Starlight Pet Talk

Pet Massage Therapy: Transforming Your Pet's Life Through Therapeutic Touch

May 07, 2024 Amy Castro, MA, CSP Season 2 Episode 17
Pet Massage Therapy: Transforming Your Pet's Life Through Therapeutic Touch
Starlight Pet Talk
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Starlight Pet Talk
Pet Massage Therapy: Transforming Your Pet's Life Through Therapeutic Touch
May 07, 2024 Season 2 Episode 17
Amy Castro, MA, CSP

In this episode of Starlight Pet Talk, host Amy Castro interviews Blanca Rodriguez, a certified canine massage therapist, about the benefits of pet massage. They discuss the history of animal massage, the similarities between human and canine massage, and the specific techniques used in canine massage. Blanca shares success stories of how massage therapy has improved the quality of life for dogs, including those with hip dysplasia and end-of-life care. She emphasizes the importance of creating a calm and safe environment for the massage and recommends using relaxation music. Overall, the episode highlights the transformative power of massage therapy for pets.

Pet massage has been practiced since ancient times and has similar benefits for both humans and animals.

  • Canine massage therapy can improve the quality of life for dogs with various conditions, including hip dysplasia and end-of-life care.
  • Creating a calm and safe environment is crucial for a successful pet massage session.
  • Massage therapy can strengthen the bond between humans and their pets and increase trust.
  • Relaxation music can enhance the calming effects of massage therapy for pets.

Shoutouts in this episode: Blanca E. Rodriguez:

Comment on this episode! For questions or if you need a reply- please email us at

Support the Show.

Support the show:

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode of Starlight Pet Talk, host Amy Castro interviews Blanca Rodriguez, a certified canine massage therapist, about the benefits of pet massage. They discuss the history of animal massage, the similarities between human and canine massage, and the specific techniques used in canine massage. Blanca shares success stories of how massage therapy has improved the quality of life for dogs, including those with hip dysplasia and end-of-life care. She emphasizes the importance of creating a calm and safe environment for the massage and recommends using relaxation music. Overall, the episode highlights the transformative power of massage therapy for pets.

Pet massage has been practiced since ancient times and has similar benefits for both humans and animals.

  • Canine massage therapy can improve the quality of life for dogs with various conditions, including hip dysplasia and end-of-life care.
  • Creating a calm and safe environment is crucial for a successful pet massage session.
  • Massage therapy can strengthen the bond between humans and their pets and increase trust.
  • Relaxation music can enhance the calming effects of massage therapy for pets.

Shoutouts in this episode: Blanca E. Rodriguez:

Comment on this episode! For questions or if you need a reply- please email us at

Support the Show.

Support the show:

▷ Official Site:

▶ Facebook: / starlightoutreachandrescue

▶ YouTube: -

▶ TikTok: / starlightou...

Amy Castro (00:00.206)
If you're one of those people who likes to get a massage and you reap all the wonderful benefits of doing so, have you ever wondered if your pet could also benefit from massage? Join us today as we unravel the intriguing history and surprising benefits of pet massage. From reducing anxiety to improving health, learn how this very ancient practice is making tails wag and hearts purr. If you're ready to discover a new way to pamper your pet, stay tuned. You're listening to Starlight Pet Talk.

Podcasts for pet parents who want the best pet care advice from cat experts, dog trainers, veterinarians, and other top pet professionals who will help you live your very best life with your pets.

Amy Castro (00:44.494)
Welcome to Starlight Pet Talk and I'm your host, Amy Castro. And many of you know that I wear a lot of hats as they say. So I consider myself a human communication expert. That's what I speak and write on. And I'm also, as you know, the host of this podcast and the president of Starlight Outreach and Rescue. So I've got a lot of things going on in a lot of different directions. Well, my guest today, Blanca Rodriguez is also a person of many, many talents and experiences. And she wears a lot of hats as well. So she is a life coach.

