Okay, now, the nitty gritty…what happens at the first pet massage appointment (Part 1).
So, I’ve arrived at your house with drop sheet, a floor mat type bed (unless you already have this sort of thing at your end that you don’t mind me using), antibacterial gel and a hand towel, along with the case history form with the info you’ve provided me with.
The first thing that happens is I ask any follow up questions based on the info you sent me in your case history form. In some cases, a possible contraindication may have arisen, which will affect the appointment going forward. Click HERE to see a list of contraindications. In most cases, if a contraindication arises, it simply means massage will need to be modified or postponed, and we will have dealt with this prior to my arrival for your pet’s first session,
Then I wash up and put the drop sheet on the bed, so everything’s ready for the first massage...
Before we go forward with the massage, however, I will have to assess your pet. First, I will assess their stance by having them stand/stacked on the floor on all fours…I review their “posture” from the front, back and side at their level. Then it’s time to assess their gait. I watch them walk, then jog away and towards me, and then from the side, again, at their level (on the floor or ground if we’re outside). The last thing I do before their massage is palpation - I stroke down from the base of the skull (about an inch or so away from the spine) to the base of their tail, then rake (splayed fingers) down through their hips/haunches, then barrel, then shoulders/arms — all this first on one side, then the other. I’m looking for temperature, muscle tone, and sensitivity.
JOIN MY EMAIL LIST AND STAY INFORMED ON ALL THINGS CANINE AND FELINE MASSAGE! I’LL BE POSTING A VIDEO OF SHIH TZU, HOLLY’S FIRST MASSAGE APPOINTMENT, SO YOU CAN SEE IT FOR YOURSELF…YOU CAN JOIN VIA THE POP-UP AVAILABLE ON EVERY PAGE. OR CLICK HERE.
I'll be posting again tomorrow about what happens after palpation, taking you through the first massage portion of the appointment!
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Regan is a certified Canine Massage Therapist (CCMT), has certification in First Aid and CPR for Pets, and some beginner training in Herbal Remedies and Aromatherapy for personal use.