Treadmills and An Introduction to Active Dog, Sport Dog Massage.

By Jonathan Rudinger | December 10, 2019 |

One of the most creative names I’ve heard people call their dogs is “Five Miles.” As they clip the leash to the collar they announce “I’ll be back soon. I’m going to walk Five Miles.” It’s a joke that never gets old. Well, not for the one who says it.

Let’s say you do not want to take your dogs outside for exercise. When it’s icy, snowy, raining, too dark, too foggy, too hot, too anything, or you’re simply not in the mood, there are things you can do indoors with your dogs besides repeatedly tossing a soggy tennis ball across the room.

In the wintertime where I live, there are sheets of invisible ice lurking under freshly fallen snow on the sidewalks. I’ve become very familiar with the always surprising snow dance: step, skid, slide, and splat. I’m not the only one. The dogs know the dance as well: step, skid, slide, whoah-splat.

Treadmill work. Therefore, at times when the weather makes being outside a “fall risk” for any of us, the dogs get their exercise on our treadmill. It’s not the greatest exercise. But, they enjoy it. Ilaria often climbs onto the treadmill and stares at me, giving me the high sign to turn it on for her.

Treadmill work is a mix of pros and cons. It marginally increases cardio rates and because there is movement, stimulates overall lymphatic flow. Those are the pros.

Even when I increase the incline, there’s minimal if any stress on the body; so for building strength and stamina it is not the ideal exercise. The belt (ground) is already moving. There’s no need to push off from their hind paws or pull forward from their fore paws to move, as they would on the ground. The dogs do not need to work to move.

We seldom think about how much dogs flex and extend the bones and joints in their paws with each step. Pacing on the treadmill belt, their claws are kept retracted as opposed to the more natural movements that reach, grab, and clinch, with each step.

The dogs think about and learn to anticipate synchronizing their pace, coordinating their rates of stride as the speeds of the belt vary. Most importantly, the workout is safe, warm, and dry, and the puppies get to happily jog off excess energy.

Most dogs can be taught to pace on treadmills. Monica, one of our instructors, positions her exercise bike in front of her dogs’ treadmill. They work out together. It’s a sharing activity. That in itself is something dogs love and want to do.

What was my topic? Right. Active Dog – Sport Dog Massage.

When we think of reasons for massage we usually focus on its restorative qualities. We know how much massage helps dogs recover from injury and optimize their quality of life throughout their lives and especially in their advancing years, with all those attendant issues.

Sport dogs, competition dogs, and active pet dogs all benefit with canine massage. Healthy dogs need to stay healthy. They need to maintain and enhance their conditioning. Massage assessment is a way to discover and address small problems before they develop into big ones.

The reasons healthy active sport dogs need massage are the same as for human athletes:

  • flexibility
  • comfort
  • strength
  • confidence in movement

Learn a little more about canine massage as I demonstrate some basic massage skills that are great for active dogs, like my little boxer, Ilaria.

These are

  • assessment strokes
  • frictioning
  • joint mobilization
  • scratching

Would you like to learn more? Find original PetMassage books, DVDs, on-site and home-study course offerings at PetMassage online store

Help us gather funds to finance the only indoor, heated pool dedicated to Dog Swim and Canine Aquatic Massage in the Toledo, Northwest Ohio-Southeast Michigan region.

By Beth Farkas | December 3, 2019 |

The 9′ x 17′ x 4′ heated indoor pool will be installed in the PetMassage School and used for dogs to swim in, exercise in, and experience massage.

All dogs — even those who are not natural swimmers — benefit with exercising in therapeutic warm water.

 Aquatic exercise increases dogs’

  • flexibility
  • muscle tone
  • coordination
  • speed
  • and strength.

Canine athletes need body toning and wellness maintenance.

 Older and hospice dogs enjoy warm water massage.

Partially paralyzed dogs receive non-weight bearing activities to restore strength and confidence.

 Injured dogs by referral of dogs’ veterinarians.

 Obese dogs swim to lose weight.

 High energy dogs. What do you do with your active dogs during our long cold winters? Is their primary exercise going for a car ride? Get them in the pool!

Therapeutic swim exercise is clean, fun and safe.  All swim sessions will be private and by reservation. All dogs are closely monitored for fatigue and comfort.

And, there’s more.

 Canine Aquatic Massage is the perfect non-weight bearing experience for dogs with

  • arthritis
  • spinal compression
  • shoulder
  • hip
  • hock
  • and paw issues.

During aquatic massage, dogs experience gentle flexion and extension when their body is moved through the warm water. Muscles literally float away from bones.

Can you see how your dogs will benefit with swim exercise and canine aquatic massage?

Research and Training.

  • This pool will give us the means to conduct importantresearch. There are few resources available for veterinary rehabilitation specialists on the dramatic effects of canine swim and aquatic canine massage. By documenting observations, we will create new guidelines and protocols for canine water therapy.
  • This is where you will attend the PetMassage Canine Aquatic Massage Workshop for vocational training.  When workshop graduates design and build their pools, this will be the model for them.


