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How to Massage Your Dog

Man’s best friend gets stressed, too! A massage can benefit your dog’s health as well as their mood.


  • Step 1: Position your dog Have your dog lie down on a rug. Very small dogs can sit in your lap.
  • TIP: Massage your dog after a brisk walk – they'll be more relaxed.
  • Step 2: Start at the head Lightly scratch behind your dog’s ears. Use long, gliding strokes, alternately quick and slower, down the sides of the head. Gently stroke along the cheeks, under the chin, over the nose, and between the eyes, to the top of the head. Massage each ear between your thumb and index finger from base to tip.
  • Step 3: Move to the body Rub down the neck, shoulders, and chest using a circular motion with three fingers. Carefully pull out any loose skin folds and gently work them back and forth. Gently squeeze down the length of each leg; then place three fingers on each side of the leg, circling in opposite directions.
  • TIP: Look for skin abnormalities, like rashes, lumps, sores, burrs, or ticks. Avoid any sore spots.
  • Step 4: Rub the feet Apply light pressure with the thumb and index finger along each foot. If your dog is touchy about their paws or resists at any other area, move to another area or repeat especially enjoyable areas.
  • Step 5: Spinal rubdown Place your thumb and forefinger on either side of the spine, walk the fingers from the base of the neck down to the tail, and repeat. Now find someone to give you a massage!
  • FACT: Dogs are descended from the gray wolf. Today there are more than 400 dog breeds.

You Will Need

  • A rug or your lap

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