A good way to begin massage for dogs is with the types of strokes your pet is most used to then moving on to more feathery motions, scratches, tickles and rubs. Begin with one area and continue into the next area until each section has been completed.
Mapping out what areas you have, or have not massaged, in your mind is one way to remember exactly where you have worked. Try concentrating on one area of your dog, such as the chest, stomach or a single leg, at a time.
Circular motions, light scratches, kneading and tickles are just a few suggestions to apply to your massage for dogs repertoire. Follow the grain of the coat then move lightly in just the opposite direction. Remember that your voice can have a positive and calming effect as well. Speak in a soothing voice throughout the massage for your dog.
Once you've begun the massage try not to break the mood with sudden movements, such as readjusting yourself, and try to keep one hand on the animal at all times. Now, just observe your dogs reactions throughout the session.
If you sense any grumbling it is best to discontinue the session. If your animal is still a limp, smiling pile of doggie flesh, then chances are you are doing everything right - continue. Don't forget the paws, pads or ears either.
Just how long should this massage continue?
Well, that depends on just how long the dog is willing to relax for you and just how long you hold out to continue the massage. A few minutes to a half hour or more is not as important as the quality of time that you spend with your pet.