There are already massage schools for animal massage, and, of course, companies offering their animal massage services to help your pet recover from injury and surgery or, of course, to get the “relaxation and stress reduction” of which all our pets are in no doubt dire need.
And these services are not just for the far-out who find over-the-top pet services on the Internet. The Ritz-Carlton of Sarasota, FL offers “The Privileged Pup” pet massage program where dogs can get an hour-long massage for only $130. Currently, Privileged pups have to choose between only four different types of massage: “therapeutic Swedish, full body relaxation, invigorating sports, and senior pet”, but this is likely to expand.
“Animal massage at this point is where human massage was 15 years ago,” said Theresa Gagnon, director of animal programs at the Worcester, MA Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in the Massage Therapy Journal article. ““We may see more spa-type services for dogs.”
Besides spa and relaxation, massage can be used to help animals get over surgery and injury, deal with problems associated with old age (arthritis, joint pain), and maintain emotional well-being. Thus, animal massage can have a functional, medical purpose, possibly prescribed by a veterinarian or to improve racing, performance, and health; at the same time it can serve as a nice treat for an owner to bestow on his or her pet.
Indeed, with Kentucky Derby winners and the Queen of England’s horses receiving massages at an elite level, and a seemingly insatiable ability to spend money among pet owners in the United States, animal massage seems to have no option but to expand. American pet owners already spend an estimated $52 billion dollars on their pets every year! So, really, what’s another $130 every month or so to make sure your best friends get the care they deserve?