She is a speaker and an author. And I think if I had a different kind of podcast, we could do a whole episode just talking about where our lives intersect and how much we have in common. But what I wanted to have her on the show today to talk about is the hat that she wears as a certified canine massage therapist, which is something that I've never really thought about, first of all, number one. And number two, I mistakenly thought, oh, this is some newfangled thing. Like now we're getting massages for our dogs, but.

You're gonna find out in this episode today that it's not a newfangled thing and there's a lot to it that can benefit you and your pets. So, Blanca, thank you so much for being here with us today. Thank you, Amy, for having me. What a joy it is for me to be sharing this platform with you.

Well, I appreciate that. And it's a joy having you on here. I enjoyed our conversations prior to the podcast. You're just a lovely person, a kind person. And I can see why working with animals would be something that would not only be something that you enjoy, but also something that would benefit the animals. Cause you just put off a nice energy and I haven't even met you in person yet. That will be a great idea. We should meet personally. That's right.

So with all the hats that you wear, can you share a little bit about your journey in becoming a certified canine masseuse? Yes, absolutely. Thank you for that. I've been an animal lover since I was a little girl. In the moments in life when I have felt lonely or whatever it is, my dog has been there for me.

Amy Castro (02:50.926)
all along over the course of my whole life. We've been animal lovers. This is a family tradition to live around animals, dogs, cats, birds, turtles, all you name it. My mother had it, that is for sure. I'm a licensed massage therapist for our beloved humans. I've been doing this beautiful craft for almost 19 years. In the state of Florida, we have to do continuing education to maintain our licensing.

Randomly one day I saw this magazine and it said, would you like to be a certified canine massage therapist? Before that, I was very interesting in doing something that had to do with animals. I was checking out on horse massage therapy, but I came to the conclusion that they are very big animals, were very big muscle mass.

And I am a small person, so I said, no, I don't think that's the best idea. And then the miracle of Canine Massage Therapy School came here. There was a school here in Florida, and I said that right there. That is my calling. And the benefits of Canine Massage Therapy are as infinite as they are for human massage therapy. So is it basically, I mean, is it the same?

I'll be honest, I'll admit right up front and my friend Bev, who my best friend who's done a couple of episodes with me is a big fan of getting a massage. I personally am not a big fan of getting massages. So I kind of don't get it, I guess to a certain degree. But is there a huge difference between canine massage and human massage? The similarities between human massage and canine massage are pretty vast, actually. Us humans and dogs, we are mammals.

We have body systems, very similar organs, and of course, muscle mass. Some of the many benefits of massage therapy for humans and dogs alike is de -stressing, relaxation, better immune function, better mobility, loss, the loss of, and this is the beauty of canine massage and human massage.

Amy Castro (05:13.55)
that is so helpful when it comes to grief and loss of a human companion or a dog companion. Those are just some of the benefits. I have worked on dogs that from all the way from their puppies all the way to their passing. I have done massage for to my beloved dogs in the event of them crossing the rainbow bridge.

And it's a very soothing experience. It soothes the dog. It helps with the grief that we are enduring, especially when unfortunately they are put down. We had to put down our beloved dog close to two years ago and I was there with her all the way to the end and I was massaging her constantly and she was at ease. And that is a beautiful blessing for me and an honor for me to be able to do this craft.

Mm -hmm. You know, and I can attest to that because I mean, obviously even just in, just as an example. So this morning I got up at six to, okay, I lie, maybe it was 630. But anyway, I knew I needed to be up well before seven to feed these little kittens that I have in my dining room right now. And they're still on a bottle. And you know, they obviously they just like babies, right? They cry when they're hungry. And so, and then when they see you and know you got the bottle, then they get very excited.

