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  • Canine Massage Therapy

    I have been a dog groomer for a little over seven years. I'm considering taking a class to be certified as a Canine Massage Therapist as a way to make extra income. Has anyone heard anything helpful about Canine Massage as an offered Grooming service or as a career?

  • #2
    I recently attended a massage class

    I recently attended a pet massage class at the Pacific Northwest Grooming Conference. The speaker, Lola Mitchell, owns the Northwest School of Animal Massage. www.nwsam.com She said that certified animal massage practitioners charge about the same hourly rate as human practitionaers do. So there is definitely money to be made in it, the classes through her school would run approx $3000 to get certified and do all the practicals etc, but it would be a financially rewarding career. I think it would be easy to add to your list of services, however we were informed that different states have different laws but if you are not certified you probably cannot use the word "massage" in your list of services.

    Audrey

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    • #3
      I got certified several years ago at a convention in Atlanta it was through a school in Ohio. Anyway, I have only been asked 2 times. But, I charge $1 per minute.

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      • #4
        The field is growing

        Along with all other pet services the massage field is growing and the money is definately there for the certified therapists. I've attended a few seminars on it but at this moment I don't have the time to follow thru though around here I know it would take off like wild fire. It's just another thing on my long list of goals I have not yet met, but someday ( sigh)

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        • #5
          When I was considering this, I did some research and found there is no national certification requirements to perform canine massage.

          These schools train you and give you a certificate, but, nationally, there is no licensing (or certification) program as there is for human massage or physical therapist.

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          • #6
            A good friend of mine is a canine massage therapist and spends most of her time working at a rehab facility where she does alot of hydrotherapy and rehabilitation that includes massage. It is very rare that a grooming client or someone off the street wants a massage for their pet. Most of her work comes from vet refferals for injured dogs that need massage. She does set up a tent at agility trials and does quite well on those weekends, especially when people see that their dogs speed can quite dramatically increase after a good massage.

            Kat
            www.dogmadogspa.com

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            • #7
              NeaNea, you are right but I believe that Canada may have changed this and some states have as well. There are some areas where only a Vet can perform cmt.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by NeaNea View Post
                When I was considering this, I did some research and found there is no national certification requirements to perform canine massage.

                These schools train you and give you a certificate, but, nationally, there is no licensing (or certification) program as there is for human massage or physical therapist.
                I'm a human MT with canine experience. You are quite correct. There is NO national certification for canine massage so you can't technically call yourself a "certified canine massage therapist" or really, even a canine massage therapist. practitioner is a little more appropriate. And there ARE a lot of limitations depending on the state you live in. Don't believe the websites you see that "tell" you what states allow it. My state does not and one of the "animal bodywork associations" says it does. Talk to your human massage therapy board or veterinary board. Many times, it is the vet board that says no you can't because they believe that only licensed vets can perform any kind of tissue manipulation on a pet. There is not "official law" that I can find in my state, but I know from experience, that it is a vet board concensus against anyone but a vet doing it. I am limited to teaching it a few times a year to vet tech students and to the public, but no, I cannot ethically practice it. There are people who do in my state quietly, but I am not willing to put my reputation on the line for something that is not 100% legal.

                Bottom line? Do your homework as thoroughly as you can.
                It's a horrbily underused modality that has great benefits, but there's no sense getting into trouble over it.

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                • #9
                  I found a site that lists state laws for all states if that helps.


                  http://www.iaamb.org/home.php
                  What does a dog do on it's day off?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by luvpups View Post
                    I found a site that lists state laws for all states if that helps.


                    http://www.iaamb.org/home.php
                    That's the site I'm talking about that isn't necessarily correct. It says that MD allows massage when it does not. The best thing for you to do is to talk to whoever runs your local American Massage Therapy Association, as well as your state Veterinary board.

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                    • #11
                      Very true about the variety of regulations on animals massage state by state. Still, some states do either allow it, or it's not regulated. There's some good info at this site, including schools: http://nbcaam.org/member-listing/38 (NBCAAM is the National Board of Certification for Animals Acupressure and Massage) And as a licensed professional myself, I do highly recommend anyone interested in becoming one should get some of their training in person with a qualified teacher, not ONLY online training. I also do have a friend and colleague who is licensed (in WA state, where there IS such a thing for animal massage), and has a grooming business that also offers massage. She loves doing both!

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