Edit Module
Edit Module
 
Learn how to give your critter a luxurious massage, find the least chaotic dog parks, create a lizard paradise, and more.
Photograph: Jason Little
The Chicago Pet Lover's Guide >

How to Give Your Dog (or Cat) a Massage

Katie Mehrtens, owner of the Right Spot Pet Massage, which practices out of multiple locations around town

Edit Module
Illustration by Colin Hayes

FIND A ZEN SPOT

“You want to find a quiet place where your dog is really comfortable. Make sure you are too, because if you aren’t, your dog won’t be.”

GIVE ONE VERY LONG STROKE (1)

“Start at the corner of the eye or between the eyes and go up on the head, down one side of the spine — never on the spine, because it could hurt — all the way down the back leg to the toes. I do it three times on each side. It’s a great way to smooth the large muscles in the dog’s body.”

USE A LIGHT TOUCH

“For a larger dog, I might use my palm, versus with a smaller dog, I use a couple of flat fingers. It’s never the fingertips — you’re not digging, you’re using the flat. It’s better to go a little lighter than too hard. It’s almost like gently pushing down on a pillow.”

Advertisement

TRY A FACIAL (2)

“A great way to calm an anxious dog is to start between the eyes and just go up to about the front of the ears. Rubbing that with a gentle, firm pressure really helps to calm dogs down.”

GIVE MUSCLES CPR (3)

“For the really big muscle groups, like over the shoulder blades or on the thighs, just gently press in, then out, like a heartbeat. It helps to circulate the blood and fluids.”

Share

Edit Module
Edit Module
Submit your comment

Comments are moderated. We review them in an effort to remove foul language, commercial messages, abuse, and irrelevancies.