How to Massage Your Dog’s Stomach and Hips

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 46,606
    Canine Massage Therapist Patty Bianca demonstrates how to massage your dog’s stomach and hips.

    Patty Bianca

    Patty is an equine sports massage therapist and canine massage therapist trained and certified by Equissage,the internationally renowned leader in equine sports massage. She has also attained the level of Reiki Master in the Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho method of natural healing. After many years of perfecting her techniques on a volunteer basis, Patty opened Natural Relief for Horse & Hound, LLC, in late 2006, offering massage and energy work to animals throughout Central Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania. She is an active member of the International Association of Reiki Practitioners, the International Association of Animal Massage Therapists and the International Association of Animal Massage & Bodywork, and her practice is fully insured. Growing up in a household where rescued animals were constantly present, Patty learned early how to care for and communicate effectively with animals of all kinds. She has since been involved with many rescue and animal advocacy organizations, including the Chesapeake Bulldog Club of Greater Baltimore, Justice for Dogs, New Life Equine Rescue in New Windsor, Maryland, and Tranquility Farm Equestrian Education and Renewal Center in Thurmont, Maryland. She and her husband authored a booklet on dog ownership entitled “Mom! Dad! Can We Get a Dog?” which was featured on “Live with Don Scott and Marty Bass” on ABC Television, and Patty has published many articles in local periodicals on animals and animal care.

    Patty Bianca: Hi! This is Patty Bianca and this is my dog Whisky with Natural Relief for Horse & Hound. We are here showing you how to massage your dog, and in this segment we are focus on the stomach and hips. We will start off on the tummy doing some open-handed percussion; I am going to reach under here; hopefully you can see it better. And remember to work on this area. This is a touchy area, and work with discretion and respect. So we are going to do some light, open-handed percussions, focusing on the side of the midline of the dog, then we are going to do a series of moderate percussions out and back up, and heavy and back up. Now we are going to use the cat paw technique to locate any muscle spasms in the middle of the tummy here. So again, working with respect, cat paw up light, and back light, up moderate, and back moderate, and up heavy. And on the heavy pass, you will look for and treat any muscle spasms you find with direct pressure, light for 10, moderate for 15, and heavy for 20 and continue on in that fashion up to the beginning of the chest area, and then we will go back to the beginning and close off the area with heavy percussion up, and back, taking with it all that nasty tension. Now we are going to move on the hips; and in the hip area, you are going to look for the Bony Protrusion called the point of hip, just right here on Whisky. In all dogs its going to be a little different. Now, because this is little bit of a bony area, we are just going to lay our hand here first and sweat it for 20 seconds, and when we are done sweating it then we can use some compression in a arching or C shape around that bone. First light, and moderate, and then heavy; again, in smaller dogs, you can use the back of your hand, your knuckles there, or you can use your fingers. When we get back up here, she is going to sit down. Thats okay, we are going to use that probing technique like we did behind the shoulder blade, and we are going to go down in that C shaped arch every inch or so, moderate, and then when the heavy pass, you can locate and treat any muscle spasms that you find. And then when you get down to the bottom, you can give it some heavy compressions up and down. Now that we have done the front of the hip area, we are going to work on the back of the hip area here. Now back here is slightly less sensitive, so you can use percussion; again, keeping your hand light, and because this is a very tight area back here in active dogs like whisky, you can just percuss until your hearts content or until you feel that that muscle is nice and warmed up. When you are done warming up that area, you can use the Point of Hip as an anchor for your thumb, and we are going to zigzag in a C-shaped pattern, light, and up light, down, moderate, and up moderate, and down heavy, and on the heavy pass, you will look for and treat any muscle spasms, continue on until you are down to right about there, and then you can close off the area with some heavy percussion, again remembering to keep that hand loose and bouncy and not beat up your poor dog. Okay, that finishes up the stomach and hips. Our next segment will be to finish off the hind-end and the leg of the dog on the side.