But like after, you know, after I've given their bottle, I always make a point of kind of, you know, holding them snug and giving them some rubs. And I'm not, obviously, I don't know anything about massage, but these little kittens that are like this big, they start purring. And a lot of people don't think they can purr when they're that little, but it's not, and you can feel their little bodies relax. So even just, I think touch is such an important thing for animals. And then you get into all the benefits of massage. I mean, it's,

It's kind of a no brainer for people, you know, for as just the many, many benefits to their pet of having this done. So I had mentioned when we started this episode about, you know, thinking this was some kind of newfangled thing, but you had told me an interesting thing and I think it was about Napoleon and dog massage. And I was like, come on, that can't possibly be true. But lo and behold, tell us that story that you shared with me. Yes, absolutely.

Amy Castro (07:35.246)
Massage therapy has been around since 3000 BC for humans. Animal massage therapy has been around since 2700 BC. Julius Caesar used to take his massage therapist to war with him. Julius Caesar was epileptic and massage will calm his symptoms down. Julius Caesar had very ferocious war dogs. His massage therapist

will work on his war dogs as well. This practice was created in China, then in India, and in these cultures and their medicine styles, animal massage therapy is as important as human practices for alternative medicine. Then after that, of course, it started spreading around, it went to Europe, and finally it got here to the Americas in the 1970s.

with the introduction of equine massage and right after that, canine massage therapy. There is very powerful platforms that approve of the practices of canine massage therapy, like the AKC or American Kennel Club. They approve of these practices too, I mean, because it's so beneficial for the quality of life of the dog for.

life. So that is something to be very cognizant of when we get a dog. The same aches and pains and discomfort that we may feel, let's say on our neck, on our lower back, on our legs, it may be the same discomfort that your dog may feel as well. Yeah. I mean, and we see, especially as dogs, if dogs have had injuries, I mean, in our animal rescue, we get animals that have been hit by a car, animals that have had amputations. I mean, we had,

two dogs, one was a puppy and one was an adult. The puppy had three broken legs. And then we had an adult that I think her name was Merida and at least two of her legs had been broken. And you know, it's like, yes, they heal, but there's long -term impact when you have a broken bone or when you've had literal impact, you know, from a thousand, couple thousand pound vehicle, I would assume. Absolutely. So.

Amy Castro (09:52.686)
As far as the techniques that you, and again, I know nothing about massage, but are the actual terminology and techniques that are used on animals similar to humans or are there specific animal techniques that you use that might be a little bit different? The only difference between human massage and dog massage is the pressure that is applied during massage. With us human, we can withhold a lot of pressure depending on our needs.

With the dog, the best approach to dog massage is light, slow motion pressure because that's the way that the dog will start relaxing and giving in into the session. That is for sure. The maximum pressure to be applied on dog massage is five pounds. And when I'm talking about five pounds of pressure is for a

big dog, let's say a Rottweiler, a Great Dane, that kind of pressure can be applied with some exceptions because there's different type of massages depending on the dog's need. The one that I apply the most that is the most powerful for them is Swedish Massage. The Swedish Massage for us humans and their Swedish Massage techniques.

for animal massage as well. I have done some deeper pressure, but it's depending on the needs of the dog. Let's say if there is scar tissue because of surgery, if there's spasms because of a fall, I have worked on many agility dogs and agility dogs, they get hurt a lot. They are too hyper and let's put it this way. The dog doesn't think it's like, oh, I hurt myself. I should stop. No, they won't stop at nothing.

at nothing. Why is this? Because in the animal world, in the dog world, if the dog shows pain, the dog could be easily some other animal's dinner. So this is why dogs don't show pain as us human do. So we are going to be very cognizant that when the dog shows some kind of pain, be very aware and run to the vet because the dog is an excruciating

Amy Castro (12:11.022)
pain. So yes, I just wanted to share that with all the listeners. It's very important. No, that's that's such an excellent point. I've noticed. So I have a bulldog named Guinevere. She's got a bunch of other names, but she she had her. Yeah, she had her ACL torn and repaired with a technique called a tightrope technique. And, you know, a lot of research, a lot of effort into what is the safest, you know, what's going to have the best long term impact, et cetera, et cetera. But she'll get out in the backyard with our

rescue puppies just as you know, like we've got three puppies, young dogs at the house right now. And she starts running and she does this like spinning in circles and like she's eight years old and I'm just cringing like, please stop doing that because I'm just waiting for that ACL to tear. So it's like a fine balance between letting her exercise, but you're right. And this dog is like impervious to paint. I've never heard her cry or anything. And I know that ACL had to hurt.

