When i speak about ‘pet massage’ I am mainly meaning touch desensitisation or getting your pet used to being handled. I come across way to many pets, which unfortunately are forced in to interactions which they are uncomfortable with (ahhmm ‘cough’ people hugging pets they just met). Following the below you can help your pet in todays society where we expect a great deal from them.
To ensure you pet is comfortable with different groomers, when attending a veterinary clinic, around kids (and adults) squealing about how cute they are; it is important that we allow them and train them to become comfortable with touch , when everyone is relaxed. Maybe do this training while sitting in front of the TV of an evening. For each area of the body, it can be useful to label the part (e.g. when we are touching the face, we say ‘ face’ while gently touching their face then give some treats and praise. While completing this exercise we can add in a little ‘health check’ while will further assist them when we need a visit at the dreaded pet hospital!
Here are some spots to start with;
• Face: observe the nose closely. Look at & lift lips and examine the facial skin. soft rubs around the yes and down the muzzle. life the ear flap and give them a nice little rub.
• Outer body: massage your pet’s skin all over the body and down the legs, feeling for any lumps. Use gentle pressure and only continue if your pet is comfortable. Intermittently provide treats and praise. Using long pats is ideal and it is more relaxing for your pet, if you discover a favourite scratch spot it can be helpful to spend a few more minutes here so they really enjoy the exercise.
• Paws: check all claws including the dewclaws, massage in between the paw pads.