Fitdog Does is our blog series where we test out fun and interesting dog-related services and activities around Los Angeles. Since August 10th is National Spoil Your Dog Day, we decided to spoil the original Fitdog, Brecken, with a dog massage by Gene, the owner of Dancing Dog Massage.
In case you’re not familiar with Brecken, he is an energetic, almost 10 year old Jack Russell Terrier and the inspiration behind the creation of Fitdog. In true Fitdog style, Brecken works out 6 days a week with our Sports team. Whether Brecken is going on Canyon Hikes, navigating jumps at Fun & Fit Agility or swimming at Pool Safety, he’s got something going on just about everyday.
Needless to say, we’ve noticed Brecken’s hind legs have been a little sore. Let’s see if Gene can work out those knots and spoil this pup.
First, Gene met up with us (yes – he will travel to you!) and quickly got set up by laying out a pad and playing iCalm Pet stereo (doggy calming music to set the mood). Next, Gene broke the ice with Brecken by giving him some treats. So of course, Brecken and Gene were fast friends.
Now we had to decide how long we wanted Brecken to get a massage. Treatments can vary in price and length depending on your dog’s age, weight, and touch tolerance. Since Brecken is a small dog at 13lbs, Gene recommended a 30 minute massage and set the timer.
Gene likes to start at the dog’s head and work his way down but is quick to change his routine depending on the dog. Within a few seconds, it was clear that Brecken wanted to start off with a belly rub, and Gene was happy to oblige.
After rubbing his shoulders and back, Gene reported that Brecken is, indeed, a very fit dog. He kept remarking at how muscular Brecken was and reminded us of an important fitness tip that he likes to share with his clients. You should able to feel your dog’s spine and ribs but not see them. Brecken passed – of course.
Towards the end of the dog massage, he finally reached Brecken’s sore hind legs and felt that his right leg was more tense than the left. Dogs, like humans, encounter stiffness and overcompensate for injuries. The big difference is that they can’t tell you when they are in pain or need a massage. Giving your pup a massage every once in a while (particularly as they age), can help work out any kinks and re-align their body.
The timer went off (and just like with a regular massage, it felt too short). Brecken immediately ran off to find water, and Gene said this was common. Massage is all about blood circulation which helps the flow of oxygen and other important nutrients. So it’s equally important for dogs to stay hydrated to reap the full benefits of the massage. One of Gene’s clients even gives their dog coconut water after each massage – talk about spoiling your dog.
Passionate About Dog Massage
It was clear throughout the massage that Gene was passionate about his work and is a true dog lover. He started his journey as a Registered Veterinary Technician with over 20 years of experience. Four years ago, he came across canine massage classes and decided to become a Certified Dog Masseuse. About a year later, Dancing Dog Massage was born!
Gene says the best part about his job is that every experience is unique and the dogs have good energy. Since massage therapists and their patients are thought to transfer energy to each other, he is grateful to receive lots of pure, positive doggy energy everyday. And, what did he think about Brecken’s energy? One word: Youthful!
Totally worth it
While we couldn’t say for sure how Brecken felt about the massage, we definitely noticed that he was more relaxed and had more pep in his step. And for $40, it seemed like a deal. Overall, Gene offered a relaxing and pleasant experience for both humans and dogs, and Brecken will definitely being doing it again soon.
How are you celebrating National Spoil Your Dog Day? Tell us in the comments below!