Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing those tissues.

Massage works by increasing cardiovascular and lymphatic circulation to the skin and underlying muscles, which allows tissues to relax, stretch, and maintain a healthy tone.  The manipulation of these soft tissues increases oxygen flow and stimulates the body at the cellular and neurological level, which improves healing and recovery time.

Since the muscle system is responsible for the body’s movement, massage nourishes and helps relax and restore muscles to their original elasticity and position, which frees the animal from pain.  It also helps with compensatory muscle changes by moving the blood and increasing circulation to all the tissues and cells of the body that may be deprived of oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and protein.

Massage Therapy can be used to help decrease pain, swelling and scar tissue formation, increase blood flow, assist lymphatic drainage, maintain muscle tone, relieve stress/anxiety, decrease tension, promote tissue healing, and improve range of motion.  Our certified canine massage therapists can help older, less active dogs live a more comfortable life. We can also help your dog during recovery from injury or surgery.  Regular massage can help keep show dogs and sporting dogs in their best shape or to bounce back faster from competitions.


We often teach owners how to perform specific techniques at home to extend the healthy benefits of massage beyond the appointments here at ARF.