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 serious growth.

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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 from it.

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 required.

First Steps

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:

Equisage - A school which teaches you the art of canine massage.

Canine Massage Therapy Center - An example of a clinic which specializes in canine massage.

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Every Way to Make Money | Doing Canine Massage