This is an expensive project. The pool we are installing is the same quality as those used at major zoos and Sea World. The goal for this crowdfunding request is $10,000. This will just cover the costs for the pool, heater, and pumps.

Join us.

Choose from 6 participation levels that are primarily pre-purchases for dog swim, massage, and workshops.

The last 2 categories include PetMassage workshops which have been significantly discounted just for this project!

  • $50 With this donation you get a Social media Shout-out, and an invitation for you and a guest to the grand opening party (TBA)
  • $100 Your rewards are a Social media Shout-out, an invitation for you and a guest to the grand opening party (TBA), your name on the wall, and 1 swim session (value $35).
  • $500 You’ve earned a Social media Shout-out, an invitation for you and a guest to the grand opening party (TBA), your name on the wall, and 8 sessions (4 dog swim sessions and 4 canine aquatic massage) (Value $340).
  • $1000 At this level you’ve earned a Social media Shout-out, an invitation for you and your guests to the grand opening party (TBA), your name on the wall and 16 sessions (8 dog swim and 8 canine aquatic massage (Value $680).
  • $1500 This level offers highly discounted Foundation or Advanced Level Programs!  You’re entitled to a Social media Shout-out, an invitation for you and guests  to the grand opening party (TBA), one admission to the (dry) PetMassage Foundation Level Program(Value $2000) – or the PetMassage Advanced Level Program (Value $2200) and a one year membership in the IAAMB/ACWT(Value $100)
  • $2000 This level offers a highly discounted Canine Aquatic Massage Program! You’re entitled to a Social media Shout-out, an invitation for you and your guests to the grand opening party (TBA) plus one admission to the PetMassage Canine Aquatic Massage Program(value $2500)- and a one year membership in the IAAMB/ACWT (value $100).


If you live far away and cannot attend the party or bring your dogs to the pool, you can help with a check or credit card monetary gift.

Wish list for additional items we will need:

  • noodles
  • boogie boards
  • digital dog scale
  • towels
  • pneumatic grooming table
  • Air Force hair dryer
  • Home Pet Spa dog bathing system

To gift any of these, please contact Beth at Call or text: 419-475-3539

Thank you. Anastasia and Jonathan appreciate any help you can give.

Our goal is to install the pool in early 2020.

Please contribute whatever your heart tells you to.

I ask for and receive an abundance of everything I desire to lead a success-filled and purposeful life.

By Anastasia Rudinger | December 3, 2019 |

Happy Thanksgiving.

By Jonathan Rudinger | November 27, 2019 |

As we spend the weekend with friends and family, it’s easy to fall into old familiar patterns. It’s imperative that we remember that we are no longer who we were. We’ve grown. Evolved. We are older and wiser. Our relationships are different this time because everyone in them is different.

I’m reminded of a poem by Alyce Sorokie, the author of Gut Wisdom, Understanding and Improving Digestive Health. It’s timely. I’d like to share it with you.

Chapter 1

I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost… I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place. But, it isn’t my fault. It still takes me a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in. It’s a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

This is a description of noticing that we may not be aware of what we are doing. We may need to learn to notice, to become aware, and place a higher value on being completely present. We are our own seers. We are in control. We have choices. We are what we think about.

This applies to us. It applies to our canine clients, as well.

  • These are the kinds of stressors that dogs address and resolve during, after, and with consistent ongoing PetMassage.
  • These are the kinds of stressors that dogs’ owners address and resolve during, after, and with consistent ongoing PetMassage.
  • These are the kinds of stressors that we practitioners address and resolve as we become more proficient at providing PetMassage.


Each day brings me greater awareness and a more loving, accepting heart.

By Anastasia Rudinger | November 27, 2019 |

Before and After’s Buddy’s PetMassage

By Jonathan Rudinger | November 20, 2019 |

Rather than describe a canine massage this week, I ask that you take a minute to watch this short video. It’s this dog’s second session. The transformation from “before” to “after” is remarkable.


When I massage dogs their quality of life is enhanced.

By Anastasia Rudinger | November 20, 2019 |

Stress free nail clipping with massage

By PetMassage | November 14, 2019 |

Full Title: Stress free nail clipping with massage

Author: Melissa Kuhn

Date of Publication: November 6, 2019


Research Paper Text:

Stress free nail clipping with massage

Stress free nail clipping with massage
Melissa Kuhn
November 6, 2019

There are many health benefits for dogs to have regularly clipped nails, not just to make them look good

Keeping your dog’s nails at a clean short and comfortable length aids in better gait, posture for sitting as well as standing. Reduces arthritis and inflammation of the joints as well as the spinal column, as well as the major organs. Inside every nail is a vein and if cut too short it will bleed. If not cut frequently the vein will grow with the nail and become longer which could curl underneath to the pad or twist and curl to the sides of toe connecting with the other nails.

