Dog Arthritis Relief with Canine Massage

Dog arthritis relief can be achieved through medication, supplements, exercise and massage. Since there is no cure for arthritis, anything you can do to relieve your dog's symptoms will help him live an active life longer.

Massage Techniques

There are many books and videos available to help you learn canine massage if you are interested, but canine massage is very similar to human massage. Because your dog may be experiencing pain in his joints, start with light pressure to get your dog used to the touch. Gradually increase pressure during each session as much as your dog can handle.

If your dog seems to be in pain at any time, reduce your pressure or stop massaging that area all together and try again later. Keep massage sessions short so your dog will be left wanting more.

A great way to start massaging your dog is just with slow long pets down your dog's spine in the direction of the fur. These deep pets will awaken your dog's skin and make him more responsive to touch.

Use compression on shoulders and hips, which simply means pushing the muscle into the bone with a flat hand. Use this to move into petrissage, which involves semi-circular strokes on the large muscles. Use this on your dog's trouble joints. Use palms for large muscles and fingers for smaller areas such as legs and ears. Massaging your dog's ears can be a great way to relax him.

Tellington Touch

Another type of massage is called Tellington Touch, or T-Touch, which involves clockwise circular motions along your dog's skin from the 6 o'clock position in a full circle ending at the 8 o'clock position, just past the original starting point.

Because this is an unfamiliar touch to your dog, it can often make them a little nauseous or uncomfortable when you first try it. Thus, start with short sessions and start with a very light pressure. To determine the appropriate pressure, close your eye and make the circle on your eyelid. You should barely feel any pressure on your eye. Use that pressure level on your dog.

Depending on which area you are massaging, you can use your fingers or your palm. You also want to have your other hand stationary on your dog. When massaging gums and ears, you may only use one or two fingers, but remember to never pick up your hand during the massage. Simply glide to the new spot without removing your hands from your dog's skin.

Setting the Ambiance

Start massaging your dog in a quiet comfortable room where he can relax. Put a few drops of lavender on his neck or light some calming candles. Get a DAP diffuser that releases calming pheromones in the air.

Spend a few minutes before and after the massage just petting and praising your dog so that he looks forward to the massage sessions, even if they are a little painful.

Arthritis is a painful illness that has no cure. However, there are a few ways you can reduce your dog's pain, including massages. Even if it doesn't solve the problem, your dog will love the special time you spend together, relaxing and cuddling.