And so I really do have to, it's such a good point that I really do have to watch her and rein her in when she's doing stuff like that, because then you'll see her kind of moving a little slow. And like you said, it's exponential what they're probably really feeling because they do hide so much. Absolutely. The other thing is too, that pet parents need to know is that, you know, it's not just about your dog being prey or showing weakness amongst wild animals. Cause there's some people that might be listening and think, well, I don't have to worry about that because...

My dog's not out there with a pack of coyotes, but if you have multiple dogs, the other dogs can sense that weakness. And I've seen that around the rescue too, where someone's older or it's showing weakness and the other dogs will gang up on them in many instances and take advantage of that. So definitely something we need to be alert to as pet owners and pet parents. Absolutely. One of the things that I wondered about, and I'm glad you said something about run to your veterinarian, because my concern...

My concern in doing this episode, and you've alleviated a lot of that concern just in our conversations, is that number one, I don't want pet parents to suddenly think, oh, I'm a masseuse and I'm just gonna do this on my dog without going to the vet first or consulting an expert. But I would think also that there are safety precautions that you need to take as a professional when it comes to not just accepting every client or just jumping in there and starting to do massage on a dog. What?

Amy Castro (14:31.726)
What type of safety considerations do you need to have? I want to talk about for the, for the animals sake too, but then I also want to talk about for your safety as well in working with dogs. Absolutely. Absolutely. The best, I mean, just like there's many benefits to massage therapy, there is contraindications meaning don't do it. And some of them are depending on the dog's temper, you it's a go or no go.

That's very important. Temper, if they are afraid, that's another one that is like, okay, the approach should not be done at this moment. And this is something that I learned with my canine massage teacher. Our dogs are talking all the time. We just need to pay attention. Some of the contraindication is after surgery, unless there's a clearance from the vet.

is a no -goal. Skin rashes, cancers, open wounds, depending on their level of, let's say, hip dysplasia. If it's too much for the dog, that the dog is screaming in pain, do not approach that area specifically. Dogs are beings of energy. When these situations happen, I use energy work, which is just putting my hand

very gently on the dog and the dog feels and the dogs are really the energy work on dogs is one of the most powerful practices I have ever done in this very beautiful career of mine and their reaction is just outstanding. It blows my mind away every single time but when not to do this is when simply simple as that the dog is not up to it the dog is not feeling well when there's fevers.

when there's cancers, broken bones, fractures, open skin and skin rashes, definitely. Yeah. Do you work with a lot of veterinarians? Like, cause I know that sometimes, you know, you might go to a veterinarian for something, your dog has surgery and then they might say, like I've got one veterinarian who has a colleague that does acupuncture or laser treatments. And I think massage is kind of another logical offshoot of that. So I'm just curious, like how that.

Amy Castro (16:56.686)
how that works with you working in conjunction with the vet. Yes, I have worked in conjunctions with quite a few veterinarians and they are all very different when it comes to the approach of canine massage therapy. Some of the old school beds don't agree with this, but the newer generations, fortunately, they're very open to it. I used to work at a bed center that they had a physical therapy area.

at their office. So I will help with the physical therapy and I will do canine massage immediately after and the success rate was 100%. The dog will improve at a faster pace than without massage. I have worked with chiropractors that they do chiropractic services on dogs. Very powerful practice as well. Acupuncture, laser treatments.

