Your Hound wants you to read this!
Getting a massage feels amazing! After a massage, your head is clear and your body is relaxed. The relaxation that a massage provides significantly decreases blood pressure, and it can go a long way in promoting health and well-being.
If you are familiar with the repeated poking and prodding by a Greyhound’s paw to initiate pats, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that Greyhounds love massages just as much as their owners! Luckily for your wallet, you don’t need to pack your Hound off to a spa resort. Basic canine massage is easy to learn and something pet parents can do for several minutes every day.
“You want me to massage my dog? Really?!”
Yes, absolutely! As we know Greyhounds can go from 0 to 70km very quickly (especially when you open the fridge!) Accelerating so quickly causes a massive strain on a Hound’s joints and musculo-skeletal system. Greyhounds frequently experience muscle soreness and tension in their backs, hips and legs. The application of gentle pressure and movement can help alleviate some of this discomfort.
Other benefits offered by massage include:
- Improving circulation
- Assisting with injury prevention
- Promoting healing
- Increasing movement and flexibility
- Encouraging relaxation
- Reducing anxiety
“Okay, you’ve convinced me! How do I massage my dog?”
While the principles of massages in humans and dogs are quite similar, the technique needs to be different. Dogs can’t tolerate pressure like humans can. Too much pressure can lead to injury so only ever use light, gentle motions (you should be able to feel your dog’s tissues and muscles under its coat). Use your whole palm and follow the shape of your dog’s joints and muscles (you can go against the fur as well as with it). Always observe your dog during the massage for any signs of discomfort which can include sudden lifting or turning of the head, licking of the lips or even crying in pain. If this occurs stop the massage immediately. Never use oils or scents as many are poisonous to dogs.
There are lots of videos and articles online which will teach you how to perform a simple relaxation massage on your dog.
Click here for one of the many videos demonstrating how to massage your dog.
Massage is a great way to promote bonding and it helps you be more aware of your Hound’s body. Giving your Hound a massage is a truly rewarding experience, so what are you waiting for? Give it a go; your Hound will thank you for it!
Important note: Seek vet advice if you discover any suspicious lumps, bumps or tender areas. If your dog is injured, ill or taking medication, please chat to your vet to check if massage is safe.
About the author
Jayne is a qualified canine massage therapist and the owner of Paws and Unwind canine massage. She has a FOTH Greyhound called Daisy who is 10 years old and has been volunteering with FOTH for 5 years.