What to Expect At During a Canine Massage Session
Since all massage sessions are tailored to each specific canine client, some of the descriptions below are generalizations of the overall canine massage process.

Information Gathering. In addition to the dialog between you and your canine provider, you will be asked to fill out and sign a form about your dog's overall health and nutrition, and your reasons for bringing your canine companion in for a massage. The backside of this form also includes important information about what a canine massage provider can and cannot do, which you will also be asked to sign.

This form helps protect all parties; the information about your dog will not only help the massage provider start to formulate a massage plan specifically tailored to your companion, but can also help alert the provider to those cases where the dog should not be massaged. The disclaimer notice outlines the responsibilities of both the massage provider and the human client with regards to each massage session.

For more information on this subject, please see Consumer Information.
Gait analysis. If the massage provider has not observed your dog before, you may be asked to walk and trot your dog at the beginning of the massage session. This allows the massage provider to visually spot areas of your dog that may need special attention. In the most simplistic terms, how your dog is built and how he/she moves can give a good indication of which muscles and muscle groups may need special attention. You may also be asked to repeat the exercise at the end of the session to see what the massage has accomplished, and note areas that may still need work at further massage sessions.
The Massage. The massage itself will generally take place on a massage table, although in some special cases (such as overly fearful dogs or giant breeds) it can be done on the floor. How the massage proceeds will depend on your dog's demeanor and your dog's special needs. The dog may be at times standing, sitting, or lying on it's side depending on the comfort level of the dog and what the massage provider is trying to accomplish. The human companion will usually be asked to remain at the table with the massage provider throughout the massage, and the dog will be helped off the table at its completion to avoid injury. Please note that the massage will be terminated immediately if the massage provider finds any contra indication for massage, or the dog exhibits aggression.

Length of Massage Session. Massage sessions average about 30-40 minutes total. The length of the actual massage may vary somewhat depending on your dog. If massage is going to be of value to your canine companion, it is important that the experience, especially if it is the first one, is a pleasant one. While most dogs enjoy the experience even the first time, if your dog is restive, the length of the actual massage may be shortened.

Cost of a Massage Session. Massage sessions cost $30 each. Please note however, that at dog shows, store openings, and other such special events, 15-minute introductory, cool-down and warm-up massages are offered for $20.
What can you do to prepare for a massage session? There are plenty of dog biscuits on hand for those dogs that need coaxing through new experiences - but if you have just such a dog with special dietary needs, please bring some appropriate treats. If your dog is being treated by a veterinarian for a physical ailment, please check with him/her regarding the appropriateness of canine massage.