Massage Therapy

Canine Massage – a Holistic approach for comfort and balance

Please remember to always check with your veterinarian first!

Our canine buddies are always ready to spring into action and follow us, doing more than their bodies can physically handle at times.  While a massage is a holistic approach to help bring comfort to dogs with arthritis, dysplasia and other orthopedic conditions, it also benefits older dogs to relieve some of the aches and pains of aging through gentle touch.  Massage increases and balances the circulation of all fluids in the body and can sometimes help with mood changes and chronic anxieties, such as separation issues and dog and food aggression.

Benefits of a canine massage include:


  • Muscle tone and range of motion
  • Circulation of the blood and lymph fluid which helps eliminate toxins.
  • Oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues.​
  • Psychological well-being!
  • Relaxation
  • Happy (feel good) hormones such as dopamine and serotonin
  • The human-to-pet bond​


  • ​​​Pain, stress, tension, and soreness
  • Anxiety behaviors
  • Recovery time after injury or surgical procedure
  • Blood Pressure
  • Swelling and edema
  • Cortisol levels “stress hormones”

Many of us have said, “I massage my dog every day.  What’s the difference?”  According to Shonna Bender, Certified Canine Massage Therapist and Reiki Master, what people do is “pet” their dogs, which is so important, but there is a huge difference between petting and a therapeutic massage that utilizes specific strokes and pressures.

Since many of our rescues are seniors, we asked Shonna to share with us how they could benefit from a massage and she had this to offer:  “If a dog has developed atrophy from aging or is recovering from an injury or surgery, it is beneficial to consult a trained therapist to guide you on pressure and contraindications, as well as to teach you to properly apply strokes.  Especially with atrophy of the hamstrings, owners have a tendency to forget about massaging the front of the dog – the neck, chest and legs – but those are the areas doing the extra work as the back end loses strength.  A trained therapist can develop a good routine for you to follow to massage your dog and improve their quality of life.”

A special thanks to: Shonna L. Bender, LMT, BCTMB ~FL License #MA70590
Certified Canine Massage Therapist, Reiki Master



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