Hi, I'm Marion.
Accredited clinical canine massage therapist helping dogs stay active on the Gold Coast.
This is me with Yuki the Westie. He was my inspiration for Hot Doggity and lived an active and healthy life to almost 17 years old (2005-2022) while still walking daily.
I created Hot Doggity to combine my training and experience in dog behaviour and clinical dog massage to help restore mobility, confidence and happiness in our much-loved fur kids.
Thanks for taking the time to learn how I can work with you to energise your dog back to feeling like a Hot Doggity!
Benefits of Canine Massage
Our dogs perform so many roles in our lives – best friend, therapist, personal trainer and possibly backyard sporting legend. And sometimes roles we don’t welcome – anxious bodyguard, dog park boss, skateboard repellent, furniture & garden remodellor.
All these roles can cause our dogs mental stress and muscle tension, even muscle injuries as they age. Canine massage helps to re-energise your dog back to feeling like a Hot Doggity!
Do you want to see any of the following benefits?
A happier dog, engaging confidently with their surroundings again
A more sociable dog - willing to interact with people, play with other dogs happily and be touched again
Reduced anxiety when your dog is no longer protecting areas of injury or strain
Better sleep by reducing uncomfortable muscle spasms
Able to enjoy longer walks again
Increased mobility for going up & down stairs, on & off sofa, getting in & out of a car
Better pain management for orthopaedic conditions like arthritis, hip or elbow dysplasia
More youthful energy - feeling like a Hot Doggity again!
Clinical canine massage is a therapeutic treatment underpinned by an in-depth understanding of the dog’s muscolo-skeletal, circulatory, nerve and lymphatic systems and their role in normal healthy movement. I design a custom massage treatment around your dog's individual needs, areas of concern, your vet's advice and what your dog will accept. That's why you can't book a session online. It's important we discuss your dog's needs and get your vet's consent to treatment in advance.
The goal of canine massage is to support mobility and comfort and get your best friend feeling like a Hot Doggity again!
I work with all types of dogs in all life stages.
Helping to restore healthy condition to sore or injured muscles due to excessive running, leaping, playing or bumping other dogs.
Helping to relax the nervous system and release muscle tension causing irritation or pain to nerve endings.
Keeping joints supple, supporting muscle tone to help counter muscle wastage and support healthy blood circulation and lymphatic drainage to help keep your dog mobile.
Post Surgery Dogs
Working with you and your vet in the recovery process to soften scar tissue that forms in muscles and fascia post-surgery & rebuild muscle and joint flexibility.
This includes reviewing vet notes, gait (walk/run) visual assessment, palpation, taking a full history and a tailored clinical massage session (50-60 minutes) plus travel to and from your home on the Gold Coast, Queensland. I cover Northern Gold Coast down to Broadbeach. Longer distances attract a mileage fee.
10km travel distance included in standard fee. Additional mileage of 70cents/km for more distant locations. Contact me to arrange.
I am a qualified canine behaviourist and apply this skill when required to aid in massage for anxious dogs.
I don't provide dog training presently but can refer you to other local trainers.
I grew up loving "Missy" a Sydney Silky Terrier who slept curled in a ball in my bed when I was a teenager. Working overseas years later, my wife and I had longed for dog ownership but held off as we moved countries establishing our careers. We succumbed while living in Shanghai in 2005.
Oops, wrong breed!
After very thorough breed research we agreed on a Maltese Terrier for our high-rise apartment lifestyle. Due to my terrible Chinese language skills we came home with a West Highland White Terrier puppy we named "Yuki" – the Japanese word for snow. In retrospect, he was a gift from the universe.
Yuki taught us about 'westietude' - which is Westie attitude - and was an altogether different personality to the Maltese Terrier we had planned on. I needed professional help!
Oh! I love dog training!
Working in Bangkok in 2009-2010, I met Patrick Bundock of K9 Bangkok and Yuki and I finally started much-needed obedience training classes. If you're reading this, you're probably smart enough to know training is for the human, not the dog. Well, pretty soon I discovered a natural affinity and passion for understanding and motivating dogs and making it simple for us humans.
Next up we moved to Hong Kong and I completed the two-year Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour and Psychology from the Cambridge Institute of Dog Behaviour and Training (CIDBT, UK). I volunteered for SPCA Hong Kong to prepare rescue dogs for new homes and coached private clients with dog behavioural issues.
Older Dogs & Mobility
Moving to London in 2018, Yuki was by then 13 years old. Seeking a way to care for his older joints I researched massage. I had intended to do a 1 day introductory workshop. Two years later I graduated from the Clinical Canine Massage Practitioner course developed by Natalie Lenton of the Clinical Canine Massage Therapy Centre (UK).
