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Where to Pet a Dog to Relax Them

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: August 5, 2019
Where to Pet a Dog to Relax Them

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Who does't like being carressed and receiving affection? We all do, but especially dogs! One of the things that most fascinate our furry friends is a good round of affection and hugs. The longer they last, the better for them. Dogs will never tire of receiving love.

Stroking a dog has many benefits, even for the person giving the affection! It lowers blood pressure and reduces stress in both parties, and only takes a few minutes a day! The most important thing is that it creates a special and tight bond between the dog and the human. Likewise, caresses are a great way to calm a nervous, stressed or anxious dog. Learning to give your dog a relaxing massage is easy. Continue reading this AnimalWised article and discover how and where to pet a dog to relax them.

You may also be interested in: How to Show Your Dog You Love Them
  1. Learn the right petting techniques
  2. How to pet your dog
  3. How to pet your dog to calm their nerves
  4. Relaxing the legs

Learn the right petting techniques

Dogs can also get highly stressed. Relaxing caresses can help you relieve all kinds of tension, control your cravings and hyperactivity and give you a dose of happiness... the most basic medicine of all. In just 10 minutes a day you can give your dog a "maintenance" of soothing caresses.

Recent studies show that although dogs appreciate physical contact with us, it may happen that the way we pet them is not the right technique. For them it could be somewhat aggressive even though we think we are being as gentle as possible. If you want to relax a dog, avoid tickling, spanking or squeezing.

If you like to pet your dog, it will be good for you to learn the best way to do it and to help you relax after a long day. Many people prefer to do it before going to bed, while others do it first thing in the morning. The result is the same, dogs do not care so much when you do it but that you do it. Of course, if you want to do both you will end up having a dog as relaxed as a yoga teacher.

Where to Pet a Dog to Relax Them - Learn the right petting techniques

How to pet your dog

Use the fingers and the palm of your hand, relaxed but firm, to touch the whole body of your dog very slowly. Run them from their head to tail. Be sure to put all your attention and energy into it and focus on all layers, from the hair, through the skin, to the muscle and finally to the bone.

Stop and perform circular movements as you pass through the areas of the ears, under the chin, neck, armpits and chest. If you can do this while your dog is in the sun, after a good walk, the effect will be more powerful. You can do it in the park but as we mentioned before, after playing and walking. Everything will depend on the dog and the time you have. Other people prefer to do this before leaving home, while enjoying a morning coffee. The dog has slept all night and although they are awake, they have not yet been stimulated. This will help the dog learn that they can relax even when they are not tired.

Where to Pet a Dog to Relax Them - How to pet your dog

How to pet your dog to calm their nerves

If your dog is very nervous about something that has happened, soothing strokes could help them reduce stress and divert their attention. In this case what we should do is relax their nervous system with our approach. Flatten and lightly rest the palm of your hand on the head or neck of your dog, as we explained earlier. But, this time without stopping in a particular area, make long and slow strokes along their spine. Repeat several times and if you notice that your dog is comfortable with this type of contact, gradually increase the pressure. Avoid pressing the bottom of their back.

Your attitude while performing these caresses to calm your dog must be in accordance with what you want to achieve, that is, a relaxed and neutral position. As a finishing touch, rest one hand for a few minutes at the base of your dog's head and the other on the area of ​​the pelvis. These two areas control body response and other important functions in the body such as: digestion, sleep and tissue repair. We want to reactivate the positive flow of the actions of the spinal cord.

Where to Pet a Dog to Relax Them - How to pet your dog to calm their nerves

Relaxing the legs

There is nothing better than stretching to relax. The leg area tends to be neglected but it is one of the keys to a dog's relaxation. Remember that like all creatures, a dog supports all their weight and movements on all four legs, therefore, these tend to recharge themselves of tension, making them tired.

Start caressing your dog to relax the legs and do not forget the buttocks and thigh area, rub them to warm them up before stretching any areas. Then begin by stretching their legs, taking them from the back and then moving their joints. Go through every inch of their legs from top to bottom and apply light pressure and then relax and continue. Remember to not be aggressive. Be firm but gentle. Less is more. Dogs' paws are strong but not invincible.

Finally, hold your dog by the hip and raise their back legs, this will benefit the stretching and relaxation of their spine.

Practice caressing your dog so that they relax by following all our indications and tell us the result. And if you want to know other techniques, do not miss our article in which we teach you to massage a dog's ears. Good luck!

Where to Pet a Dog to Relax Them - Relaxing the legs

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It really worked! My dog was not going to sleep and he was crying a lot but then I started to pet him the way that you said and he went to sleep immediately!
Administrador AnimalWised
So glad to hear it Alex, glad your dog has you around to take such good care of them.
I have found out that small dogs like to be stroked under the paw/arm pit ,and big dogs prefer to be stroked round the neck lightly,thry both like both (hope this was helpful )
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Bethan,

Dogs paws are sensitive so not all will enjoy it, but there are indeed plenty who do. Thanks for the comment!
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Where to Pet a Dog to Relax Them