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10:08 AM   April 19, 2015
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Dog Massage at Home

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Are your customers looking for another way to bond with their pet? Suggest they give their dog a light rubdown at home. Although deep massage on dogs, especially older arthritic dogs, should be performed only by a trained and certified practitioner, a soothing massage using a gentle touch gives dog owners a way to help their pet relax--and it gives them an opportunity to inspect their pet for sore spots or rashes.

You can recommend these simple techniques:

  1. First, the dog should lie on a soft, firm surface, like a rug. Small dogs can be cradled in the pet owner’s lap. Start with several soft, slow strokes from head to tail. As the dog begins to relax, scratch gently behind its ears, moving to its cheeks, under its chin, over its nose, between its eyes and over its head. Rub each ear several times between your thumb and forefinger, working from base to tip.
  2. Using three fingers, slowly move over the dog’s neck, shoulders and chest in small, circular patterns, gently pinching folds of any loose skin in these areas. Lightly squeeze down the length of each foreleg, then place three fingers on each side of the leg and softly rub opposite directions several times. If the dog is comfortable having its feet handled, use your thumb and forefinger and give each foot a couple of soft squeezes. This is a good time to look out for any burrs, ticks, or skin abnormalities. Use common sense in avoiding wounds, lumps, rashes or any sore spots.
  3. The next phase of the massage can include placing your thumb and index finger on each side of the spine and walking them toward the base of the tail, and then the outside of each thigh. You may also squeeze the length of the tail and move down the rear legs in the same way as on the front legs, if your dog doesn’t protest. If at any point the dog resists, respect its wish and move to the last area or technique he enjoyed.
  4. Finish up with several soft, slow strokes from head to tail, just as you did at the beginning. Slowly and gentle run your hands over its head, down its shoulders and across its back. When you finish, your dog will most likely be snoozing peacefully and you may be surprised to find your own tensions melted away, too!  <HOME>

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