All of these practices in conjunction can help tremendously to any dog that is in a recovery process. That is a fact. And I'm very grateful to all of these fellow professionals that they are so open to this beautiful practice of canine massage therapy.

Well, and it makes so much sense too, because even the times where I have gone to the chiropractor, because I was having issues with my back, and it's like, there's always some element of massage, whether it's mechanical or whether it's with hands or, and use of heat. And so it's like, you know, it's common sense, I guess, to me that if that is something that is beneficial to humans in dealing with an injury or post -surgery or whatever it might be, then why wouldn't it be for another?

creature on this planet that has, you know, blood and muscle and bone and nerve endings and everything else. I mean, it's, it makes, it makes a lot of sense. I have to ask this question before I forget. Do you work on other animals? Cause you mentioned the horses, but like, what about cats? Cause we do, we rescue a lot of cats in our rescue. Well, there is definitely cat massage and there are schools that offer a certification for kitty massage, but cats are, cats are a world away of a difference from dogs.

Amy Castro (19:09.614)
that we all know we love our cats. I love cats. Cats are so adorable. I unfortunately, I don't practice on cats. My only practice that I do in animals is on dogs, but it's something that I am seriously studying the possibility of me becoming certified because I have had so many people approaching me about cat massage actually. So yes, absolutely. If anybody will

have their cat massage, do it because our kitties enjoy it tremendously as well. So if a pet parent is listening to this now and you know it's not something that their vet specifically said, oh you should go do this for your dog, what is your typical client like? Like is it somebody that's just looking for relaxation for their dog or to pamper their pet?

Is it post -injury and how does that work? Like they call you up, you make an appointment, do you go to their house? The best approach to canine massage is where the dog feels safest and most comfortable. In my experience, I have worked at best offices. Most of the time the dog is so scared that the good effects of massage therapy are not really felt because of being in that environment.

There is a very reduced number of dogs that actually like to go to the bed. My dog used to be one of them. She will be the happiest camper when she will go to the bed. And bravo for her, this beautiful angel. But definitely in my experience, the best route to go is going to the dog's house. It's where they feel comfortable, it's where they feel safe. I have had doggy clients that they are...

on their parents lap while I massage them because that is their favorite environment and this is the beauty of the flexibility of massage therapy. We adjust to the animal not the other way around. So it's a huge blessing I just love.

Amy Castro (21:16.174)
My animals, we are animals lovers. I get just so excited about it. I just love it. That's great. So if somebody was looking, because one of the things I did this morning, I was like, how easy is it to find a canine massage therapist? So I did, you know, pet massage therapist near me did a Google search and I think about four or five places cropped up just on the first page. But I mean, I would assume like anything else that we, you know, any other service that we use in life.

you know, it's there are differences. Are there certain things that a pet parent should be looking for in reaching out to a massage therapist? Yes, absolutely. I highly recommend to the pet parent to make a lot of questions. Ask where do you go to school? How I mean, how many pets you have worked on is so important to have this information because either the canine massage therapist maybe

this person went to school and never practice. And another thing is how many dogs and what kind of situations have the dog been at and how have you worked this out? I did my internship for my schooling at a No- Kill animal shelter. I went to cages in a very chaotic environment where the dogs are.

neglected, abused, abandoned, every single thing. I know you have seen everything in the book because of your business. The worst case scenario that I had, it was this pit bull that he had his eyes taken out and he was dog for bait. The other fight dogs or war dogs, so to speak, will take him as bait and the dog couldn't be more hurt, scratched,

I mean, he was broken from the inside out. And this was one of the most powerful massages I have ever provided in my career. This dog just surrendered to a total stranger with the best intentions. So yes, it's important for the therapist to know their environments, be very cognizant of

Amy Castro (23:41.71)
everything that is surrounding the dog's environment because that is definitely a game changer. And this is very important for the listeners to know. Your dog is the reflection of you. Okay. The dog, if you are stressed, your dog is stressed with you. If you're happy, the dog is happy with you. If you are angry, the dog will be angry with you. So be please very cognizant and very aware of this reality.

