Pet owners are encouraged to spend personal time with their pets through grooming sessions and giving regular massages. To massage your pet, hold two or three of your fingers together and make small circular motions on your pet’s skin using the fleshy part of your fingertips. Gradually increase the pressure once you notice your pet being relaxed, but take care not to discomfort it by exerting too much force. You may use one hand to massage and the other to hold your pet still until it relaxes completely.
Here are the six steps to giving your pet a good rubdown:
1) Foot and Paw Massage
Gently massage the pet’s foot and its pads. Do it slowly, as animals’ feet tend to be sensitive.
2) Leg Massage
Starting just above the paw, massage up the leg toward your pet’s body. Ensure your pet is relaxed and its legs are limp so you can work the hind leg muscles more effectively.
3) Abdominal Massage
Move from the legs to the pet’s abdomen. Most animals will roll onto their backs as you do this. For larger animals, make circular motions with your two palms, or use your thumbs and fingers to make a gentle squeezing motion for smaller cats and dogs.
4) Body Massage
Massage one side at a time using large circular motions, starting from the hind legs to the neck.
5) Spinal Massage
Massage along either side of the spinal column, not on it. For this, you may use your middle and index finger or index and thumb. Massage the entire length of the spinal column, including the tail.
6) Neck, Head and Ears
Most animals seem to like this type of massage best, so it may be a good idea to spend more time on these areas. Massage the neck on both sides of the spinal column before working carefully around the nose, mouth, and eyes. Stroke the ears from base to tip, or gently pull them in an upward motion using your fingers and thumb.
Giving your pet regular massages also serves as an opportunity to detect any health problems that may surface in the form of body lumps. Each session only takes no less than 15 minutes, but is likely to result in a closer relationship between you and your pet.