Is my dog eligible to be a case study?

I am currently seeking senior dogs and 'canine athletes' to take part in my case studies. A commitment to all 6 sessions is required but these are offered at half the normal cost ($50 for the initial consultation and $40 for each subsequent appointment: $250 in total).

A senior dog is usually approximately 7+ years of age although the point at which a dog is considered senior depends on it's size, breed and any health conditions it may have.

A canine athlete could be a working dog, one that takes part in agility competitions or just an active family pet that accompanies you on your daily hike or run.

If you feel that your dog falls into either of these categories and would like to take advantage of these reduced prices, please do get in touch.

Do I need a vet referral to book an appointment?

A vet referral is not required however I strongly recommend that you discuss your plan to start canine massage therapy with your vet as there may be conditions in which massage would not be suitable for your dog. I also request a copy of your dog’s medical history which is especially important if your dog is recovering from a specific illness, injury or has recently had surgery.

What happens at the initial appointment?

The initial appointment is about 90 mins long and will include:

  • a brief discussion of your dog’s medical history

  • an opportunity to discuss any specific concerns you have

  • a conversation about what outcomes you are hoping for

  • a review of your dog’s diet if requested (I am not a canine nutritionist but I can review using a quality scoring criteria, and make suggestions)

  • gait analysis

  • hands-on physical assessment

  • depending on the nature of your dog’s situation, stretches and simple exercises can also be discussed

  • massage if the dog is willing (often a dog is not ready for full massage at the first appointment but I will take the time to make this a positive and relaxing experience, allowing them to make positive associations for the next visit)

  • a follow up call the next day to see how your dog is doing and to give you the opportunity to ask any further questions you may have

What should I expect from subsequent appointments?

I will carry out a gait analysis and hands-on physical assessment at each appointment before beginning the massage. This is to check for any changes, improvements or any new issues which may have arisen since the last appointment. We can also review your exercise/stretching programme if appropriate. Please note that it may take 2-3 sessions for your dog to relax and settle for a full massage.

Is there anything I need to do to get my dog ready for the appointment?

It is important that your dog has had the opportunity to toilet shortly before the appointment time and that they have not eaten within an hour of the appointment. I strongly recommend that you also exercise your dog before the appointment if possible, as this helps them to relax and focus on the massage.

What should I do after the appointment?

Your dog may want a drink and a chance to relieve themselves, so making sure they have access to clean water and an opportunity to go outside is important. Depending on the age and condition of your dog, and the type of massage used, they may be tired or energised. A short, brisk leash walk is a good way to help flush toxins out of the body and integrate the work that has been done. Equally they may be tired as massage can be quite a work out especially for older bodies. Listen to your dog and let them guide you on what they need.

What if I need to reschedule my dog’s massage?

Life happens and sometimes we need to reschedule appointments. I request that you give at least 24 hours notice if you need to reschedule without charge. Please note that I can only reschedule appointments twice without charging the full cost the session. The full fee for the appointment will be retained for reschedule request with less than 24 hours notice or a no-show. In cases where there is a genuine illness or emergency, waiving this fee may be considered at the therapist’s discretion.

How often should my dog have a massage?

Initially, I recommend massage once a week for 6 weeks for your dog to feel the full benefits and integrate the work. After this initial period, this could be reduced to once every 2-3 weeks depending on the individual case and the anticipated outcomes. It is not recommended to massage a dog more than once in a 24 hour period.

Are there any situations in which massage is not recommended?

Yes: There are certain circumstances where massage is not appropriate

I will not perform massage on your dog:

· Over areas of encapsulated cancer, as massage could an isolated condition

· Over open wounds or blisters

· Over recent fractures. Massage around the fracture is acceptable but only after it has been cleared by a veterinarian

· If a fever is present, as massage can flush things through the body

· If the dog is in shock

· If the dog is on antibiotics for an infection

· More than once in a 24 hour period

· If the dog does not want a massage as I will not disrespect the dog’s wishes or boundaries