Dog Receiving Massage


Whether passive touch (simple laying of the hand onto a part of the body to induce warmth), or more involved techniques, the goal of massage is to keep the different systems of the body functioning at an optimum level in harmony together; in other words, be in balance.

Anne will take the time to connect with your dog or cat in a quiet and comfortable area. She considers the whole pet, taking into account emotional, environmental, genetic and physical factors to support your pet’s own ability to heal itself and live more comfortably.

Maintenance Massage

The body is made up of several different organ systems, none of which can work efficiently alone. Maintenance massage can help maintain homeostasis between these systems. It can bring comfort for an animal in emotional distress, or simply bring joy and relaxation.

Focus: Maintenance massage is focused on the healthy animal that is active and wishes to maintain that level of activity.

Intended For: All companion animals that may be athletic, geriatric or the working dog in the normal course of duty.

Dog Receiving Massage
  • Improve physical and psychological well-being.
  • Help maintain mobility for senior pets.
  • Decrease incidences of overuse/stress related injuries.
  • Maintenance massage may at times prevent chronic conditions and aid in early detection of sensitive or painful areas. Many issues can develop slowly over time, making bigger issues “appear suddenly” Regular massage can aid in the prevention and help reduce any number of mobility problems.

Frequency: Sessions can be scheduled 1-2 times per month depending on the animal’s needs and goals.

Rehabilitation and Hospice Massage

In the case of illness or injury, massage can assist with productive healing and pain management. In addition to medical diagnosis and treatment, massage therapy can play a vital role in keeping our animals comfortable. It can help enhance your pet's quality of life when faced with chronic conditions.

Focus: Aiding the body to facilitate natural healing, reduce pain and to provide comfort. Hospice Massage can assist when end of life is near, and/or focus has changed from "cure" to comfort.

Intended For: Any animal that may be in a debilitated state due to illness or injury. A candidate should have a veterinary diagnosis and any massage sessions will compliment a treatment plan initiated by the veterinarian and others on the rehabilitation team. Consultation can be made with your veterinarian as needed.

  • Support immune function.
  • Dog Receiving Massage
  • Aid in the relief from orthopedic, neurological, or soft tissue conditions.
  • Help restore range of motion and address compensatory patterns of tension.
  • Prepare and assist the body for pre and post-surgery, enhancing the recovery process.
  • Facilitate the environment for proper scar tissue formation or remodel established (nonfunctional) scar tissue.
  • Aid in the relief of swelling/stagnation.
  • Rehabilitation massage may also reduce boredom and stress due to confinement or lack of activity.
  • Provide gentle therapeutic touch in the final stages of life. Read more in Questions and Concerns about End of Life care for Animals from AHELP Project.

Frequency: Sessions can be scheduled daily to every 5-14 days depending on the stage of recovery or ailment.


The response of the immune system is directly correlated to the health of the circulatory and lymph systems. Continuing reading below to learn about two specialty rehabilitative techniques.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Focus: Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a technique that uses very light pressure that purposefully influences the movement of lymph and the delicate network of conduits of which it travels. It can be used to address a specific area or address the entire system.

Intended For: An animal who may be in a compromised state due to illness or injury. Ideal for post-surgery cases.

Dog Receiving Massage
  • Bolster the immune system.
  • Decrease severity of inflammatory response.
  • Cleanse the body of waste products.
  • Stimulate fluid dynamics.

Frequency: On an individual case by case basis. The animal should be allowed to rest for at least two hours after a full body session, which can take upwards to 90 minutes.

Contraindications: Systemic fever, systemic infection, congestion of the heart and Lymphangitis

Circulatory Massage

Focus: Circulatory massage is a technique that uses very light pressure that purposefully influences arterial and/or venous blood flow. It can be used to address a specific area or address the entire system.

Intended For: Older and/or inactive animals. Ideal for pre surgery to prepare the body for trauma and speed recovery.

Dog Receiving Massage
  • Helps to increase movement of blood mechanically.
  • Aids to circulate medications.
  • Assists in moving fluids away from a site of concern in cases of inflammation and healing.

Frequency: On an individual case by case basis. A full body session is usually 30-45 minutes.

Contraindications: Presence of heart conditions, fever or recent stroke.


Anne is often asked if it’s safe to massage an animal with a heart condition. There is no simple yes or no answer to this question. It depends on the condition and/or the severity of the defect. Because massage can improve circulation, this will increase blood flow to the heart and in turn can be harmful or dangerous. In other cases, improved circulation can be beneficial. Having a proper diagnosis is important when deciding if massage is right for your animal. Some examples of defects can range from valve malformations, narrowing of the vessels or abnormal openings between the heart chambers.