. Just like heating and painful spots on your dog. Your dog will relax after a short time.
How do deletions work?
Strokes have a calming and relaxing effect. The blood circulation and the lymph flow are stimulated. The skin, subcutaneous tissue and upper muscle layers are warmed and loosened.
Before the start
Your dog should lie relaxed on his side, with his belly facing you. If he is still restless, you can also start the strokes when he is standing or sitting. Start massages at a time that falls within your dog’s resting period. Your dog should always be loosened up before the massage and not have a full stomach. You yourself should be calm and relaxed and so should the environment. TV, telephone and other distracting factors are taboo. Just as we ourselves would like a relaxing massage.
Hand’s on – How to do the strokes
There are several ways to perform the handle. The pressure should always be such that you work only with the inherent pressure of the hand and you feel the muscles of your dog under your hand. You hold your hand loosely, fingers are slightly closed and flexible. When you work with one hand, your second hand rests on the dog. This gives him additional security and confidence.
One-hand strokes are performed with one hand on the back and on the front and hind legs. The second hand rests on the dog. With the flat of your hand, gently stroke the muscles of the hind leg from the thigh to the paw. Then palpate your dog’s spine. The back muscles you massage run parallel to the spine on both sides. Important: You massage next to and not on the spine. Then you stroke out the back muscles from the neck to the base of the tail parallel to the spine. Then you perform the strokes on the muscles of the front leg from the shoulder to the paws.
Hand over hand strokes
The hand-over-hand strokes are performed on the back. With both hands, alternate stroking the muscles on the back from the neck to the base of the tail. If your dog is very large, you can also divide several areas. Cross them out one by one. Start with the neck and shoulder. Then the upper back and finally the lower back. You first stroke with one hand and then the second follows. The first hand crosses over the second hand and you start again. The movement is fluid and slow.
You apply the cross strokes to your dog’s chest. These strokes are performed across the course of the muscles. The rib muscles are relaxed in the process. You do this by placing your hands lengthwise on your dog’s chest. Then, alternately, let your hands gently and slowly stroke along the rib cage toward the underside of your dog.
Repeat the strokes 7-10 times per grip technique and body area you are massaging. If your dog really enjoys the massage, you can do it more often.
To make sure you are confident in performing the strokes and see exactly how they work, I explain them in my video using the back muscles and chest as examples.
Video tutorial: How to massage your dog – strokes
Click here for video instructions.
In my next post I’ll explain the massage handle kneading. With it you release tension and adhesions in the deeper muscle layers. Your dog will relax wonderfully.
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