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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect during and after my pet's massage?

Most pets settle into a massage session nicely but some dogs may take a couple sessions before they feel comfortable enough with a new person to settle and allow body work. Each massage session is 45-60 minutes long but will greatly depend on your dog’s needs and will include several stages. The opening of the massage allows your dog and I to get acquainted, this starts the minute we meet. The second stage is the palpation stage, an evaluation of your dog’s overall musculature, a check for areas of tension, and the mobility of the joints. This portion is vital to planning the areas of the body needing the most attention. Then we move into the substance of the massage. I will massage certain areas of the body with particular strokes based on observation and palpation. We finish with some light stretching and close with some final gentle strokes. A potty break shortly after a massage and a drink of water is recommended after massage. Most dogs feel revived and relaxed and will likely have an overall happy and calm deposition following a massage.

Massaging Gatsby at the dog massage studio
Jagger resting after his massage

Can I do anything to prepare my pet for a massage?

 At home massage by Whitney

Yes! It is best to schedule a massage at a time of day where your pet is normally most relaxed. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, so there are a few things you can do. Try to keep your dog’s routine as normal as possible. If able, take your dog for a walk before the massage session. Avoid meals for 2 hours prior to the massage and try to make sure they have gone to the bathroom. Having a comfortable, quiet space with limited interruptions for the massage is always encouraged.

Bear's arthrtic joints enjoying some relaxing massage

How often should my pet receive massage therapy?

Frequency of massage varies based on each individual’s needs. Pets recovering from surgery or senior pets often benefit from more frequent massage. Most of the pets I see benefit from massage every 1-4 weeks. 

holistic pet care for maggie with massage and acupressure

I think my pet is in pain. Can I try getting my pet a massage before seeking veterinary care?

Massage can not be a substitute for veterinary care and a massage therapist can not diagnose a condition. Though massage may be beneficial in most injuries or illnesses, it is the law in Oregon (and a good idea) that a veterinarian must sign a referral for a massage. I am happy to help facilitate a referral request to your regular vet.

I typically travel to client's homes because that is where pets and their family seem most comfortable but I do have a massage space (temperature controlled detached garage) that I see clients in. I also travel to quiet dog friendly offices, veterinary clinics and parks!  

Where is massage available for my pet?
pet massage studio in Beaverton Oregon
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