Dog Massage Resources

On this page you will find some of the material that we use in our dog massage classes. Most of the material is designed for the dog and cat professional massage therapists, but all of the material can be easily learned by the layperson as well. Every animal caretaker wants to be the best caretaker possible.  A good animal shepherd will learn the lay of the land and what is needed to keep their animal in good health and safe from internal and external harm. Please use common sense when studying and using any material on this page. If you see mistakes, or have useful suggestions on what can be improved, please leave comments and we will try to integrate whatever is useful into the material that we share. All the forms that are listed here are open source, so you have permission to use them and manipulate them for your own use as you see fit (unless they are authored by someone other then Ojai School of Canine Massage). Some of the material on this page contains opinions that may or may not be facts, so if you have any questions or doubts about the veracity or truthfulness of the material then please contact your local veterinarian to “fact check” the material. Stay healthy and happy so that you can impart this onto your animal friends.

cat massage
Rumi Loved Massage

Canine Anatomy

Note:  A good dog massage therapist and caretaker should strive to slowly learn what is underneath the skin and how the muscles work on the bones. When you are doing a dog massage and you feel something that feels odd or that doesn’t feel right, then you should go to a dog anatomy book or dog anatomy website and research what you are feeling.

Dog and Cat Massage Intake Forms

Note: If you are a professional in the animal health field, a dog massage therapist, or in the rescue or behavior fields, you should have a variety of behavior related forms on hand that you can obtain by purchasing the Handbook of Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat.

Canine and Feline Pathologies

A dog massage therapist and dog caretaker should learn the various pathological conditions that can arise in the dog.

Dog Massage

A great resource for Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine is the Chi Institute.


Post Surgical Dog Massage

2 comments on “Dog Massage Resources

  • admin
    A-Kristin Walther says:

    What Dog / Veterinarian Anatomy book (s) would you recommend.
    Bought a couple – not very impressed…
    Millers write this about mm m.gluteus medius function : “Medial rotation of the hip and prevention of lateral rotation during weight bearing”. I was pretty sure medius did rotate the leg outwards / laterally?

    • admin

      Miller’s Anatomy is the preferred teaching manual in most vet school but I like Guide to the Dissection of the Dog 7th Edition by Howard Evans and Alexander de Lahunta. It is more up to date. Miller’s is like Grey’s Anatomy for humans and while they try to keep it up to date there are a few other books that are more current. What follow is from The Guide to the Dissection of the Dog.
      3.The middle gluteal (Figs. 2-41, 2-43, 2-44, 2-50, 2-57) is a large, ovoid muscle that lies between the tensor fasciae latae and the superficial gluteal. Clean the surface of the muscle by reflecting the deep gluteal fascia dorsocranial to the iliac crest. This reveals that the fibers of the muscle for the most part parallel its long axis. Carefully separate the cranioventral part of the middle gluteal from the underlying deep gluteal. The entire caudodorsal border of the middle gluteal is covered by the superficial gluteal. The deep caudal portion of the middle gluteal is readily separated from the main muscle mass and is called the piriformis muscle (Fig. 2-43). Starting at the middle of the cranioventral border of the middle gluteal, transect the entire muscle and reflect the distal half toward its insertion on the apex of the greater trochanter of the femur.
      ORIGIN: The crest and gluteal surface of the ilium.
      INSERTION: The greater trochanter.
      ACTION: To extend and abduct the hip and to rotate the pelvic limb medially at the hip.
      INNERVATION: Cranial gluteal nerve.
      4.The deep gluteal (Figs. 2-43, 2-44, 2-48, 2-50) is fan shaped and completely covered by the middle gluteal. Its fibers converge to insert on the cranial face of the greater trochanter.
      ORIGIN: The body of the ilium; the ischiatic spine.

      Fig. 2-48 Muscles of left hip joint, dorsal aspect.

      INSERTION: The cranial aspect of the greater trochanter.
      ACTION: To extend and abduct the hip and to rotate the pelvic limb medially at the hip
      (Evans 59)

      Evans, Howard, Alexander Lahunta. Guide to the Dissection of the Dog, 7th Edition. W.B. Saunders Company, 062009. VitalBook file.
      I hope that this helps.


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