that our doggies have. Anxiety too. That's the other thing I was like, I almost started laughing when you said that because there's a person who I gave birth to who has a lot of anxiety and her dog is just kind of like, I mean, I don't know that the dog's anxious, but the energy seems to match to a certain degree. Most likely. But that's, I mean, that is so true. They're such a tie with our animals. They know.

when something's not right. They know when you're upset about something, they can feel that. I think it's probably a physical thing, it's a smell thing, it's an energy thing. I think all of that's there on a level that we probably can't feel or smell, but they certainly can. Oh yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Our dogs can feel and smell our emotions. That's why there is so many dogs that are trained to be cancer detectors.

that has been one of the latest and they smell the sicknesses. They smell our fear. They smell our anger. It's incredible and mind blowing how powerful our beautiful dogs are. The relationship between dog and human dates from 14 ,000 to 40 ,000 years ago.

So this relationship has been really, really long, really, really powerful. And it all started and these are two theories about it. Either the wolf came to the human because they wanted food or the human grabbed the wolf puppies and domesticated them. So that is the two theories about the transition and how powerful the

Amy Castro (25:59.79)
bond in between huyumen and dogs started. Yeah, I never even thought about that. That's that is fascinating. You know, it got me thinking too about with the with animals and and how much they absorb from us. And it's like that almost is an argument right there for the fact that they need massage and relaxation because it's kind of like if you were sitting with somebody who is

chronically anxious about things and expressing it and and jumping about things you're you're gonna be a nervous wreck by the time you're done interacting with that person so now take that to a level of an animal that Is not only picking up on that You know, I mean if I jumped up out of my chair my dogs would all fly up out of their beds and start barking and looking around right so that's one level of energy but now but they're also picking up on the smells and the you know, just other aspects that are just

so subtle that we don't notice those as people. They're probably exhausted by interacting with us in some instances. So, now I feel really bad for my animals because I'm like all over the place. It's like, no wonder they're all out of control because they're just probably driving them crazy all day. And I'm glad that you said something about the shelter. Cause I was going to ask you about that, the work in shelters, because after you had mentioned doing your training in a shelter environment, I started thinking about how much,

having massage or having that ability to make that physical human connection, have that quiet time, have that relaxation. How much did you see in interacting with those dogs? How much did that impact their rates of adoption? I mean, I don't want numbers or anything, but their adoptability, like were they better able to be adopted once that negative energy, the anxiety, the fear left them? I believe that

it increases their chances by a lot, to be very, very honest with you. In my experience, volunteering with the animal shelter, after I completed my internship, I just kept on volunteering. And I volunteer with two different platforms of animal adoption. And in my experience, these dogs are just such amazing beings, and us humans have so much to learn from them. My experience,

Amy Castro (28:21.998)
they have been receptive almost 100 % of the time. I have worked with a few thousand dogs in my, what I consider short career. I'm only going on nine years doing this beautiful practice. And I could say almost 100 % of these dogs, they are receptive. They receive it with love. They bond. Some pets, I will just go in their cages little by little.

doing a subtle approach little by little, a few minutes with you. I am here, I am just gonna sit down and you come to me at your leisure if you like, if you want. After the third try, the dog will end up sitting on my lap and me massaging him. And the one thing that is so important for us before we massage our animals is gotta be in a calm state.

The calmer we are, the calmer the animal will be. The more stressed we are, the more stressed the animal will be. And I can tell you this from my professional and personal perspective, the calmer I am at all times, the more receptive, the more welcoming I will be in this dog's life. And mind you, we have never met each other ever before. So it's very, very powerful.

Yeah, and if that works well for you as a stranger, entering the cage of a shelter dog, imagine the impact of a human that already has the connection with that pet.

