Canine Massage

My Favorite Items to Use When Massaging a Dog

My favorite items to use when massaging a dog are pretty simple.

Let me share these 4 items with you.

You can click on the image to get more detail if you are interested.




I’ve tried using a massage table when I first taking my clients back in 2010 but quickly learned that it wasn’t a very practical choice.

After realizing that being on the floor is much less stressful for the dogs, I started massaging dogs on the floor.


This type of dog bed is exceptional, though.

I gave it a try at my client’s house for the first time and I was pleasantly surprised.

The biggest advantage is that you can slide your legs underneath this bed.

This helps your lower back tremendously especially if your dog is tiny.




Background Music

If you google “relaxing music for dogs”, you’ll see so many options come up but they are not all the same.

This speaker is packed with classical piano pieces that were arranged in the way that are soothing to the dog’s ears bio-acoustically.

This has been so popular among my furry clients especially those who are shy or fearful.





Hot Stones

I can’t recommend thermal therapy enough for your dog, especially older one with chronic pain.

Hot stones can quickly warm up the tissues and mask the pain so that the dog is more relaxed and can tolerate massage strokes and pressure more comfortably.



Study on Canine Behaviors

Besides the canine anatomy and massage techniques, learning the difference between how we think and how the dogs think is crucial in terms of creating a safe environment for a dog to feel comfortable and benefit from a massage.

“Forcing” the dog in any way isn’t the way to go!


All of Dr. Yin’s books and DVDs are valuable to everyone who comes close contact with dogs personally and professionally.




I will update you as I come across with more items that can be helpful to make a massage time more successful for you and your dog!


Blog Canine Massage Wellness Maintenance

Stay Home and Massage Your Dog with Me

Stay home and massage your dog with me!

Let’s make sure our pets are not emotionally effected by our emotions while dealing with this pandemic!

Testimonials of Class Attendees

“I Pet My Dogs All the Time, and Maybe I Could be Doing it Better”

Hi, Eri Suzaki of Canine Therapeutics here.

Let me share a testimonial from Randy, who attended our class “Be Better at Massaging Your DogTools for People to Massage Their Furry Partners Confidently & Efficiently at Home ” last week.

randy dogs


Randy attended the class with her husband Steve, and Snuggles (Right: white handsome terrier mix).

The class ran over the span of a day instead of meeting weekly.

Class Testimonial from Randy

Q. What Made You Decide to Take the Class?

Sudz and Sailor have been getting massages from you, and they seemed to like it. I would like to be able to give all of my dogs massages. I pet them all of the time, and maybe I could be doing it better.

Q. How was the Class?

The class was very useful. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and Snuggles seem to enjoy it too.

Q. Tell us What Your Thoughts were Before the Class, and What You Thought After the Class

Before the class, I thought I could do better at massaging my dogs. I bought a book on dog massage, but did not really get time to read it. This class was hands on, which I think was much better.

Randy and Snuggles

Q. Tell us What You Felt wasn’t so Great

The only thing I would change is that the reading material doesn’t have any diagrams and I would add diagrams of the massage techniques.

Q. What Would You Say to Someone Who was Considering Taking the Class in the Future?

I would encourage the person to take it. They won’t regret it.

Thank you for your feedback Randy!

Great Results with Snuggles!

During the morning, Snuggles was little overwhelmed by other people and dogs.

He was so nervous that he would not move or go potty.

But as soon as Randy started working on him, he gradually relaxed.



Many people schedule a massage appointment with me for a various reasons.

But there is a huge advantage when YOU give your dog a massage yourself at home.

Randy group photo

If you are interested in being a part of this class next time, please check out the event calendar .


Blog Canine Massage

3 Reasons Why Puppies Need Massage

One of my foci this year is to let people know that Massage is Just as Important as Food for Dogs. Yes, puppies, too! If you have ever experienced taking care of a puppy, you know how fast they grow.

My dog, Dewey is already 5 and I don’t know what happened to the little puppy that he used to be! I regret not taking enough pictures to capture all the amazing day-by-day transformations.

It seems like there is a notion that puppies don’t need massage. I hear in a conversation often referring to a puppy or a younger dog in the family not needing a massage, that massage is just for senior dogs…If you think the same way, you are wrong!! Why?

Reason 1. Puppies Are Active

Sometimes, puppies take really sharp, full-speed turns out of excitement when unleashed.  They twist and turn their bodies as if they are serious athletes.

