Why should my dog get a massage ?
Massage provides many benefits overall for your dog's physical and emotional well being. It is also a great way to show your dog that you care. Massage can be very relaxing and calming for your dog as well. Please see the "Holistic Services" page for more information.
What’s the point of animal massage?
Video of Lola Michelin, director of Northwest School of Animal Massage at Oregon Humane Society
Isn't massage just another form of glorified petting to the dog?
Massage provides many benefits beyond simplified petting. Massage manipulates muscles to promote circulation to all the tissues and organs of the body. Massage uses many different hand positions and strokes. Massage technique is determined by each individual's needs. The massage therapist decides how to make a stroke the most effective by depth, direction and duration.
What kind of massage do you offer?
Animal Wellness Connection offers Maintenance Massage for healthy animals. Maintenance Massage maintains a specific level of health and fitness. It can also help growing puppies helping to reduce aches and pains associated with fast growing muscles and bones. It can even help socialize puppies to human touch. Sports Massage can optimize performance potential and help limit risk for injury. Rehabilitation massage and help rehabilitate an injury or illness or assist in the healing process after surgery by enhancing the lymph circulation and possibly shorten the recuperation time. Traumatized or anxious dogs may find massage a tool to reach inner tranquility and calmness. We also have a special massage routine for geriatric dogs that have aging problems such as arthritis and mobility issues. Massage can be very relaxing for them and help with pain management.
What if my dog does not want massage?
I never force massage. I do not apply excessive pressure. We work with each individual, slowly introducing massage. It may take several times for a dog to be comfortable enough to relax and enjoy the massage session. If your dog does not accept massage there is no charge for it. Most dogs readily accept the massage therapy sessions from the beginning. After awhile they may come to you and push their favorite body parts against you and demand you massage them. Some dogs will close their eyes, curl their toes like a cat, lean onto your hands, or burrow into your hands and arms. Some are even known to fall asleep.
How long does a massage session last?
The length of a massage session depends on each individual animal. Our massage sessions are customized to the animals health and current conditions and needs. Some animals get restless or need to move after a certain length of time, some get very relaxed right away and enjoy every minute they can get. Some animals take a little longer to get accustomed to being touched. Length of time for a massage session is on a case by case basis lasting anywhere to 45 to 60 minutes. Some as long as 90 minutes.
Can you give massage to any other animal then a dog?
I can give massage to dogs, cats, rabbits and other small animals such as ferrets, and guinea pigs, provided they are able to accept massage. I can do Raindrop Technique to horses, dogs and people. I can not do massage on people. I am fully certified in small animal massage through the Northwest School of Animal Massage, nationally certified with the NBCAAM and licensed through the state of Washington. License # AS60290341. The state of Washington now requires that all animal massage therapists carry a state license. There is a license for large animals (horses and livestock) and a separate license for small animals. Protect your pet and be sure that your massage therapists is licensed through the state and trained for animal massage.
What is the difference in Raindrop Technique and Massage Therapy?
Raindrop Technique involves the use of essential oils with some Vitaflex Massage technique and other massage strokes. Raindrop Technique method combines the art of aromatherapy with massage to bring balance and harmony to the body physically, mentally, and emotionally. I use only the purest form of essential oils.
I would like to have my dog have hydrotherapy but he is terrified of water?
A lot of owners tell me this. But we work with the dog in a gentle and slow loving manner. A therapist is always with your dog in the water all times. Most times with beginning water therapy we fit your dog with a safety life preserver. You can be present to watch your dog from the pool area. This helps reassure your dog when they can see you. We cradle your dog in our arms and let them float in the water. It usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes for your dog to completely relax. They don't always swim the first few sessions but most do. Just being in the water floating is very therapeutic. After they relax and become more comfortable, we work with them at their own speed to feel confident to do some assisted swimming.
Can I bring my dogs in together just for some fun recreational swimming?
At this time we are keeping the pool for more therapeutic and conditioning swim therapy. Since we are the only available canine hydrotherapy pool in the area and due to the fact that there are so many dogs that are in need of hydrotherapy, there just isn't enough time to allow for group fun swim sessions. We may consider this in the future.
Why are hydrotherapy times scheduled for one hour? Does my dog swim that long?
We need an hour to go over medical history, access dog's current needs, fit the dog with necessary equipment, then we have pool time, water and land massage is done as needed. Then there is time needed to get out of the pool and get dried off. Swimming for 5 minutes is equal to doing a 5 mile jog. Most of the hour will be spent in the pool. So no, your dog will not be swimming the full hour. We give them resting time in between swimming and do massage in and out of the water as well.
I am concerned about putting my dog in a pool with chlorine chemicals. How can I be sure my dog will be safe?
You are very correct to be concerned about the safety of chlorine in pools when it comes to dogs. First, the smell alone is very distasteful to dogs. Second chlorine can be very harsh to the dog's skin. Therefore we do not use any chlorine chemicals in our hydrotherapy pool. The pool is kept safe by the use of UV to kill any potential harmful bacteria or bugs that could get in our pool. We also use bromine tabs which is very gentle and with very little detectable odor to keep our pool clean. We also clean the pool between each session.
What if my dog has an accident in your pool?
We take every precaution to see that this does not happen. We ask for your help in preventing this. Dogs that are scheduled for pool therapy should not eat at least 4 hours prior to their scheduled time. They can have all the water that they want to drink before and after. They may drink more then usual after they have their session and this is normal. It is also beneficial when they drink more to help remove toxins from their body. We also ask that prior to entering our facility that you make use of grassy area by our building to give your dog a chance to relieve themselves. Accidents do happen and they are rare, but keep in mind that if they do we will be forced to shut down the pool area. The pool will have to be drained and refilled and reheated before we can let another dog use the pool. This will take 2 days to complete and any dogs that were scheduled will need to be rescheduled. This can also be very expensive for us. So help us keep costs down and keep the pool running by following the tips mentioned above.