Absolutely. It even got me thinking about doing things that we sometimes have to do to our pets that they don't necessarily always love. For example, cutting their toenails. Like I used to always surprise me. My, my, and my current dogs are a little more cooperative, but my Doberman Pinscher, who I had for 13 years, that it's like, you know, we do the every five days of just doing a little bit on the nails, just to kind of keep them at a good length. And everything was like a.

Amy Castro (30:24.942)
traumatic experience and I, you know, of course I did things to try to make it not that way, but I remember sitting there thinking like, why have you not gotten used to this at this point? But I wonder how much, like if we took the time before just grabbing the dog and starting to do their toenails or brushing their teeth or put them in the shower, whatever it is that they fear or they don't like, but it needs to be done. If we took the time to get into a, you know, take that deep breath and get into a calm.

state because we're, you know, then get rid of that idea that we're going to be facing a battle or a mess or, you know, dealing with a muddy pup or whatever it might be. And maybe do a little massage or a little ear rub and just interacting with the animal before we leap into the nail cutting kind of thing. Absolutely. Absolutely. I cannot agree with you more, especially with the nail cutting that they get so uncomfortable with it because it's a very delicate area of the dog. Yeah.

The paws and the padding of the paws are highly sensitive area. The padding of the paws are where they have their sweat glands. They regulate temperature through the padding of the paws and the nose of the dog. Dogs don't have pores. So that is one of the big differences between us humans and the dog. And that is why they are like, I'm freaking out.

Don't touch my paw. There's too much information going on in there and it's too delicate. They're very hypersensitive to touch, you know, specifically in that area, the ears, the nose and the tail of the dog. Okay. Stay away from the tail of the dog. Leave the tail alone. The tail is for language. It's not for play. So yes, definitely, you know, that is a huge reason why they are so uncomfortable when it comes to cutting nails and all this stuff. But,

If we take the time to first of all us calming down, take a deep breath, grab the dog. I have a companion here. This is Han Solo. I love Han Solo. Han Solo is a puppy and he loves his massages. And if we only took the time to nice, quietly and gently.

Amy Castro (32:43.15)
Massage our dog. This is the simplest form of canine massage. If the dog is your companion, you can start with the top of the head. If the dog is not your companion, start on the neck. Leave the head, leave the ears and the face alone. They feel invaded in that aspect. That is a fact. So you start nice, slow, light,

They don't need hard pressure or anything. Nice and slow. This move alone can really, really calms the animal down and thank you Han. And, and, and definitely, you know, that just that movement alone, it will calm.

our state. We will be in a calmer state just because everything is slowing down. I highly recommend nice, soft, relaxation music. When I massage my doggy clients, I have quite a few right now. And by the way, one of them, my sweet Bodhi, she just had surgery for her ACL.

actually. There you go. So yes, yes and I am working on her on a very subtle way of course staying away from her from that full hind leg because it's a no touch zone for now. Every time I work on these animals I bring my speaker and there are many playlists on streaming services that are specially for calming the dog down. I use one playlist that I love that is called

sleepy dog and the dog, oh my goodness with the effects of music. I gotta check that out. Yes, please. Because it changes the whole environment. It changes us and it helps them calm down as well because the more calmer we are, the calmer the dog will be, especially on those very high stressful situations with dealing with their paws. Definitely highly recommended.

Amy Castro (34:57.838)
that's a great idea. And I think, you know, so many times, and I know I run into this with people when they're meeting new, like if somebody's gonna come do a meet and greet with a dog at the house, especially if it's a dog that might be a little bit hesitant or like right now I've got a blind pit bull. And so she needs people, you know, if she's gonna get adopted, she may live her life out here at the rescue ranch with me. She loves me. I don't know why, but she does. But, um.

