Please review the common questions we receive. If you don’t see the answer, then click on the last question to send us your own inquiry.
Animal massage, also known as pet massage or animal bodywork, is a therapeutic practice that involves applying manual techniques to the muscles and soft tissues of animals. It is similar to human massage therapy but is specifically tailored for animals. Animal massage is primarily performed by trained professionals known as animal massage therapists or practitioners.
Here are some key points about animal massage:
Purpose: Animal massage aims to promote relaxation, reduce muscle tension, relieve pain, enhance circulation, improve flexibility and range of motion, and support overall well-being in animals. It can be beneficial for various reasons, including rehabilitation from injuries, managing chronic conditions, promoting relaxation in anxious animals, and enhancing the performance of athletic animals.
Techniques: Animal massage therapists use a variety of massage techniques, such as effleurage (long, sweeping strokes), petrissage (kneading and squeezing muscles), friction (deep circular motions), compression (applying pressure to specific points), and stretching. The specific techniques and pressure applied may vary depending on the animal’s size, condition, and preferences.
Benefits: Animal massage has numerous potential benefits for animals. It can help relieve muscle tension and soreness, improve joint flexibility, enhance circulation and lymphatic flow, stimulate the release of endorphins (natural painkillers), reduce anxiety and stress, support the immune system, and aid in the healing process after injuries or surgeries. Additionally, it can strengthen the bond between the animal and the massage practitioner.
Types of Animals: Animal massage can be performed on a wide range of animals, including dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, and even larger animals like cows and elephants. Each animal may require specific techniques and considerations based on their anatomy, size, and temperament.
Professional Training: Animal massage therapy requires specialized training and certification. Animal massage therapists learn about animal anatomy, physiology, behavior, and appropriate massage techniques through formal education programs. It is important to seek out practitioners who are qualified and experienced in working with animals to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet.
Legal Considerations: The practice of animal massage may be subject to regulations and laws that vary by jurisdiction. Some areas require practitioners to hold specific certifications or licenses to perform animal massage legally. It is important to research and comply with the legal requirements in your location when seeking animal massage services.
Complementary Therapy: Animal massage is often used as a complementary therapy alongside veterinary care. It is not intended to replace veterinary treatment but rather to enhance the overall well-being of animals. It is recommended to consult with a veterinarian before initiating massage therapy for your pet, particularly if your pet has specific health conditions or is recovering from an injury or surgery.
Graduates go into private practice, work in veterinary clinics and even hydrotherapy centers. Other popular places of employment include grooming salons, doggy daycares and equestrian centers. Some practitioners specialize by working at racetracks or in particular disciplines. You can find detailed information here.
Our distance learning program allows you to study at your own pace using our printed materials and email exchanges with your online instructor. The 5-day practical is required for certification and gives you valuable hands-on experience. Practicals are currently held at our Vashon Island campus near Seattle and at several host facilities around the country.
Please visit the Course Catalog for a complete listing of our practical locations.
The distance learning program is a self-paced program and is required to be completed within 3 months from the day you enroll. On average, students take 2-3 months to complete the at-home portion of the course. Some students have completed the course in as few as 6 weeks. You can begin the at-home portion of the course as soon as you receive the materials.
It varies from state to state, although most states are still unregulated. Washington State no longer requires that you either work under veterinarian supervision or that you have a human massage license in addition to your animal training. You may now complete 300 hours of training to practice independently.
Check with your local legislature for updated information or call the office at 877.836.3703. You can also visit the International Association of Animal Massage & Bodywork website (www.iaamb.org) and view the Animal Massage Laws by State chart and additional information on their site.
The cost of our Foundation Level programs is $3000. This included the Distance Learning course, the hands-on Practical Course and the Case Study portion. Shipping and handling is not included.
Our advanced level training (Performance Massage and Rehabilitation Massage) cost $2400, plus shipping and handling of materials.
It is possible to enroll and pay for the distance-learning portion and the hands–on practical separately.
The program costs include instruction, materials, and all associated fees.
Washington has three pathways for individuals to enter the animal massage profession.
If you are a Registered Veterinary Technician, you may provide animal massage under the supervision of a veterinarian upon completion of training (Level 100 course).
If you are a Licensed Massage Practitioner, you may complete 100 hours of training in animal massage and practice independently.
If you are an unlicensed individual, you must complete 300 hours of training (Level 100 and either Level 200 or Level 300) to practice independently.
Anyone may provide animal massage services as a volunteer or without charge. Animal Massage Practitioners by legal definition may not diagnose, prescribe or provide a prognosis for any condition.
You may find our class schedule by clicking on the CATALOG button on the left-hand navigation bar on our website, or by clicking here.
Yes, students in any country may take our distance learning class. We have graduates from all over the world. Our practicals are available in the U.S. with plans to return to Canada and overseas in the future. Classes can also be hosted anywhere in the world if you have a group (minimum class size of 6).
Please visit our contact page for more information. Below the Inquiry area you will see links to downloadable copies of our brochure and course catalog. If you are still in need of further assistance, please send us an email with your mailing address and we will gladly send you a printed copy of our catalog.