Details of our Services

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Janet and Shari will give you the value of their over 50 years combined experience in canine behaviour, communication, canine massage, aquatic experience, animal care, canine anatomy and adjunctive modality experiences.
Shari offers years of experience performing different forms of massage on dry land. In the quiet area at the back of our facility your dog will enjoy the benefits of soft-tissue manipulations and stretches to help him feel and move better.
Most dogs, once they get the hang of it, love playing, swimming, performing specific exercises, floating and being massaged in the water.
Our training comes from different places, Janet brings with her the expertise of many amazing experts at Greyfiars Farm Veterinary Centre that specialize in Canine Rehabilitaion and Hydrotherapy in the U.K. and has a great awareness of other modalities. She is working on her first level of canine acupressure.
Shari has years of experience with massaging dogs and teaching dog guardians how to massage their own dogs, after her work with J.P. Hourdebaigt. Because she lived on a lake, and then built her own indoor pool for dogs at her house, she spent many hours with dogs in the water and has taken a two level course at La Paw Spa in Seattle.
Both team members have had the pleasure of experiencing “Watsu”, which is a form of massage while floating in the water. They pass this magical approach on to the dogs they work with, making the aquatics a very unique experience for your dog.
Even the most anxious dog eventually relaxes and can get to the point of sleep while in the water.

shanrenomassMassage and Aquatics has been known to:

Improve circulation of blood and lymph which has a resulting increase in oxygenation and nutrient availability while removing metabolic waste from the tissues and cells in the body
Release contracted muscles
Increase flexibility and elasticity by loosening muscle fibres
Improve movement and range of motion thereby decreasing gait restrictions
Promote relaxation of the nervous and musculo-skeletal systems
Release stress and tension
Increase performance level at shows and events
Reduce recovery time from injury and surgery
Help alleviate physiological and psychological problems
Bring about an all-around improvement in mind, body and spirit
Increase the sense of trust within dogs who are rescued from unfortunate life scenarios

There is no question that massage-style body work will help canine athletes involved in physically challenging sports such as agility, flyball and frisbee.
Dogs who help us live our lives safely such as guide dogs, search and rescue, as well as police dogs also enjoy great benefits from one on one time having someone give back to them.
Not to forget companion dogs who are getting older, are injured or who are recovering from surgery.
Even though dog guardians know their dogs well, our pups are not able to tell us when they are hurting, but here are some things to watch for…if your dog is:
Stumbling, dragging a foot or limping
Showing shortened stride
Seems to be unhappy or depressed
Is laying down more than normal
Appears unable to get comfortable
Is panting without exertion
Showing signs of stiffness
Is not able to get up easily from laying down
Is becoming more agitated
Is becoming angry or untrusting

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There are many things these signs could mean. Your Veterinarian would be the one to help you find out what the cause may be. It could be that your dog could be experiencing pain caused by stress points, trigger points, muscle spasm/tension…which can be helped greatly by massage and aquatics.
Your first visit is The Initial Assessment, which is about 45 minutes long. During which time we will be gathering information, watch your dog move by performing a Gait Analysis, check Range of Motion, take measurements, put our hands on, discuss your veterinarians’ information with you and introduce your dog to our facility.
If you are here for a massage, we will be palpating the soft tissues of your dog to see how he reacts to the palpation and to feel where his body is at. This will help us as we move forward with a plan tailored to the specific needs of your dog. A member of the team will perform a quick massage during that time.
If you are here for an aquatics session, we will introduce your dog to the pool in a calm, safe way so as to build their confidence while the process this new experience. Don’t expect any swan dives during this time as the pool is a very unusual experience for him. Some dogs only get as far as getting their feet wet on the ramp. But we make sure the first visit to the pool is a positive one. Once again, we will develop a plan that is tailored too your dog specifically.
Our “Dry Land” Massage Sessions:
The massage area of the facility is a quiet where he/she is allowed to relax and get into the experience. Once your dog understands what his/her job is, they truly love the massage and it resonates in their sighs. We prefer to have only one dog in the room at a time unless there is a separation anxiety issue among family dogs.
We offer two options for massage, a 30 minute or a 50 minute session. The 30 minute sessions are for general maintenance. The 50 minute massage sessions are for dogs with more going on and who require the extra time it takes to get the maximum benefit from the massage. Afterwards, we show the guardian how to help their dog themselves in between massages
The massages offered are based on three types and different applications of each are incorporated into each session.

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Maintenance Massage:

Where the intention is to help healthy dogs stay at a certain level of fitness for as long as possible.
The primary goal is to decrease muscular tension thereby decreasing recovery time between periods of physical exercise , decrease post workout discomfort, decrease the chance of overuse/stress related injuries as well as the stimulation of the lymphatic system and prevention of chronic conditions.
Performance Massage: With this style of massage, the intention is to optimize the current performance level while assisting the dog to reach the next level of proficiency in movement.

The primary goal is to improve work efficiency, proprioception skills and flexibility allowing the dog to consistently repeat their performance, improve their muscle memory and neural functioning. They may be able to reach greater gains in training with less interruptions and poor postural habits.
Rehabilitative Massage: Is focused on helping the body reach a state of physical equilibrium that will facilitate the body’s own natural healing abilities. This may compliment the treatment plan your vet has initiated for your dog if they are recovering from an injury or surgery.
It will also help a dog who is not able to move about often. The specific movements of this type of massage will help the movement of blood and lymph bringing oxygen and nutrients to the muscles (and rest of the body) while helping to eliminate metabolic waste and carbon dioxide.
The primary goal is to stimulate the healing properties of the body and provide comfort.
The parasympathetic (rest and repair) nervous system is activated, there is a release of endorphins with decreased localized inflammation while promoting healthy scar tissue formation which encourages stability.
Non ambulatory dogs, older dogs, hospitalized dogs, dogs with neurological deficits all benefit from this type of massage.

