How to Massage a Dog With Weak Rear Legs

By Esperance Barretto

A massage is effective therapy for your dog, whether it is young or old, active or passive. Like humans, dogs are subject to defective genes, muscle strain and age-related degeneration that may cause them to have weak rear legs. Additionally, dogs that suffer from arthritis and joint problems tend to have weak rear legs. Regular massage will keep your dog agile well into its old age and reduce the intensity of age-related stiffness. Follow simple massage techniques to effectively give your dog a soothing rear leg massage and strengthen its weak rear legs.

Set your dog on its side in a lying down position. Sit behind it, hold the top portion of its rear leg in one hand and place your other hand below its paw. Slowly stretch out the leg straight and hold it in this position for five seconds. Revert back to the original position.

Repeat the straight leg stretch for three counts, holding it for 15 seconds each time. Gently try to extend the leg a little more at each repetition. This stretching exercise enhances muscle mobility by extending your dog’s gait.

Loosen your dog’s muscles and warm them up with the compression technique. Hold your dog’s rear leg in one hand. Use the flat of the palm of your other hand to gently press against the bone, such that you push the muscle away from it. Slide your hand slowly down your dog’s leg, pressing against the bone as you do. Repeat the compression technique for a count of three.

Use a soft, but firm, grip to slowly slide your hands over your dog’s rear legs down to its paw. Hold the paw in your hand and squeeze it gently, keeping it squeezed for three seconds. Release the pressure and repeat the paw squeeze exercise for a count of three.

Use the pinch and release technique on your dog's rear leg. Gently pull the skin slightly away from its leg with your fingers and release. Repeat the pinch and release technique all across the skin on its rear leg, to improve blood circulation to the muscles of the rear leg.

Gently roll your dog’s body over to the other side, keeping it in the lying down position. Repeat all the massage techniques and stretches on the remainder rear leg.