Puppies playing

After playing hard like that, muscles are over-worked and full of lactic acid whether the dog is young or old.

The muscles in the shoulder, neck, lower back and thighs need to be loosened so that they can have fun again without any soreness.

And most importantly, loosening the muscles after play/excercise is the key in preventing injuries!

Reason 2. Puppies Grow Fast

I remember Dewey couldn’t go upstairs one day, and all of a sudden, the very next day, he could.

It seemed like he was getting bigger every morning when he woke up!

Growth spurts are even more obvious with large breed puppies.

It is not easy for puppies to deal with their own bodies since they seem to be getting bigger each day.

Massage can help stimulate the brain to acknowledge their own body and size (stimulation of proprioception).


Reason 3.  Puppies Need ‘Touch’ & Socialization

While puppies grow rapidly, touching, petting & massaging can benefit greatly.

Touch through the skin stimulates the brain. Massage promotes blood circulation and nutrients get carried through the bones, muscles and wherever else necessary to develop and maintain a healthy body.

Massage also promotes the production of serotonin, which is a “happy hormone”.

Puppies will grow up learning that it feels good when people touch them, instead of being fearful.

Having them get used to gentle touches and strokes early in life is a major ingredient for a happy dog, don’t you agree??

Blog Wellness Maintenance

What Can You Do While Your Dog Is Still Young? 4 Tips to Maintaining the Well-being of Your Dog

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Massage Sessions With A Senior Dog With Declining Health…

I recently had the opportunity to have some massage sessions with a large 13.5 yr-old dog at an emergency hospital where she was admitted and received 2 major surgeries. Unfortunately her condition worsened, and her family eventually decided that it was time to let her go.

The reason the vets decided to bring me in was mainly for improving circulation.

Improved circulation is a preeminent physical benefit of massage. Many additional benefits derive from this primary effect.

Some of the additional effects of massage:

  • Promotes healing by increasing the flow of nutrients to the muscles and carrying away toxins and excess fluids
  • Releases endorphins, which are natural pain killers
  • Softens muscle tissues resulting in better range of motion, prevention in atrophy (muscle wasting) and injuries
  • Releases serotonin, which is a “happy” hormone.

She was a senior that had been laying down most of the day with tubes hooked up to her body.

Also she had some chronic/geriatric issues such as hip dysplasia and atrophy. Her legs would cross or knuckle due to less sensitivity in proprioception.

So do you see why the vets wanted to include massage sessions in the dog’s recovery process?

Caring For A Large-Sized Dog Is Not Easy!

As I visited her at the hospital twice a day, I got to see closely how vets and vet techs work in the back room.

Boy, I have a whole new appreciation for them. What they do is not easy!

Before a session, I had to ask a vet tech to help me get the dog out of bed and take her out to pee.

Halfway through session, I had to ask a vet tech to help me get the dog up and change sides.

It is NOT easy helping a large dog with mobility issues, especially with some sensitive areas/joints, as you can imagine.

Being Able to Walk Until The Very End

Ideally, all dogs should be able to walk on their own until the end. This is one of my biggest hopes for every dog. I’m not just saying this because it is physically hard for you to assist a large dog. But being able to stand up on their own is crucial to the dogs’ mental health. Being able to walk gives dogs confidence.

When I first met with the dog at the hospital, she was still able to walk little bit. I remember one of the vets said to me hopefully; “She hasn’t given up!”

What Can We Do While Our Dogs Are Still Young?

Dealing With Joint Diseases And Injuries

Consult with your trusted vet and do your own research as to what options may work best for your dog.

If you decide not to go with a surgery, make sure you fully understand (1) the prognosis and (2) what type of care and support is necessary to manage the condition under control.

Muscular & Skeletal Maintenance

  •  It is important to let the tired muscles full of lactic acid rest before allowing your dog to do more physical activity
  • Apply a heat pack while your dog is laying down resting

 Typically, behind the shoulders and lower back is a good place to apply heat to release tension from the dog’s body.  No matter how young the dog is, the muscles need to be loosened and relaxed regularly to prevent injuries.

  • Pay attention to how your dog walks and notice any abnormalities. REMEMBER: Dogs are good at hiding pain.



