Massage sessions are conducted at the pet's home to ensure that they are in a familiar and relaxed setting. Sessions usually last 45-60 minutes depending on the pet.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should my pet receive a massage?
If you have a senior pet in your household, massage can help him feel relief from problems such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and other age related concerns. Cats age very gracefully and do not tend to have structural or joint problems. However, massage can be used to address behavioral issues or other health problems.
If your pet is anxious, massage can help soothe his nerves and alleviate stress. Practicing some massage on your pet yourself can intensify the bond between you and your pet, and further reduce stress. Ask about strokes you can do at home!
If you have a very active pet, massage can help address the tensions that accumulate with high activity levels: spasms, trigger points, etc.
If your pet is experiencing neck pain, back pain, or concerns related to bad postural habits, massage can aid muscles in returning to their proper relaxed states, increasing comfort level and improving posture.
Alpha dogs particularly benefit from massage as they stay busy with various tasks and rarely relax fully throughout the course of a day. Massage can help an alpha pet unwind for a little while.
A less considered reason to have your pet massage is to assist in a grieving process. If your pet's housemate has recently passed or has moved out of the home, massage can provide comfort and help him move past the loss.
2. When should my pet NOT receive a massage?
If your animal has a fever or contagious disease, such as ringworm; any skin infection, anemia, or leukemia. If your pet is aggressive, massage may not be possible. With a proper introduction using appropriate knowledge of animal behavior, many pets can relax and enjoy massage quite well. Some pets with deep or long lasting trust or fear issues may not be able to relax enough to find massage enjoyable. Contact Angela to discuss your pet’s specific situation.
3. Will my cat really tolerate a massage?
You may be surprised; cats can often be more receptive to massage than dogs! A cat may tolerate less work, and they will often end a session abruptly, but often they seem to enjoy massage very much, and may become quite demanding at the next appointment.
4. My dog is pretty energetic and bouncy. Will he calm down enough to receive a massage?
Most dogs love massage, and will settle into it willingly. Some dogs take longer to calm than others. Your pet’s first session may be pretty short as he learns to understand this different kind of touch, but he will most likely love it in the end. All of us pet our dogs while they sit near us, but few of us work in the muscles as we pet; this feeling is new to many animals.
5. What is a session like?
After introductions have been made, the session begins. Sessions last the length of the pet’s attention span, and each massage is different than the last: different areas can be addressed, different strokes used. Strokes used are similar to those used on humans. Your pet processes new ideas kinesthetically and he may get up and move around, taking a break during the session. This is normal, and often encouraged.
It’s best to massage a pet after his daily exercise routine, and when the house is quiet; relatively free of distractions and traffic. With a few exceptions, a dog relaxes best in an area away from other pets and family members.
6. Can I sit in and watch while you work on my dog/cat?
Of course! As long as your pet isn't distracted by your presence, you are more than welcome to observe. Sometimes dogs will not calm down with Mom or Dad around, but this will become obvious once the session begins. On the other hand, some dogs are much more comfortable with their parents present. A cat may prefer to have his people present throughout the session.
7. What do I do after the session?
Allow your pet the chance to go out for a potty break soon after the massage. Provide lots of fresh water, both during the day and overnight. If your pet doesn’t drink much, you might try wetting his meals with water to compensate. It’s a good idea to take a short walk the evening of the massage, if your dog is willing.
8. How will my pet feel after a massage?
Pet parents report that their animals seem very happy after a massage: more energetic and happier, or more peaceful and relaxed. Often, more energetic animals relax, and those with low energy levels often feel perkier. Senior pets may act younger, and you may notice that your pet does things that he hasn’t attempted in a while. Be careful! Don’t allow your pet, who seems to suddenly be feeling years younger, overdo it! If he wasn’t strong enough to do something before a massage, he still isn’t afterwards, despite how great he may feel.
9. How often should my pet get a massage?
A regular massage schedule is most beneficial, just as in the case of human massage therapy. Recommendations for the next visit are specific to each pet’s circumstances. If your pet is in good health, once per month may be sufficient. If we are working to reduce pain, perhaps once a week may be recommended until positive changes are noted. Senior pets can often use massage once per week, if that is an option.
10. What are some conditions that can be addressed with massage?
My two siberian huskies are very active and one developed a soft tissue injury to her shoulder that prevented her from running. After a few visits we started seeing results. She also identified an issue on my other dog, recommending a vet appointment that found a shoulder injury that required treatment. I'm so grateful and my pups adore her!
Kiko had a nerve/muscle problem that made walking difficult, 4 years ago we started getting him massage and he has stabilized and rarely has any issues and can't wait for his bi-weekly visit!
I have an 11 year old Lab with a left hind knee surgery and was diagnosed with degenerative joint disease. Angela has been a great help in making her feel better and improve as she gets older.
Continued follow-up with additional sessions as needed and instruction on how to support your pet in between sessions
A custom massage plan to fit the needs of your pet
Discussion regarding your pet's health issues, and then a conversation with your vet to align treatment plans