Dog Massage for Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful joint disease and there is no cure that can eliminate this condition. However, there are a few drugs that may be administered to relive the joint swelling and the pain. Dog massage can be also used to relive the discomfort associated with arthritis.

Benefits of Dog Massage

The massage may have great benefits and will also have a calming effect on the dog. In addition, the massage will also work on the swollen joints, by increasing blood flow.

The massage is ultimately a bonding activity that will bring you closer to your pet; the dog will also learn to trust you more.

The massage will allow you to palpate the dog’s skin and notice any tumors or lumps that may be indicative of a health problem.

What You Need

You can perform the massage yourself or have a professional pet massage therapist do the job. If you choose to massage your dog, you will need a few supplies such as a rug or a mat; if the dog is smaller, you may use a towel. You may also need a lotion, so that the massage will be easier to perform. Opt for a lotion that contains natural ingredients and no perfumes or chemicals that could irritate the dog’s skin. You may also talk to your vet and get an ointment that contains a low percentage of steroids, so that this cream will be rubbed into the skin.

How to Perform the Massage

Opt for a time of the day when the dog is calmer; ideally, you should perform the massage after the evening walk.

Get the mat or towel and have the dog lie down. Start by getting a bit of cream or lotion on your fingers and by stroking the dog with slow moves, starting with the head and going towards the tail. This movement will relax the dog.

Scratch the back of the ears and move to the face and neck. Use your thumb and index fingers and try involving the other fingers as well. Use circular motions and come from the neck to the chest area, move around your dog, so that you have access to all areas of his body without having to sit on the dog or accidentally hurt him.

After massaging the chest and belly, go to the back. On the back, you should pay special attention to the spine; use the thumb and index finger on each side of the spine and massage gently until you reach to the tail. Stroke the tail.

Continue with the limbs. Massage the front of the leg from top to bottom and then massage the back of the leg from the top to bottom.

Reward the Dog

You should always reward your dog after performing the massage; some dogs may enjoy the massage, while others may find it unusual. Give treats, so that your dog will associate the massage with the pleasure of getting a treat.