Ojai School of Canine Massage

Canine Massage Certification Online and Onsite


Frequently Asked Questions/Answers:                                                                                                                                    

What are the career opportunities for Canine Massage Therapists?  What is the salary and job outlook? 

Most animal massage therapists are independent contractors who travel to provide at-home services to their clients. There may be opportunities for employment with Vets, groomers, doggie day care centers, or other animal related businesses. In our business class, we help you to identify various ways to build your clientele and customer base. Most of your referrals will come from dog owners, groomers, dog sitters, dog walkers and doggie daycare facilities. In the beginning, it is a good idea to combine massage services with other dog and animal related businesses such as dog walking, day care, agility training, swim therapy, and pet transport to name a few.

Salary-  An animal massage therapist’s salary can vary depending on their level of experience, professional certifications, and where you live. Therapists must also allow for travel costs if they visit clients at home. Certified canine massage therapists can expect to earn $40 to $70 for a 35-50 minute session.

Job Outlook-  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for animal care and service workers are expected to grow 16% from 2018-2028.

The popularity of animal massage therapy should continue to grow as owners become aware of the significant healing affects of animal massage. Animal massage can increase blood flow, alleviate stress, reduce pain, relax tight and sore muscles, and help with sprains and strains. Massage therapy strengthens the immune system, improves digestion, and lowers blood pressure in both humans and animals.

How long will it take to complete the 250-hour online canine massage course?

Students generally complete the course in 3-6 months. To compute the amount of time to complete the online course, divide the total hours of the course (250) by the total hours you plan to study/practice each week. For example, if you plan to study/practice for 10 hours per week, then the course will take 25 weeks to complete.    250 /10 = 25 weeks.

Are there any prerequisites required for the 250-hour canine massage program?

All incoming students must have previous experience in handling or owning a dog. To be eligible for our certification courses, a student must:

-Be at least 18 years of age (prospective students under age 18 may be admitted with the approval of the students parent/guardian and with the submittal of a Parental Release form).
-Be socially and psychologically capable of performing massage.
-Be physically able to perform massage.
-Possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.
-Understand the English language (Ojai School of Canine Massage does not offer ESL instruction). All instruction will occur in the English language. Incoming students must be proficient in English. Proficient means 75% or greater proficiency in the English language.

If attending onsite classes, do I bring my own dog to the onsite class?

Yes, you are encouraged to bring your dog to the ten-day onsite class. Your dog must get along with other dogs, be neutered or spayed, and treated for fleas. OSOCM will provide a dog for you if you do not plan on bringing a dog to class.

May I finance my education at OSOCM by making monthly payments?

Any student taking the online certification course may opt to finance their education by receiving weekly or monthly lessons. You can do this by purchasing lessons directly from our website or by calling the school. If paying by check, please call us to arrange a payment plan. Tuition is due in full by the first day of the onsite class.

Is there any coursework required prior to coming onsite?

We highly recommend and encourage all future incoming onsite students to begin our online canine massage course prior to coming onsite. The onsite course is condensed with information and is presented in an ‘intensive’ format. Proceeding through as much of the online course as possible, prior to coming onsite, will enhance your onsite learning experience by helping you to absorb the information presented much more efficiently. This will also assure the safety of the animal being massaged. All students who purchase the entire onsite course will receive the online course at no additional tuition cost.

Is Veterinarian supervision required when doing canine massage? Is it legal to practice canine massage?  It is legal to practice canine massage in California. There are no regulations requiring veterinary supervision in the state of California. It is legal to practice canine massage in California as long as you are not claiming to do rehabilitation therapy and are not claiming to treat any medical condition. The IAAMB link below shows state by state regulations in the field of Canine Massage.
Laws By State-    IAAMB State List

How long do I have to complete the online or onsite certification course?

There is no deadline to complete the online or onsite course. The OSOCM encourages students to complete no more than one lesson per week when taking the online course. This allows for practice time.

When can I schedule a Skype visit with the instructor?

Your instructor is available via Skype, email, Facebook Messenger, or FaceTime to assist students during the online portion of the course and through to completion. Students are encouraged to maintain interaction with the instructor throughout the course to be sure they are performing the hands on techniques correctly and to assure the safety of the animal being massaged. The final hands on practicum is required only for students taking the Online course certification and may be completed via Skype.

Are there any written quizzes in the online or onsite course?

Only the Anatomy & Physiology portion (required for both online and onsite students) of the online course requires students to take quizzes. The quizzes are taken online and are open book. These quizzes are a learning tool and may be taken twice. There is no way to fail a quiz since they are taken twice.

Can I take only a portion of the onsite class?  Yes, although not required, any student completing the full 250-hour Online Canine Massage certification program may take as much, or as little, of the onsite class as they like. The cost is $100 per day when attending only a portion of the onsite class. Students who have purchased the full online course will only be charged for the first six days of the onsite course, if they choose to attend. There will be no charge after the first six days of the onsite class. Your total tuitions paid, for both the online and onsite course, will never exceed the onsite tuition cost of $2,350.

Do you help students find accommodations when coming onsite?

Yes, please email us and we will be happy to provide you with our Student List of Accommodations.

If I take the 250-hour distance study/online Canine Massage course at Ojai School of Canine Massage, am I eligible to take the NBCAAM exam?

The NBCAAM exam is only required in the state of Washington. You are eligible to take the NBCAAM exam if you take our distance learning/home study Canine Massage course, but you will also have to complete 50 hours of supervised in-class/hands-on study which includes assessment, execution of bodywork still being studied, benefits of massage/acupressure, and practice guidelines. The Ojai School of Canine Massage onsite program does satisfy the above subject requirements; thus satisfying the 50 hours of supervised in-class/hands-on study required by the NBCAAM.

** The information below is taken directly from the NBCAAM website and provides additional information regarding the National Board Certification Examination for Animal Acupressure & Massage. (Please visit www.nbcaam.org for more information).

Certification Exam Requirements- Who can sit for the NBCAAM Exam?

The minimum standard for sitting for the NBCAAM exam is documented proof of attendance at a school or schools of either animal massage or animal acupressure resulting in an accumulated course of study equaling a minimum of 200 hours.

The curriculum contains at least:

 50 hours of training in anatomy & physiology, kinesiology (for bodywork) and pathologies.

 Minimum 50 hours of supervised in class hands-on work, which would include assessment and execution of bodywork skill being studied, benefits of massage/acupressure, and practice guidelines.

** Please note: Veterinary rules may change from year to year. We highly recommend that you check the regulations in your state.

Is it necessary to become nationally certified through the NBCAAM?

The only state requiring national certification, at this time, is Washington State. To practice small animal massage in Washington state, the applicant must pass one or more of the following exams: Washington state animal massage requirements.

The National Certification for Canine Massage is the test for dogs.

How is OSOCM different from other canine massage programs?

OSOCM has offered comprehensive instruction in the field of Canine Massage for over 18 years. Students receive a well rounded, thorough and personalized education. Students leave the school fully prepared to enter the field of Canine Massage as well equipped professionals. Our graduates are available, via email, to share their experiences. Please contact the school for more information.

Upon graduating, who should I contact to acquire insurance for my canine massage business?  Please call the Hands on Trade Association.

Is the certificate of completion the same for both the online and onsite course?

Yes, your certificate of completion is the same whether you complete the online or onsite course.