Frequently asked questions

There are many questions that our dog owners ask, here is more information about how dog massage can help.

We usually recommend a course of 3 or 4 treatments, with a week to 10 days between each session, as this produces the best results. Every dog is different and the number of treatments may vary, but our aim is to resolve or improve muscular issues in 1-3 treatments.

Dogs with orthopaedic conditions, such as arthritis, will benefit from on-going maintenance treatments to help keep them comfortable, more flexible and more mobile.

The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 stipulates that only a registered veterinary surgeon may perform an act of veterinary surgery on an animal. Apart from the obvious definitions, the term ‘veterinary surgery’ also covers those disciplines of physical manipulation therapy, which includes physiotherapy, chiropractic osteopathy and massage. Therefore, it is illegal for a canine massage therapist to undertake massage treatment, without the express permission from the vet with which the animal they are intending to treat is registered.

A vet understands the reflexive effects of massage on all the body’s systems and will be aware of any aspects where massage could be detrimental to the animal’s health. Therefore, before any massage treatment is undertaken, a diagnosis must be performed initially by a vet, which in turn protects the health and welfare of the animal.

Massage is not a cure-all treatment. Its application needs to be considered together with the appropriate course of medical care, which may also include medication. Suffice it to say that only a vet can prescribe and be responsible for a credible healing remedy which will promote an overall effective recovery.

The Veterinary Surgeons Act allows the therapist to practise within the confines of a set of legal rules. This lends an amount of reassurance under the law which you can have confidence in.

You will be satisfied that the therapist has to be properly trained to a professional standard, qualified and insured, and that any treatment they intend to provide has been discussed and endorsed by a vet. In this way, the integrity of the therapist is assured by the accompanying veterinary surgeon.

Absolutely. We have the appropriate therapist insurance for canine massage.

The initial consultation will last about 1.5 hours and includes a review of your completed consultation form, static and gait analysis, as well as a full massage treatment. Subsequent treatments will take 45-60 minutes.

Prior to a massage treatment, please be aware of the following:

  1. Please do not feed and exercise your dog three hours prior to the treatment (exercise means hard exercise).
  2. Please ensure your dog has had a chance to relieve itself before treatment.
  3. Try and avoid topical flea treatments within a couple of days of treatment.
  4. Your treatment must be postponed if you dog falls ill, such as sickness, diarrhoea or infection, or if the condition they are having treatment for has become markedly worse.
  5. If you are having any other treatments/therapies, it is best to leave at least 2 days between treatments.

It is difficult to predict how your dog will process the treatment. Some of the reactions both initially and on-going can be as follows:

  1. Sleep. Your dog will probably sleep very soundly for an unusual period of time. This is important as to heal the body needs to rest.
  2. Drink more than usual.
  3. Be very stiff. This is very common, as the treatment would have irritated the body and therefore the condition. In extreme cases your dog can be really stiff and look uncomfortable for up to 4 days.
  4. Dogs can also become very lively after a treatment. This would depend to a major degree on how sore your dog was before treatment and also what the treatment was for.
  5. They 
can be sick or have loose stools.
  6. They can become more playful or more interactive.
  7. Their behaviour may change (i.e. less/more anxious/grumpy).

After a massage treatment, please be aware of the following:

  1. Please do not feed your dog for 2-3 hours post treatment.
  2. Exercise after the treatment should be restricted to gentle lead exercise, and should be adhered over the next 4 days following treatment.
  3. Please ensure your dog has access to plenty of fresh water, as they might be tired and thirsty after the treatment.
  4. If your dog participates in sporting events/competitions, we advise no competition for 7-10 days.
  5. When you travel home, it would be advisable to lift your dog into the car; if you can, bring a bed with you to keep them warm during the journey home.

Combined with massage, we often use a Light Emitting Diode (LED) device called Photizo that emits red and infrared light, which penetrates the skin and can help to relieve pain, stimulate cells to repair and heal, reduce swelling and inflammation.

LED’s do not deliver enough power to damage the tissue, but they do deliver enough energy to promote natural self-healing and pain relief.

Red and infrared light has proven to be effective in the treatment of skin conditions, musculoskeletal problems (i.e. arthritis, ligament/tendon sprain/strains, muscle spasm), and post operative (any area treated surgically, including skin grafts).

In most cases, we prefer to treat your dog in your home. A comfortable, familiar environment helps to make you and your dog feel more relaxed during the treatment session. However, treatments can also take place at our location in Wallingford, Oxfordshire.

We cover the locations within 10-miles of Wallingford and will consider appointments further afield on a case by case basis, mileage beyond this maybe charged as extra.

Please get in touch and we can have an initial chat about your dog’s issues. We can then find a convenient date and time for the first appointment when we can meet both you and your dog.