Massage has long been viewed as a beneficial healing practice for humans, but it also can benefit our canine companions. Massage stimulates circulation, releases tense muscles, eases digestion issues, relieves anxiety, and strengthens immunity.
Canine massage can be an important piece of keeping your dog in top form and early detection of minor issues before they become major issues.
I am certified through the Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage as a Canine Therapeutic Massage Therapist (CTMT) and Advanced Canine Massage Therapist (ACMT). I am currently working towards being certified as a Canine Fitness Trainer.
Canine massage is a complementary modality to veterinarian care. It is most effective to treat issues after you have seen and received a diagnosis from your veterinarian. Canine massage IS NOT a substitute for veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your veterinarian for specific questions regarding your pet's health or diagnosis. I am happy to work with your veterinarian as a member of your dog's wellness team.
Benefits of Canine Massage
Increased flexibility and Range of Motion
Help build and maintain muscle tone
Reduced recovery time from work, injury, or surgery
Increased circulation of blood and lymph
Reduced stress and anxiety
Reduced muscle tension
Reduced blood pressure
When Massage is not Advised
Communicable diseases (kennel cough, ringworm, mange)
On fresh injuries (break, sprain, cut, wound)
Shock or Fever
Cancer and Possibly Valley Fever
If the Dog Says No.
What To Expect
What do I need to bring?
Please have your dog in a comfortable collar and snap leash or easy-to-remove leash. You might want to bring a book or have something to entertain yourself during the session.
You may bring treats, but please keep in mind that sometimes this gets your dog much more excited and distracted from the work that we are trying to achieve. It's tempting to convince your dog to lay down, but massaging tense muscles ("ready" for the treat) is not ideal.
What does a typical session look like?
I will get to know your dog and let them get comfortable with me before we begin. Sometimes your dog might not be ready to lay down, that's okay :) I am very patient!
My goal is for your dog to have the most relaxing and enjoyable session, sometimes this means they might not lay down at all! It is difficult to massage or affect change in tense muscles, so it's very important that we go at your dog's pace. A session will last between 30 to 45 minutes, depending on what your dog is okay with.
While working on your dog, I am increasing their circulation through the body, and so it is common that their nose might start running (and they might sneeze), they might get warm (and start panting), and likely start closing their eyes. When working out tense muscles or knots, dogs will often help release some of that tension through a yawn or stretch.
What should I expect afterward?
It is not uncommon for your dog to need to relieve themselves or want a drink of water immediately after a massage. I really like to see your dog accept all the work by having a nice shake and/or stretch, and I will watch them as they walk to see how balanced they are.
When you get home, keep an eye on your dog. It is not unusual for them to be tired and sleep, especially after their first session. On the other hand, some dogs react oppositely and are extremely energized, playing when they otherwise wouldn't be! If it is your dog's first massage and you don't know how they will react, I would not recommend asking them to do any dog sports after a massage.
Although uncommon, please contact me if you notice your dog limping or deteriorating after a session. Contact your veterinarian if your dog is in pain or showing signs of distress.
Scheduling A Massage
I am doing massage appointments from my home during the week, daytime appointments are usually available.
I also regularly attend agility events, please see my facebook page to see my schedule. It is recommended contacting me ahead of the event to reserve a time slot for your dog.
*New exciting opportunity* I will soon be working with Paradise Point Animal Hospital to offer appointments based out of their facility. I'm very excited to be able to work with Dr. Garthe and her fantastic team to provide my clients with additional services like acupuncture, underwater treadmill, cold laser, and rehabilitation facilities. Check them out on Facebook!