Whether this is your pet’s first or fifth massage, you may have questions about what to expect or about massage in general. The following is a list of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Zen.Dog from our clients, along with their answers. If you have a question that is not addressed on this page, please feel free to contact us at 844-4-ZEN-DOG (651-788-9526).
What Are the Benefits of Animal Massages?
Just as with humans, there are many benefits to massage for animals, including those to the:
- Circulatory system: encourages development of stronger cardiac muscle, improves oxygen supply to cells, and decreases blood pressure
- Digestive system: relaxes intestinal muscles, stimulates digestion, improves blood flow to digestive tract, stimulates liver and kidney function, and improves appetite
- Muscular system: relaxes or stimulates muscles to relieve soreness, tension, stiffness, and weakness; mobilizes soft tissues; and improves joint flexibility
- Nervous system: relieves pain, stimulates motor nerves, relieves restlessness and sleep disturbances, and improves proprioception or awareness of one’s own body
- Respiratory system: improves respiration and encourages deep cleaning and relaxing breath
- Lymphatic system: drains stagnant lymph nodes, stimulates movement of lymphatic fluid, and cleanses body of metabolic waste.
- Integumentary system (skin): improves tone and elasticity of skin, stimulates follicular oils and sebaceous glands, improves quality of coat, and removes dead skin and loose hair.
- Skeletal system: improves alignment of skeletal structures without force
What Conditions Can an Animal Massage Improve?
A massage can be used for a number of conditions, including helping an animal with sore muscles and assisting one that’s learning how to relax and be less hyper in the house. Massages are also believed to provide benefits in the area of behavior modification.
What’s Typically Involved in an Animal Massage Session?
A typical session includes a short welcome by our animal masseuse about your fur baby and a discussion of his/her behavior. If it’s your first visit, she discusses expectations you may have and how you see massage fitting into your overall wellness plan for your companion. Next, she focuses on allowing him/her to relax and prepare to receive a massage. At the start of the massage, she palpates for any trigger spots that may be lurking, and she proceeds with the massage.
Each session ends with the development of a plan moving forward to keep your pet comfortable. If you book a 30-minute session, your animal will get approximately 20 minutes of actual massage. The remaining time is used for the pre- and post-massage discussions.
Is Sedation Involved?
No chemical sedation is required for the vast majority of animals. For some of the more energetic ones, they may need a session or two to really begin to understand and accept the massage. But once they are acclimated, animals will readily accept massage. Massage is used to relax the body and mind, which in turn provides a certain level of sedation.
What If My Pet Doesn’t Respond Well to the Massage?
Depending on how your pet responds, there are many different types of massage that could be employed. If your dog is a Frenchie, looking to relax before going into the show ring, an overall gentle massage may be right for her. If your border collie is running his final agility run for the championship, a more targeted muscle relaxing deep tissue massage may be more appropriate. Or if your Labrador is recovering from hip replacement, we may employ many different types over a long period of time as prescribed by your veterinarian.
What Kinds of Animal Massage Services Do You Provide?
Zen.Dog Massage provides maintenance, performance, and rehabilitation massage.
For What Species Do You Provide Massage Services?
Our general focus is canines, but we can provide massage to all sorts of companion and working animals, from police dogs to the classroom pet bunny to pot belly pigs to lizards of all sizes. Massage can provide many benefits to most animal species, so why not give it a try?
How Often Does My Pet Need a Massage?
For most companion animals, weekly or monthly massage is a good place to start, depending on your budget. For working and competing animals, we recommend at least weekly and before, during, and after competitions, if possible. If the massage is part of physical therapy for an illness, injury, or surgery recovery, the massage frequency can be determined by your veterinarian. We are more than willing to work with any veterinarian!