Pets, namely dogs, get stressed muscles just like you and me. So why not massage your pet to help him feel better?

Some people think that this is a silly idea, that massage is an intimiate activity and not one to preform on your pet. But hey, isn't this the same pet that you PET all the time? That is that you lovingly touch him for his (and your) enjoyment? How is doing something that is also physically beneficial for him any more silly than that?

The following insturctions are for dogs, but I'm sure you could use them on your cat (depending on temperament), and possibly other pets. But rodents seem pretty limber to me, so maybe they're best left out.

Your hands or
A wooden massager (as found in beauty/spa shops.) Nothing fancy, don't go for the $30 one, I got mine for $1. It's basically a wooden ball with 4 legs with small wooden balls at the end. Don't get the "octapus" kind. (As you may know having your vertebrae massaged can be pretty painful.)

How To:

  • Make sure you ask him if he wants a massage before hand so he learns what it means.
  • Have your dog stand beside you, and just start by petting him. Then start massaging with your hands, directing the motion away from his spine. Don't press to hard, you'll know if your are because his back will bend in and he will look uncomfortable.
  • If you have a wooden massager you can start to use it. Show it to him and let him sniff it first. Hopefully he'll understand its not a toy. Be sure not to put pressure on his actual spine, and don't rake it across his ribs.
  • Most dogs seem to like the neck, just bejond the ears (and under them), as well as the sides of their hind legs best.
  • When you/he are done pet him and tell him he's good.
  • Some Dogs will:

  • Want you to scrath their belly. (Ahh the site of that dog that rolls over and lifts his leg wagging his tail, waiting) This is probably his favorite thing, so if you try massage a few times and this is the result, go with it.
  • Whine. Some dogs are wimps. Try just petting him firmly. This may get him used to it. Just be nice and calm, maybe one day he'll turn around.
  • My Dog:
    My dog absolutely LOVES this. Before I started massaging him he wouldn't do anything I asked him to, only what my mom asked. (I live with my mom and dad.) He wouldn't come in my room or even come when I called most of the time. But now he knows I'm nice and comes in my room looking for the massager and hops up on my bed. He does what I tell him and begs me for things instead of my mom. When I come home he's excited to see me.

    Overall I think massage is a good way to relax your dog, spend some good quality time with him and as a side effect he will like you more and probably be more obedient. If you're good at it you could probably open a shop and many people will pay you do this. (Better make it a pet barber shop too, just in case it doesn't fly).

    Also, studies have shown that interaction with pets help the sick heal faster, lowers stress and blood pressure. So even if its not massage, go play with your pet.

    Of course don't force your pet to do things that he doesn't like because that will make him angry at you, not to mention its just mean. Also, most fish won't enjoy a massage, no matter how stressed they are.