Doing Canine Massage
By Eric Hammer
Believe it or not, canine massage is a real job. In fact,
it's becoming quite popular, especially for hyperactive dogs.
The idea is that you can give your dog a massage and it calms
him down so that he will act less crazy.
Canine massage is an outgrowth of the world of traditional
massage and that of animal massage in general. One common area
where the idea of giving an animal a massage has become well
established is in the area of equine massage (i.e. working with
horses). Canine massage is quite similar and is often prescribed
by a veterinarian for animals who are hyperactive or who seem
to be walking funny.
The business is still somewhat unusual and as such the field
is quite wide open. However, there are already a number of courses
you can take in canine massage that will help you learn how to
do it and a number of clinics currently exist that offer this
service for dogs.
How Much Can You Make?
Salary data on canine massage was difficult to come by since
the job is fairly unusual, however most clinics offering the
service tend to charge anywhere from $30-$80 per session. Considering
that Americans spend some $41 billion annually on their pets
it means that this is definitely an area that could see some
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Consider when working in this business also offering pet grooming
services. While a handful of clinics offer canine massage exclusively,
most also offer services to help groom pets, such as haircuts
for long hair dogs and shampoo and bathing services. The services
can be quite profitable and you could create a nice side business
Consider also talking to pet shops and ask them if they have
a canine massage therapist on staff. If they don't, you can ask
them if they would like to have you available on call. You could
work out of their premises and get more walk in business from
pet owners dropping by with their dogs for other services.
It also goes without saying that you must love working with
dogs in order to get into this business. If you like the concept
but don't happen to like dogs for whatever reason, consider going
into massage therapy for other kinds of animals such as horses
or even cats.
Qualifications / Requirements
A number of training programs exist to certify canine massage
therapists. In addition, it's a good idea to have at least some
human massage therapy classes under your belt so that you understand
the basic concepts behind massage, though this is not absolutely
Start by talking to people who already work in the field of
canine massage and ask if they will let you watch as they work.
While you can also take courses in order to get into this business,
nothing beats hands on experience. Once you are comfortable with
how it's done, consider offering home visits where you will work
with dog owners, both to massage their pets and to help them
learn how to do it themselves in between sessions.
Check out these helpful resources to find out more about becoming
a canine massage therapist:
- A school which teaches you the art of canine massage.
Massage Therapy Center - An example of a clinic which specializes
in canine massage.