top of page


From puppies to seniors; companion or competitor, all dogs can benefit from regular massage therapy and touch.


The first documented descriptions of massage dating back to about 3,000 BC were discovered in China. Chinese Taoist priests practiced ‘Qi Gong’ – meditative movement revealing and cultivating the vital life force. Traditional Chinese medicine is based on the principle that every illness, ailment or discomfort in the body is due to an imbalance of ‘Qi’. In about 1,000 BC Japanese monks began to study Buddhism in China. They witnessed the healing methods of traditional Chinese medicine and took them back to Japan. In Japan the practice of medicine mostly consisted of diagnosis and treatment with massage-type methods. The Japanese not only adopted the Chinese style, but also began to enhance it by introducing new combinations, eventually reaching a unique Japanese form called Shiatsu. Shiatsu is a Japanese word derived from ‘shi’ meaning finger and ‘atsu’ meaning pressure. It is a technique similar to that used in acupuncture but without needles and with extra movements involved.


Why massage for pets?

In the wild, social grooming (by licking) provides the touch stimulation needed to thrive, and hunting and free-play keeps the animal’s body toned and fit. Many of our domesticated friends, confined to the home or small yard, miss out on these activities.

*Domesticated dogs and cats tend to be more infantile and dependent in their behavior than their feral counterparts.  While petting does provide loving attention and touch, massage goes a step further.

The benefits of massage for animals parallels those for humans. In fact, when you think about it, many findings in massage and touch research were initially proven with lab animals. Animal experiments evaluating the physiological effects of massage began as early as the 1800’s. In the 1980’s, Touch Research Institute began their investigation of the importance of tactile stimulation using rat pups as their subjects. At present, studies are being conducted with animal models to track ions involved in the biological process of touch. In addition, the Chinese have produced numerous studies documenting the effects of Eastern modalities on animals. By extrapolating to humans and continuing with studies on bipeds, researchers have provided evidence of the many benefits of touch and massage.



How does massage help?

One of the most valuable assets of animal massage is health maintenance.

Regular massage aids in early detection of abnormalities, such as swelling, injury or painful areas, and facilitates early medical diagnosis of problems. In some cases the time element can be life-saving.

The animal’s general overall health is boosted by an increase in blood and lymph circulation and enhancement of muscle tone and flexibility.

Fox describes touch as “a potent bridge for love,” thus regular massage develops or can further seal the bond between pet and guardian. Many animals with emotional issues (depression, grief, shyness or distrust) respond well to the relaxation and positive touch of massage.

Young animals can be acclimated to touch with massage, making them easier to handle for grooming and medical care.


What can massage help?

Massage can help your pet on several levels:

  • Relaxation and stress reduction

  • Increased flexibility of soft tissue

  • Reduction of edema (swelling)

  • Enhancement of waste and toxin elimination

  • Maintenance of good posture and body balance

  • Prevention of atrophy (wasting) in inactive muscles

  • Improved athletic performance

  • Loosening and softening of scar tissue

  • Releases endorphins which are naturally occurring steroids in the body which act to assuage pain

  • Enhanced muscle tone and range of motion

  • Advances healing through increased flow of nutrients to injured muscles

  • Lengthens connective tissue and reduces the formation of adhesions leading to fibrosis.

  • Helps with emotional well-being

  • Reduces Anxiety

  • Helps to Increase trust and the emotional bond


What's a session like?

Your pet’s massage session will begin with an overall assessment

The assessment is used to get an overall picture of your pet’s current mental and physical state.

The assessment consist of the following :

  1. Visual Observation – Mental and physical

  2. Listening/Smelling

  3. History of your pet to include where he or she came from, what you know about  his or her parents’ daily routine and lifestyle, diet, medical history, quirks, etc…

  4. Physical examination of Coat/Skin, Muscle Condition, Eyes, Nose, Ears, Mouth, Teeth and Gums, Reaction to touch and Overall Body heat patterns

  5. Observed Gait and Movement how is the pup moving is it fluid and even is it stiff or short stepped or is there a limp or hesitation etc

Once this has been completed  we will again check in with your pet and ask permission to begin the session.

Sessions may last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour… it all depends on what your pet is up for on that particular day.



bottom of page