“Common cause of nail disorders in dogs that are caused by not getting their nails cut back often enough; Infection such as bacteria or fungus, trauma, Immune system disease, Tumor or cancer.” (

“Dog’s nails consist of two layers. They have the unguis, a hard, outer covering in which the keratin fibers run perpendicular to the direction in which the nail grows. But unlike us, under their unguis, dogs have the subunguis, which is softer and flaky, with a grain that is parallel to the direction of growth. The faster growth of the unguis is what gives the dog’s nail its characteristic curl.” (

Certain massage techniques can help some dogs that get anxiety for nail trimming or grooming experiences. It can calm nerves, relax the dogs body and allow the dog to understand that getting their nails trimmed and feet groomed is a good and calming technique to help them get used to this process. Dogs that have been to grooming salons, or vet clinics to have nail work done sometimes have had a bad experience and then the dog is required to either be muzzled or sedated just to get this job done.

Certain breeds of dogs have no issues of having their paws touched let alone having the nails trimmed or grinded down, some dogs prefer the grinding rather than the clipping of the nail. Most of the breeds in the working and sporting group are not fond of having their nails done and their paws touched, held, or pads shaved of hair. Whereas breeds in the toy, non-sporting group are used to the process due to possibility of starting the grooming process early on in their life. Certain breeders start at a young age with getting the puppies used to being held, paws touched, nails trimmed, paw pad hair shaved out. After working with three dogs from the working group and three dogs from the sporting group over the time period of a month they went from being uncomfortable and having to be muzzled to get the nail process done for them to no muzzle and actually enjoy coming into the salon for their nails to be done. The dogs would come in every two weeks to get their nails either clipped or grinded down, they were not only doing this to get their dogs used to the process but to train the vein inside the nail to grow back, this prevents the dogs nails from becoming too long, and when trimming them there will be less chances of the vein being cut and bleeding. Thus, causing pain and horror for the dog.

The massage of the paws for the dogs started out as only lasting a few seconds, then got built up to 2-3 mins, further doing it was able to do it for 5-7 mins without the dog getting upset or agitated and wanted to bite the groomer etc. The final massages were lasting the length of the nail trimming appointment 10-15 mins depending on the dog and what all needed to be done. In the end all except maybe one of the dogs were more comfortable with the nail trimming process as well as their paws being touched and held for more than a few seconds. The approach of taking the paw is very important as well, most dogs I have notice don’t like to be grabbed from the front, but gently running your hands down their legs picking the paw up from the back and gently bending the paw towards the back in the motion as to working with it.

**** I couldn’t obtain any pictures of the dogs feet during this test, pet parents wouldn’t allow, nor wanted to sign anything for me to able to do this test and share pictures about it for a school paper**** I did try the same technique on my cats at home when I go to trim their nails, and it has improved on two of my cats and it is now much easier to do their nails than it was able to be done before or at all, I was taking them to the vet once a month just to keep up with their nail trimming. The massage technique can also work on cats as long as you work with them, cats are different than dogs usually its their way or no way and most cats don’t do well with any type of new change unless you continue with it.

Research Is Part of PetMassage Training

By Jonathan Rudinger | November 13, 2019 |

As part of the PetMassage Foundation Level Program, in addition to completing the hands-on workshop, written canine massage documentations and videos, and home study courses in canine anatomy, dog handling, and marketing, students are required to complete a short research paper.

The reason we have this as a requirement is that when our students complete a focused study on one subject,

  • They become an SME, Subject Matter Expert, on their topic.
  • This gives them more confidence in their freshly acquired skill set since they can draw on the knowledge that they are experts.
  • They can often extrapolate what they’ve learned and apply it to other functions of their dogs.
  • They attract clients that will benefit from their specialized study. For example, someone who learns about adipose tissue and the ramifications of obesity will attract dogs with weight issues.

Each of the more than 100 published papers provides a helpful and deeper understanding of dogs and canine massage. Subjects come from canine anatomy, physiology, massage and bodywork, dog handling, dog training, body mechanics, dog psychology, psychic awareness, energy work, and more.

They are on as a resource for you to use in your massage practice and general care for your dogs. I encourage you to comment on them, as a peer reviewer.

How do we choose topics? Topics for the papers are chosen based on the conversations students and I have during the workshop.

The people who choose PetMassage for their training are very diverse in their interests and approaches. A recent workshop included a(n)

  1. Vet tech
  2. Dog handler
  3. Dog day care owner who took this workshop the first time 18 years ago
  4. Instructor in a massage school
  5. Recently licensed massage therapist from Beijing who is shifting the focus of her practice to dogs.

I thought you’d enjoy reading the topics that our most recent class will be researching.

See if you can figure out which student chose which topic.

  1. Enzymes
  2. Piriformis, effects of tapotement
  3. Hernias, applications for massage
  4. Bone growth in large breed dogs
  5. Phantom limbs

All of the papers are cached on our website’s Resource Section. Please check it out. There will surely be something there that will interest you.

Key: 1-A, 2-D, 3-E, 4-C, 5-B


When I understand and apply the research that’s available, my canine massage is more effective.

By Anastasia Rudinger | November 13, 2019 |