Dogs of all ages respond well to massage therapy, stimulating their immune system, helping with pain management, in keeping their joints healthy and more. (Please visit the 'Benefits'' section for detailed infos). They are exposed to many sources of stress such as our own personal tensions and moods and some are confined indoors and alone for long periods of time which can result in boredom, anxiety and loss of muscle tone. It also has tremendous effects on both the emotional and physical plane on newly adopted dogs who have often been mistreated by a previous owner. Therapeutic massage is a natural, preventive approach towards the rehabilitation, improvement and maintenance of your dog’s physical and emotional well-being.
Alain Girouard has successfully completed the Professional Program in Animal Massage in Montreal with 4animals. This course includes canine anatomy, physiology, passive and active assessment, massage theory, massage strokes, techniques and routines, acupressure points and stretching for specific physical issues, professionalism and ethics. To graduate from the program, students are required to pass rigorous theoretical and practical assessments to ensure they can skillfully and competently perform therapeutic canine massage.
Samson (left, with his friend and roomate Lola) is 20 months old. Mistreated from an early age, he is now in a truly loving home. '' When I first saw Samson, poor boy was in bad shape, he was only skin and bones, deviated spine but even though he was not well he was wagging his tail like crazy and he was super friendly. With Lola we quickly became a family. Then the steps to improve his physical health began: surgery on both elbows, intake of glucosamine, good food and lots of love. And then I found Alain! Samson loves his massage therapy sessions and the Reiki Alain also uses as a technique is really a magic touch for the chronic pain due to his hip dysplasia. The evenings Alain massages him are the nights Samson sleeps all night in one spot, something he would only do under the effects of painkillers. We are only 5 sessions into his therapy and already the results are evident both physically and emotionally and I'm excited to see how much further he will improve.''
''Even with his hip dysplasia and having been through an elbow surgery, Théo remains full of life and has a positive attitude. He enjoys his massage therapy sessions and has quickly understood why we go visit Alain. After only 2-3 sessions, Théo was confortable and now dozes off during the massage. He sighs, stretches, yawns, totally relaxed thanks to Alain's magic hands. Alain's very calm and patient with his canine friends and very understanding of their state of mind. After each session I notice how Théo's articulations and gait are more fluid and how calm he becomes. It is clear that massage therapy is a key element in helping alleviate chronic pain and discomfort brought on by his hip dysplasia, in maintaining his joints healthy and in helping in preventing future complications as well as in helping the post-surgery healing process. Alain does contribute to our goal that is to offer Théo an active and healthy life.'' Nicole Belliveau, Laval, Quebec.
Theo is 3 and is a very active dog, he even runs the marathon! "Theo is always excited to see Alain for a massage! Theo settles down quickly and fully relaxes in Alain's care. We greatly appreciate that the tensions and stress points in Theo's hind legs have been relieved by just a few massages!!! Alain gives Theo lots of love along with the massage and it is a delight to watch!"
Sashia is 10. Her physical challenge: Arthritis in her hindlegs. ''Alain arrived prepared with everything he needed to create a calming, soothing atmosphere. It helped Sashia relax fully under his care. I also appreciate that Alain gave me tips and showed me a few adapted techniques I can perform myself on her. At the end of the session she was 'in dog heaven'! Sashia seemed greatly improved after the treatment. Thank you so much Alain!''
See Goliath in action here.
My meetings with Goliath are truly fascinating to me. He is a happy active dog, thanks to his owners' positive attitude, support and love! "Goliath is deaf and blind from birth. He is an adorable dog, happy, playful who loves to come along everywhere: For a walk, car trips, boat rides. We are lucky to have him in our lives. Since he lacks 2 of his senses, his sense of smell and touch are very strong. During a massage therapy session with Alain, we can clearly see how Goliath enjoys being massaged. He is very calm and we can witness the benefits for days following Alain's visit. Thanks Alain for your professionalism and the love you have for dogs. "
''Bianka needed to go out more often and my busy schedule resulted in her being alone a little too long at times. Thanks to Alain,the life of my little ''pitchounetta'' is sunnier as she doesn't have to go through long periods of solitude at home anymore. I also appreciated that we had pre-dogwalking meetings so Bianka who's generally cautious with strangers felt more at ease with Alain and therefore I felt reassured. Big thanks to your super dogwalking services, your understanding and your availabilty''. Richard G., Montreal, Qc.
I only had the privilege to massage Émile twice but from the very first moment I saw him I fell in love. He was adopted into a truly loving home on March 7th, 2008. The adorable Émile passed away on December 25th, 2009 and I'll always remember his sweetness and how he would lick the tip of my nose in such a delicate way.
I'm happy to announce that I am now practicing at BRANDY'S-Holistic Centre&Canine Cafe (www.brandys.ca), 469 Marie-Anne E. in Montreal. For an appointment call 514-680-5582 or 514-949-6304 or through firstname.lastname@example.org
Massage therapy is not a substitute to a visit to a veterinarian. It is also contraindicated to massage a sick dog (fever, diarrhea, skin disease, cancer).