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How to Give Your Dog a Massage

You’re not the only one who benefits from that trip to the masseuse. Your pooch does, too: He gets a shinier coat, improved circulation and a boost to the immune system. But there’s no need to book an appointment. Just take Bandie to a nice, quiet spot in your home where he can relax.

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Apply light-pressure strokes over the head from nose to neck, using the whole hand or fingertips. Use small, circular strokes with the pads of your fingers or thumbs on the sides of your dog’s face, the top of his skull and over the entire area of both ears.


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Margaret Clark of Wings Canine & Equine Massage in Abbotsford recommends beginning and ending each session with “effleurage,” massage with long, fluid, circular strokes; motion generally should follow the direction of the coat.


First, work from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. Next, move from the tip of the nose over the head, down one shoulder and out to the toes. Repeat each stroke two or three times on each side or, depending on the size of the dog, both sides at the same time.


Next, focus on one body area at a time:


Knead the entire neck area. When the skin starts to stretch, you can gently lift and squeeze it.


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Back, Shoulders, Hips



Knead the skin. Then, with slightly hooked fingers, use very small, quick shakes to cause vibrations. After three sets of shakes, lift your hand and move it an inch or two. Repeat until the whole area has been covered.

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Front Legs

 Use gentle, rhythmic compressions, from the shoulder down to the paws and back up again.