  • Revisit your dog’s diet. Does the food contain preservatives? By-products? Are you open to the idea of cooking for your dog or adding raw food?
  • Consider adding joint supplements BEFORE you start seeing some signs of discomfort. ChodroPaw is what I personally used on my dog, Chuckie that helped him tremendously.

  • Hydrate your dog’s body. If your dog’s main food is dry kibble, try adding veggies/fish/meat stock.

Preventative & Maintenance

  • Consider providing massage regularly
  • Consider providing acupuncture regularly
  • Consider providing chiropractic adjustments regularly


Every little thing you do for you dog each day will determine how gracefully your dog ages.

Let’s start making changes today.




Blog Canine Massage

How Do You Know If Your Dog Needs A Massage??

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I was at an event hosted by Pet Food Express Campbell Store  a while back.  A gentleman approached me looking puzzled and said, “How do you know if your dog needs a massage?”

I wasn’t quite sure if he was just teasing me or sincerely asking the question at first. So, my first response was “Do you know when you need a massage?” Answering a question with a question… not good. LOL

But for the record, the gentleman WAS sincerely curious and I’m glad that we had a meaningful conversation. In case you are wondering the same thing, I have put together some indications that may be helpful for you to understand your dog’s physical needs.

1. Don’t Expect A Verbal Cue

Needless to say, people and dogs don’t speak the same language but we do communicate with each other all the time. So, it is up to us, people to think what is good or needed for our dogs.


2. Watch How Your Dog Walks Every Day

How can we tell if your dog needs a massage? Well, regardless of your dog’s physical condition, massage is always beneficial for over-all wellness physically and emotionally.

To find out exactly what your dog needs in terms of massage or any other type of bodywork is determined by your daily observations.

Daily Observations

  • My dog was skipping a few times today while walking.
  • My dog looks really stiff when running and it looks like the knees are not bending at all.
  • I see some skin twitching on my dog’s back sometimes. What is that?
  • My dog seems to hop instead of walk even when we are moving slowly.
  • My dog keeps his head down or swings the head down as he takes each step. What is wrong?

I hear these types of comments/questions all the time and am very happy to know that the growing number of dog owners are more conscious about orthopedic and other physical conditions and needs of their dogs.   There is a reason why you see what you see and the knowledge can help you decide what may be the best approach for your dog.  Massage may be something your dog can greatly benefit from.

Again, going back to the question of “how do you know your dog needs a massage”, my answer would be “by daily observation”.




Blog Wellness Maintenance

[MUST WATCH VIDEO] Aroma Therapy For Your Dog

Aroma Therapy sessions have always been stand-alone services with Canine Therapeutics, but effective August 1, it will be an add-on service to a massage session.

In case you are not sure what Aroma Therapy is, I would like to give you a quick overview. But, first, watch this video. This is probably the best way for you to get an idea of what an Aroma Therapy session looks like.

What Is Aroma Therapy?

Aroma Therapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses essential oils for medical and therapeutics purposes.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are aromatic liquid distilled from plants, shrubs, trees, roots, leaves or seeds.

How Do Essential Oils Work?

  • Physically: antiseptic, anti viral, antibacterial, initiate cell regeneration, etc.


    Tea tree has powerful antiseptic properties and is often used as a teeth and /or ear cleaner. Also commonly used to ward off insects.

  • Psychologically: aromatic molecules are absorbed into the bloodstream from the nasal cavity to the limbic system (responsible for emotional responses, smell, reason and formation of memories.)


    Roman camomile with sadative properties is often used for anxiety or depression. Similarily, Bergamot, Marjoram, Lavendar, Valerian…etc., and many others are used to calm, relax, wipe out negative feelings or elevate mood.

How Do You Use Essential Oils?

  • Direct application onto the skin via massage
  • Inhalation via diffuser
  • Oral intake (generally not for small domesticated animals)

Our Services

Warm essential oils are applied directly on your dog’s skin while massaging, demonstrated in the video.

Products Used

Essential & Carrier Oils: 100% Pure organic oils are used. Depending on the type, oils are purchased from:

Disclaimers: Canine Therapeutics follows the standards set by the National Association For Holistic Aromatherapy. At this point, Canine Therapeutics is shying away using endangered or threatened oils; such as Agarwood (Aquilaria sp.), Frankincense (Boswellia carteri), Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) and Sandalwood (Santalum album).


NOTE: Aroma therapy sessions or classes are no longer offered. We currently offer: canine massage, cold laser & exercises. (2018)