Onto Hot Doggity
The experience of restoring energy and movement to dogs with muscle strains and other issues is hugely rewarding and drove me to develop Hot Doggity to optimise canine wellness.
Yuki lived to almost 17 years old in good health, walking daily. He crossed the Rainbow Bridge in early 2022. He was joined along our journey by our adorable clown "Bella" the now 14 year old Miniature Schnauzer from Hong Kong Dog Rescue and more recently, Kenji, the westie puppy. My passion for seeing happy mobile dogs are the reason I started Hot Doggity and love working with senior dogs so much.
As a qualified marketer, I've worked for Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, Revlon, Allergan (Botox) and Ogilvy/WPP to grow successful brands over 20 years, living and working in 8 countries. I graduated with Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and Masters in International Marketing, both from University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
A few of my Hot Doggity clients
Jazzy, aged 10
Mixed Breed, Romanian Rescue
“Jazzy was more playful and active after even the first massage session; now he’s running more and seems more joyful in the park. Several dog owners have commented on his new lively behaviour.”
Carol, North London
Jay Jay, aged 12
“Jay Jay had an almost permanent limp from pain in his right shoulder. Last week after treatment for the first time in long while Jay Jay broke into a little trot and today a trot and skip in the park. This is wonderful to see!”
Juliette, North London
Dave, aged 4
"Dave was happy and enthusiastic to arrive at each session and his knee seemed much better after treatment. He no longer lifts his leg and seems to be supporting his weight better. All round more flexible." Paul, Ascot
Can my perfectly healthy dog still benefit from massage?Absolutely, in the same way us healthy humans benefit from a good massage! Canine massage helps relax muscles, ease tension, improve blood circulation, ‘warm up’ the muscles for better performance in dog sports, improve lymphatic drainage of natural metabolic wastes from the dog’s muscles, improve handling of dogs, calm anxious dogs, improve skin and coat health, support joint flexibility and much more.
How many sessions does it take to see results?You can expect to see results in 1-3 sessions, ideally 7-10 days apart. Optimal results are seen after 3 treatments and I recommend a break after this for you to observe ongoing improvements and if the issues identified were resolved. Senior dogs typically benefit from maintenance sessions, and you will notice when it’s time to consider this. It may be a month or several months before a follow up session is beneficial.
What location is best for my dog's massage?I'm a mobile canine massage therapist and work in your home environment. We want your dog to feel comfortable and know everything is familiar. A quiet room away from TV, noise, young children and other pets is best. I work either on my own massage bed that I bring with me, or on a special vet bed mat on the floor depending on the size of your dog and its own preferences. One of my dogs LOVES the massage bed; one prefers the floor. It's personal.
Do I stay with my dog for the massage?Yes, it is essential for the consultation process and both you and your dog will benefit so much from doing this together. Your dog relies on you to make them feel comfortable, relaxed and handle them the way they like. They trust you and will relax more and trust me more with you there for reassurance. Also, this is your chance to ask questions and learn more about your dog’s amazing body and how they move. Very occasionally I may ask you to sit a little apart from your dog. This would only be if they are too focused on interacting with you and therefore unable to relax.
When is massage not appropriate?Contraindications to massage include canine cancer, pregnancy, injuries not fully healed like bone fractures or open wounds and uncontrolled epilepsy. Ideally 6 months of medication-managed epilepsy is required before treatment, but your vet will confirm suitability if this applies.
What happens to my dog after the massage?Much like we might get up off the human massage bed and feel like a nap or a big drink of water afterwards, your dog will be in recovery too. They are likely to be more relaxed, even a little lethargic. It is perfectly normal for them to experience what’s called the “Healing Crisis” for 24-48 hours while their body is cleaning out all the metabolic waste products and re-adjusting post massage. Not all dogs experience this. Some bounce right back after shaking themselves off. I recommend rest, no further walks or play sessions for the rest of the day and a reduced meal size at their next feeding time. Your dog may drink more water, urinate more frequently, not want to play with other dogs in your home and sleep a bit more to recover. A lot like you might do after a good therapeutic massage too. Always contact me or your vet if you see any behaviour that concerns you following a massage.
Why does my vet need to give consent?Hot Doggity acknowledges and respects the important diagnosis skills of vets and works with vet consent and guidance on any existing medical issues. Understanding your dog’s medical history, vet advice and gaining consent is an essential step in designing a tailored massage session to support your dog’s unique needs. In some cases massage therapy is part of a rehabilitation program post-surgery and its essential we provide joined up care to restore your best friend back to Hot Doggity status!