Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bodywork and Rehabilitation

What is canine bodywork?

Canine bodywork is the hands-on manipulation of soft tissue for the purpose of increasing circulation, relaxing muscle spasms, enhancing muscle tone and increasing range of motion.

What types of dogs should receive bodywork?

Bodywork can increase comfort and promote joint mobility in older dogs, and can quickly acclimate puppies to human touch. Using bodywork on post-operative dogs can shorten recovery time, and dogs with emotional issues often relax after bodywork sessions. Competitive canines enjoy improved athletic performance, and even dogs without any specific health problems benefit from maintenance bodywork sessions.

Can you diagnose my dog’s illness/lameness?

No, that is a job for your veterinarian. Bodywork is never used to diagnose or treat pain or injury, or prescribe or administer treatment of any nature for the prevention or relief of bodily injury.

How often should my dog receive bodywork?

The frequency of a bodywork program depends on many factors, including the dog’s age, show schedule, workload and overall health. Generally, dogs benefit most from a massage every 6-8 weeks. For those dogs recuperating from orthopedic surgery or a sport-specific muscle injury, weekly sessions may be recommended.

Will bodywork affect my dog’s training/show schedule?

No. While some dogs experience a slight stiffness the day after a session, you do not need to alter your training or show schedule.

Are there times when my dog should NOT receive bodywork?

Yes. Dogs that are in shock, running a fever, suffering from a skin disease or have been diagnosed with cancer should not be massaged. Bodywork is never used on areas of heat or swelling. If your dog is suffering from an acute injury, he should first be seen by your veterinarian.

Why do you work on the entire dog when only a specific muscle seems sore?

It is important to evaluate the entire animal. Often, the muscle that seems the most sore is compensating for an underlying issue. A full-body session is necessary in creating an overall balance in the body.