Do Animals Like Massages? (Answered)


We all know the therapeutic benefits of massage and how effective it’s for humans. 

Also, pets like cats or dogs can enjoy numerous benefits when massaged.

So do animals like a massage?

Yes, animals like massage because of the calming or relaxing effects it has on them. For example, when you massage your dogs or cats at home, you observe they get calmer, less anxious, and even more obedient!

Do Animals Need Massage?

Yes, animals need massage because it’s a powerful healing therapy. Most times, animals get to enjoy the relationship with humans when they’re being massaged. Other reasons why an animal needs to get massage therapy is stated below:

  • Reduce discomfort related to hip dysplasia or arthritis
  • Increase blood circulation and oxygenation
  • Stress or behavior reduction
  • Pain relief
  • Liver and kidney stimulation
  • Increase flexibility
  • Improved immune system
  • Better digestion
  • Decreased blood pressure

What Is Massage Therapy For Animals?

Animal massage therapy is a job that requires the therapist to perform massages on animals.

These certified professionals can work together with animal owners, vets, and other related professionals to stimulate circulation, relax muscles and improve mobility in animals.

Animal massage therapists can either specialize by species. The equine massage therapist (horses) and canine massage therapist (dogs) happen to be the most common. However, other animal massage therapists work on a mix of small and large animals.

Below are other functions performed by an animal massage therapist:

  • These professionals can create and implement treatment plans according to the specific needs of an individual animal.
  • An animal massage therapist can document and evaluate the progress of animals.
  • They can help assess animals to identify any challenges they may have.
  • They can utilize hands-on massage techniques to manipulate soft tissues and muscles in the body of animals.
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Can A Massage therapist massage animals?

Yes, a massage therapist can massage animals. Besides, one of the things they are trained to do is massaging both humans and animals. Their training also helps them to rehabilitate, alleviate pain and swell in pets or animals.

Massage therapy can quicken the healing process in animals. It doesn’t matter whether it’s muscle spasms, strains, or sprains. 

Even some massage therapists claim that massaging animals can keep scar tissue to a minimum and at the same time improve the functions of their bodies.

How To Be An Animal Massage Therapist

Becoming a massage therapist is something that requires training, patience, focus, and compassion. The pathway to this career varies from one individual to another. And specific requirements are dependent on the city or country  of location.

Here are some of the requirements:

  • Education: A degree in any animal-related discipline is helpful but is not a necessary requirement. The key ingredient to success in this area is a thorough understanding of animal physiology, particularly muscle groups and how they function. Also, first aid training can be helpful for those looking to enter this profession.
  • Training: Although it is possible to learn the necessary techniques as a trainee or apprentice, most animal physical therapists complete one or more training courses.
  • Certification: Some states require certificates or proof of professional training. Contact the veterinary boards and health department for specific requirements.

How Much Does An Animal Massage Therapist Earn?

According to Northwest School of Animal Massage (NWSAM), animal massage therapists’ salaries usually mirror human massage therapists’ earnings.

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  • Median Annual Salary: $41,420
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $78,280
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $21,340

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

Additionally, animal massage therapists’ earnings can vary. This is based on job location, the number of clients, level of education achieved, and years of experience.

Animal Massage Therapist Skills & Competencies

For a person to become an accomplished massage therapist, they need the skills and qualities mentioned below:

  • Communication skills: A successful animal massage therapist has to have excellent communication skills. This enables him to share information about animals with pet owners, caretakers, and other professionals who work with them, such as veterinarians.
  • Compassion: if you’re not compassionate and can’t show respect or kindness toward pets and their owners, then this job isn’t for you
  • Physical strength and dexterity: An animal massage therapist must be able to effectively manipulate the muscles and soft tissues of the animals
  • Analytical skills: An animal massage therapist must assess the condition of an animal and its needs based on their behaviors and physical symptoms.

Also Read: How To Massage A Cat With Arthritis (Explained)

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Animals benefit from massage?

Yes, animals benefit from massage therapy. A nice massage will lengthen an animal’s stride, improve mobility, enhance fluid movement, reduce injuries, and promote muscle tone. To cut a long story short, regular massage can help improve an animal’s quality of life. 

Do pets need massages?

Yes, your pets need massage because this therapy can help their physical and mental health. Massage also eases pet anxiety and stress, reduces pain, increases blood flow, and deepens the bond they share with their owners.

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How can I learn animal massage?

A Nationally Board Certified Practitioner of Animal Massage must have completed a minimum of 200 hours of education. This includes extensive physiology, anatomy, kinesiology, pathology, ethics, behavior, and biosafety training. Also, you must have in your belt a minimum of 50 hours of hands-on training in massage.

Yes, it’s legal to practice animal massage in California. Besides, regulations requiring veterinary supervision in California state don’t exist. It’s noteworthy to mention you can practice animal massage in California without having any legal issues. But then you must not claim to treat any medical condition or do rehabilitation training.

Final Thoughts

Animal massage therapists are animal health professionals who utilize their profound knowledge of physiology, anatomy, and massage techniques to enhance the physical wellbeing of animals. 

In addition, several massage therapists who work with human clients add animal clients to their business.

Nevertheless, it’s safe to say animals don’t only like massage therapy, but they also need it. This is due to the numerous health benefits that come with getting massaged regularly. 

Lastly, we hope this article has helped answer some of your questions about animal massage.

Disclaimer:The information contained in this article is a result of in-depth research on the subject matter. This article is only for informational and educational purposes, and it’s not intended as medical or health advice. Hence, I suggest you always ensure to seek the opinion of your doctor or other qualified health personnel regarding any questions that relate to health objectives or medical conditions.

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