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  • 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!
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