Can my cat have a hydrotherapy session?
Yes we do cats as well and yes cats can swim. If you have an elderly cat who suffers from arthritis, warm water hydrotherapy is wonderful for helping to ease pain and provide comfort. Cats of course are handled in a different way and we make every effort to help them feel at ease in the pool.
I am interested in one of your fitness classes. What if I am not in very good shape?
Not a problem, We have classes just for you. They are at a slow pace and you never have to do anything that you are uncomfortable with.
My dog has not been exercised for a long time and the vet is recommending that I get him out more often.
Sounds like the senior class might be your best bet. This class is low keyed and at a slow pace. Even though you may not have a senior dog you might want to check out this class or if your dog is overweight, you may want to go in that direction. Either way, we go much slower and ease into an exercise routine that will accommodate your dog.
I am not available during your scheduled class times but I really would like to have my dog have fitness time. Can you help me with this?
We also have private sessions with a canine fitness coach that are scheduled appointments. That way, it is on your time and your dog will get fitness time in. If you don't have time for an appointment, consider our drop off service. We can coach your dog while they are here for what they need and when they are done of when you get off work you can pick them up. Have a competition dog and want to keep them in shape and toned up. You can use our drop off service for this as well.
I love your fitness center. Is there a way for me to come more often and use your fitness gym?
Yes you can. You can join our K-9 Fitness Club and during open floor time you can come in and use our equipment as often as you like. We have open floor times during the day, some evenings and on weekends. Check our schedule for those times. The monthly fee is very reasonable and you and your dog can have fun and enjoy the gym no matter what the weather is outside.
I would love to have my kids and their dogs join in on the fitness class. Do you have special accommodations for kids?
Yes we do. We have classes on hand most of the time made just for kids to enjoy their dogs and get exercise. Children must be at least 9 years of age to enroll and be able to control their dogs at all times. Only one dog per child. Children must have a parent or guardian present and be supervised at all times.
Are kids allowed to use the pool?
No, due to safety reasons and insurance requirements.
Do you groom cats and dogs?
Yes we groom all breeds, big or small, cats and dogs.
My dog is a pitbull and difficult to groom. Would you groom my dog?
We take in all dogs, including the more difficult dogs. As long as the dog will not be a safety concern for our personnel, we take the time to help them feel comfortable with us. They may need more time so they are not rushed and for us to groom them in stages to make their stay with us more enjoyable. We are a spa and we want our clients to feel pampered.
I want more pizazz for my dog's grooming. Do you have other services other then a basic groom?
Yes we do. We offer mud baths and blueberry facials. And if you are looking for a little more glitz we can paint toenails, apply feathers and rhinestones, and do some airbrushed colors that can be washed out. Just let know when you want that extra special touch of glam for your sweetie.
I have heard some horror stories in the media about dogs being severely injured or even killed from the use of cage dryers, how will I know that my dog won't have this happen to them?
This is a very good question and one that is a concern for us as well. Yes, unfortunately there have been some very tragic accidents in grooming salons from the use of cage dryers. We don't have cage dryers for that very reason. We hand dry all of our clients. Sometimes we have a client that does not like blow dryers, especially around the head. In those cases we just use towels to dry and let them sit comfortably and air dry. For that reason we may ask to keep your pet here longer so that they can have time to dry before they go home.
What is the average time that my dog will be in your salon to be groomed?
Every dog is different and we want them comfortable
and relaxed when they go home. We don't want to rush him and we don't do grooming like an assembly line. We want our clients to enjoy their stay and leave feeling pampered. Some older dogs need lots of TLC and need to be groomed in stages so they don't feel overly tired. Young dogs or new dogs must also be groomed slowly so that their first experience will be a good one. We will try to give you an estimate on how long they will need to be here and if we find that it takes longer we will notify you of any changes. If you need to drop off before you go to work and pick up after you get off work, you are welcome to do so. While they are here they will be provided water, walked, and have potty breaks. And they get to spend some time in our fitness center for play breaks. If you need to drop off before our scheduled opening times, let us know prior and we will see if someone can be here at the time you need. If you have a dog that does get very vocal while they are with us we may need to have you pick them up right away when they are done. We will call you for the pick up time. We have to be courteous to our neighboring business's.
I have allergies to just about everything including scents.
We have special shampoo's and rinses that are unscented. Just let us know.
My dog has lots of skin allergies.
We have special gentle shampoo's and coat conditioners made without harsh chemicals that have special essential oils and made just for your dog. We also have special products made for dogs or cats with dry skin problems. Just let us know.
Do you have services for just getting a nail trim.
Yes we do. Yes we have drop in services. Just let us know what time you would like to come in so that we can be sure someone will be here to accommodate you.
My dogs coat is very matted and I don't want him clipped.
We will do our very best to meet your request. However some mats can be very close to the skin. To try to get the mat out may end up being very painful for the dog. We won't proceed if dematting the coat will cause the dog pain. In that case we can only recommend having the dog shaved and to start over with a new coat. After which we would be happy to show you how you can care for their coat at home to ensure that the mats don't come back.
I want to stay with my dog while it is being groomed.
We don't recommend that you are with your dog while they are being groomed. You will be surprised to learn that some dogs that appear very anxious when you drop them off will usually become relaxed and calm when you leave, very much like kids. When they see you they may whine and carry on hoping you will rescue them because they would rather not get a bath. Kind of like kids who are perfect angels when you drop them off with someone else and misbehave when you have them with you. Dogs learn how to get their way! You are welcome to wait in our comfortable waiting room if you like . Have a cup of coffee and enjoy some of our reading material and we also have cable tv for your to watch.