9 Areas to Massage on Your Pibble

Massage can be defined as: “the rubbing and kneading of muscles and joints of the body with the hands, especially to relieve tension or pain”.  Massage helps to reduce stress in the body, help the joints, muscles and bones heal, provides basic pain relief, and may assist in the rehabilitation and regeneration of muscle tissue.

For dogs, massage has similar benefits. It can be used at home for relaxation and stress relief, to help them with anxiety or nervous disorders, to provide relief for arthritis, and to aid in the healing of muscles, joints and bones.

Rod Newman, a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner at the Canine Rehabilitation Center of Nashville, states that "Massage can be very beneficial." Pam Holt, a certified canine massage therapist with Buddha Dog Animal Massage, agrees with this notion, stating that  "It is one of the tools we use to help dogs recover." She explains that "Mostly, massage is about increasing circulation of blood, lymph and nutrients to the tissue. Massage releases toxins from muscles and other tissues and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. It stimulates the release of endorphins. Essentially, massage enhances every system and organ in the body."

Dog massage techniques are generally very easy to do and you can read more about the techniques in our blog post titled: Top Pibble Massage Techniques You Can Do

In this post, let's talk about the 9 different areas of your pibble's body that you should massage to help them reach an unbelievable state of relaxation. And as always, please make sure that your pibble is healthy enough to have massages. Massages are contraindicated if your pibble has: cancer, high temperature – over 104°F or 39.5°C, heat stroke, open wounds, broken or fractured bones, epilepsy, or suffering from shock. If you are unsure, please consult your vet before massaging your pibble.

1. Ears

9 Areas to Massage on Your Pibble

You should always pay close attention to your pibble's ears because they usually let you know if your pibble is stressed or anxious.

According to Care.com, “Your dog's ears are loaded with nerve endings. When you rub them, they send signals to the brain that do everything from relax your dog to increase her production of endorphins, the feel-good hormone."

To rub your pibble's ears, start at the base of the ear (closer to the head) and grasp it firmly but gently. Then rub while moving down to the tip and repeat.

2. Head

9 Areas to Massage on Your Pibble

Like the ear, the head of your pibble has lots of nerve endings. So, sometimes you have to go beyond simply giving your pibble a scritch. Massaging their head can not only have some truly incredible benefits for their nervous system but also, suprisingly, on their stomach.

Life & Dog states that the “Pressure points near the eye are associated to the stomach, bladder, and gallbladder.”

3. Back

9 Areas to Massage on Your Pibble

The back is a large area and relatively linear. Massaging your pibble's back can help with their restlessness or hyperactivity. Compared to other areas, the back is relatively easier to massage. The Zen PEBBLE™ makes massaging larger areas of your pibble, like the back, legs and stomach, extremely easy.

Iheartdogs.com states that massaging the back “can calm down a hyper puppy or a reactive adult dog.”

Other benefits associated with massaging your pibble's back include increased comfort with human touch, improved stomach health and increased skin elasticity.

4. Belly

9 Areas to Massage on Your Pibble

A lot of pibble's have stomach sensitivity and digestive issues. Our Oreo has had these issues his whole life! I wish we had started massaging him in addition to giving him a healthy, personalized diet. So, if your pibble is suffering from digestive issues, the stomach area is a great place to focus your massage.

Working the belly by rolling the Zen PEBBLE™ will help your dog’s stomach muscles to relax. Over time, this will help your pibble to stay more regular in their bowel movements, and will also cut down on gas and bloating.

5. Front Legs

9 Areas to Massage on Your Pibble

Pibbles are very active dogs, so it goes without saying that having healthy legs is very important for them. Massaging and stretching your dog’s front legs is a great idea prior to any physical activity. We usually give our boy a nice 10-minute stretch session before we take him to the beach. And during our massage sessions, we gently massage the upper shoulder areas with the Zen PEBBLE™.

Stretching your pibble's legs can be a little more advanced compared to the massaging the other areas of the body and should never be forced on a dog. If you are unsure, start by watching how your dog stretches himself, then gently copy his gestures. Stretch the front legs out and forward. Stop stretching as soon as you feel resistance. Make sure to watch a YouTube video if you're unsure of how to help your pibble stretch their legs.

Life & Dog goes so far as to say that “working in the crease behind your dog’s elbow will help him cope with infections and allergies.”

6. Chest

9 Areas to Massage on Your Pibble
Just as the chest is an important area when it comes to human health, the chest is also one of the most important areas that you can massage on your dog.

The chest is directly connected to your pet’s circulatory system, so a gentle rub can be good for their overall heart health.

This area can also be known to have a positive influence on their blood pressure.

7. Paws

9 Areas to Massage on Your Pibble

The paws can be one of the most sensitive areas on your dog and also the most in need of a massage since they're in contact with the ground all day and supporting a large body.

Massaging your pibble's paws can be great for their overall health and helps build trust with you, making it easier to do other things with their paws like clipping their toenails.

To massage the paws, start by bending the foot at the ankle area. Gently squeeze the ankle, then knead the foot down to the end of each toe. Pull each toe separately and gently bend it forward and backward.

8. Hind Legs

9 Areas to Massage on Your Pibble

Similar to the front legs, it's important to stretch and massage the hind legs as well. The hind legs in particular are very powerful and have a lot of muscle in the thigh and pelvic area, which means that this area can build up a lot of tension.

Massaging this area can increase your pibble's overall flexibility, and improve their range of motion.

9. Whole Body

9 Areas to Massage on Your Pibble

Overall, massaging can cover your pibble's whole body and can have tremendous benefits, including: 

  • Feel loved and soothed
  • Increased bond with you
  • Relief of pain, anxiety and stress
  • Reduction of muscle tension
  • Reduction of tissue swelling
  • Improvement of circulation
  • Healing of damaged tissue
  • Reduction of fibrous adhesions
  • Improvement of range of motion

And this of course, leads to a happy, relaxed and healthy pibble - a Zen Pibble.

4 comments

  • Massaging can even help with anxiety more than things like thundershirts. I’ve bought several different types of thundershirts over the years and they were not all that helpful. But combining that with massage really helps.

    Sarah
  • I can’t agree more – massage your pibbles!! I’ve been doing it with mine for years and they’re so healthy, happy, and calm it’s amazing.

    Steph
  • Great blog post! I massage my girl’s feet and legs a lot because she has some arthritis and it’s so beneficial.

    Francine
  • I’ve been rubbing my pibble’s ears for a long time and it always calms her. She loves it. I’m going to start doing full body massages on her because she’s getting up there in age and I know it’ll be beneficial for her. Great article!

    Jay

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