The first known reference of the art of massage for humans was in about 3000 BC. This is documented in book that was written in China about that time, covering touch points and healing powers of massage. At that time, very few dogs were domesticated, much less benefiting from the healing touch.
While canine massage has been around for several thousand years, only since the 1990’s has canine massage emerged as a viable technique to help ease symptoms of arthritis, severe anxiety, and for help with recuperation from surgery. Massage, like any other complementary therapy, should always be approved by your veterinarian, who is familiar with your dog’s physical condition.
Benefits of canine massage are to relieve stress, reduce pain, produce a calm state of being, and improve blood and lymph circulation but, equally importantly, it also enhances the human/animal bond both for the owner and the dog.
Right here in Sarasota, Jenifer Funk, a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Canine Massage Therapist, is practicing canine massage and sharing her skill with dog lovers across the county. About 2 years ago Jen went through an intensive 100-hour training program to become certified as a Canine Massage Therapist. Jen and her business partner Katie Jones, who is completing a Canine Massage Apprenticeship, also both work for the Sarasota School of Massage Therapy.
Jen and Katie massage both canines and their companions at their massage establishment, Abundant Life Massage, but they’ve been doing a lot of volunteer field work too. Recently at Ace Pet Resort, Jen worked on a retired Greyhound named Freedom. When Freedom’s leg broke, it wasn’t set. Through Jen’s work, Freedom is walking much better and is in less pain. A little Yorkshire Terrier, who was traumatized by surgery, is regaining confidence through massage therapy and even a paralyzed cat has benefited tremendously from Jen’s therapeutic massage.
The treatment experience for your dog would be much like what you experience when you go for a massage. Ambient lighting is dim, gentle music plays softly in the background. For dogs, the music is a special selection Through a Dog’s Ear, which is music that is slowed to less than 60 beats per minute. Your dog will be gently encouraged to sit and most likely will voluntarily stretch out to more fully enjoy the healing touch.
Canine Massage Sessions are available for $40.00 per session.
Classes to teach you to perform Canine Massage are available; the first set of six classes is $95.00.
You can contact Jen and Katie at
(941) 554-6789 office
665 S. Orange Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236