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Our Aquatics Sessions:

It is very important that your dog feel comfortable and safe when in and around the pool. We prefer to work with one dog at a time for the each session. Later, after each dog is comfortable with us and their “job” in the pool, multiple dog families may be able to have their dogs swim together.
Once your dog is in the pool, we hold them in “float” rests, and do short swims to help them build their confidence.
The first time in the water can be stressful, so we are very careful to end our first pool session and subsequent sessions on a positive note.
We recommend that if at all possible, for the first week-10 days that your dog comes back into the pool for 3 sessions close together.
It has been our experience, in the beginning, that dogs will learn their job in the pool more efficiently if they are exposed to it three times within 10 days.
Your appointment time and time allotment includes your check in, time for you to dress your dog in their “bathing suit” harness or life jacket and the session in the pool.

At the end of your session, you are welcome take advantage of a “drying area” we have set up for you.
Not all dogs feel confident in the water…and not all dogs know how to swim automatically.
By taking the time to make your dog to feel safe and build their confidence in the water, they will be safe in and around water throughout their life.
Subsequent sessions focus on building confidence and we spend increasingly more time swimming and playing in the water.
We have a special place in our hearts for senior dogs. The relief they get from floating gently in the warm water is tremendous. We take our time and make sure to keep stress to a minimum for these guys.
Our Watsu experience takes over when we work with seniors in the water allowing the movement of the water and gentle massage to soothe their tight, sore muscles. If they are able, we will try easy, short swims help move the joint fluid in the joints to help alleviate stiffness.
We will be mindful of his/her breathing and heart rate as we progress. If moving in the water is not their forte, we will do passive range of motion to encourage joint and soft tissue health.
At any time we may use more than one specialist to assist your dog, depending on their size and comfort with and mobility.
For the more athletic dogs who may be in competition for example fly-ball, agility, protection dogs…any dogs who need to stay fit, prepare for competition, build muscle and stamina, we will come up with a program to suit his/her needs as well.
Most dogs love to play in the pool once they learn how to swim and become familiar with us and our pool. Swimming is a great way for dogs to burn energy safely, have fun, play games and stay in shape. Many dogs need a “job”, especially in the winter months when they are not as active, coming to see us helps their mind as well as their body.
Swimming is a terrific way to help your dog loose unwanted pounds without the concussive force of gravity, thereby putting less stress on their joints. We will develop a program for your dog and gradually, over several sessions as your dog loses weight and improves in conditioning, we will increase the length and activity level of the swims.

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Eventually, your dog may graduate to wearing only a harness which has no help in the bouyancy department…they are on their own when it comes to keeping themselves afloat while they swim.
There are some dogs out there who have neurological and or mobility issues and who require more than one specialist to assist with the pool sessions. We help you fit your dog to the proper harness and gently lift him/her into the warm water.
Chances are that they may feel anxious about this process, so we have two therapists in the water with them and begin with nice long foats, gentle massage, passive range of motion exercises and nerve activation.
We have special rubber matting on the ramp into the pool that we use for helping dogs to regain their proprioception. We will develop a program based on what techniques work with your dog and progress from there.
Pre and Post Surgery Sessions: Veterinarians are recommending swimming both before and after an orthopedic surgery. We will work with you, based on your vet’s input, to help your dog regain strength and muscle mass while in the water. The buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure and resistance of the water will help your dog to build “good” scar tissue, break down restrictive scar tissue, increase his/her range of motion and rebuild muscle loss due to lack of use.
Confidence Building: Some dogs come to us with issues stemming from a lack of confidence. Anxiety, fear biting, aggression, hiding behind one or more family member, following a family member all around the house…are all signs of dog’s who lack confidence in themselves.
We take the time to help them feel good about themselves. Learning to swim and to follow commands in the water has shown to help them feel and act in a more confident, balanced way. You can see how proud they become of themselves.
U-Wash Your Dog: We have a beautiful shower style rinse area at the west end of the facility with no slip concrete floor, two hooks to tether your dog and a shower head with a long hose for your convenience. Feel free to bring your own shampoo and towels. Outside of the stall, there is a no slip rubber mat while you towel your dog off. There is also a drying area not far from the wash stall for your to use, and a blow dryer if you wish. Please keep all dogs on a leash at all times.

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Fitting for Wheelchairs:

Some dogs have special needs whether as a result of injury or while in recovery from surgery. We will take the measurements necessary to make sure the wheels your dog needs will fit him/her well. Once we have the chair (in stock or ordered) we take the time to adjust the chair and show you how to put them in and take them out of the chair safely.
Cancellation Policy: We ask that you please give us at least 24 hours notice if you have to cancel your session. This will allow us to give another dog your space. If you are a no-show, or we have less than 24 hours notice, we will bill you for the missed session.
For the love of dogs seminars happen here at different times of the year. Shari has frequent “Do It Yourself Canine Massage” courses and other professional speakers may appear at the facility to offer courses as well. Watch the website and social media for more information.
Shari has beautiful animal paintings on display here at the facility. She captures the spirit of you much-loved animal family member in Oil, Acrylic, Charcoal or Pastel.

Come by and see us!

We are a ONE OF A KIND, special place to be!