But she knows me and she knows my energy, but she's not the kind of dog that somebody can just come up and just, like we think about a typical, like a golden retriever, right? We've got this TV image of a golden retriever, bouncy, bouncy, happy, happy, grab them, rub them really rough, they get all excited, they love that. And there are dogs that like that, and there are dogs that like that, but you don't.

want to use that energy all the time, especially if you're trying to relax them or they've just had surgery. And then there are other dogs where, and that's where we, you know, where I think the matching pets to people and their energy when it comes to adoption is that there are some dogs that are never going to like that. You know, so this dog, for example, is not going to want to be in a house where everybody's doing that. It's not going to want to be in a house with kids with that level of energy. So the energy, the energy piece of it is so important. And I think even for dogs who do enjoy,

the excitement to take that time and lower your heart rate, lower their heart rate, get your blood pressure to go down and just, you know, breathe and relax with your pet is such a, I think it's kind of an incredible bonding time. Absolutely. Absolutely. Canine massage therapy is proving that the relationship between dog and their human companion will increase the bond. It will increase the trust from

the dog's perspective and canine massage therapy definitely does that is really, really powerful. I don't call my doggy clients clients. I am their auntie. I'm Auntie Blanca, the canine massage therapist. Yes, yes, yes. That thing that, oh, I'm their therapist. It's like, no, that I am way past that already. I'm Auntie Blanca and they know when I go through that door, they're going to receive love massage.

Amy Castro (37:21.07)
and treats. So what else can be more perfect for the dog? That's right. That's right. And you've mentioned a couple of specific animals along the way, but just to kind of start wrapping things up, is there any particular success story that stands out in your mind where you really saw the transformational power of massage with an animal? Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Her name was Rosie.

Rosie was a 14 year old black lab and she still thought that she thought that she was too, but no, she was 14 years old. She had hip dysplasia. She had cysts, she had tumors and her human companion tells me that the massages that I did on Rosie really, really helped her. The last six months of her life were

so much more easier and healthier because of massage therapy. I will go to her twice a week. I used to go to Rosie and when I started my relationship with beautiful Rosie, Rosie was skeptical. Rosie didn't stay still. Rosie was not happy with me touching her and with patients, love, treats, of course.

and good companionship, me just sitting there, making her company. I am telling you, Amy, that that dog transformed into one of my favorite dogs to massage. She was amazing. The vet gave her like three to four months to live. She lived over six more months thanks to massage therapy. And I made her company all the way to her passing and I cannot be

more honored and grateful to have been there for her. That is for sure. My heart is emotional right now, just by telling you this. That's making me emotional too. Oh my God. I mean, it's amazing. I miss her. It's amazing. And that whole experience, we actually just did an episode on end of life. And we've done a couple things related to that, but like it can be a positive or a beautiful experience depending upon how we handle those things for sure. Absolutely.

Amy Castro (39:49.774)
Absolutely. Yes, I have I have work on a few dogs that to for end of life a palliative care. And it was a beautiful, peaceful experience for everybody involved because the one thing that I asked with all the love of the world to their human companions is like, let's just please, you know, stay calm. And of course, the tears are rolling. That is unavoidable. The emotions is they are there.

That is unavoidable, but let me do my job, which is helping these animals with better quality of life all the way to their passing and being in a calm state in and it's hey, I know it's difficult, but being as calm as possible in the midst of the dog's passing makes the transition easier, especially for the dog.

That is a fact. Yeah. Be open to canine massage. Canine massage is not rubbing the dog. Canine massage is not petting the dog. Canine massage is massage. Massage is the art of manipulation of soft tissue or muscle with the purpose of healing and or relaxation. This is why this practice, this

very ancient practice have been around for so long. The same way that we are receptive on receiving the powerful benefits of massage therapy is the same way that almost 100 % of my dogs are to receive the massage because it's so powerful for them, it's powerful for the human companions and it's powerful for better quality of life. So that is

it and I am so grateful to be here. I am so emotional about it. I am so happy that I brought up my dear beautiful Rosie. Rosie the Black Lab. Rest in peace. She passed away at age 15 and the vet was saying since she was 13 years old that she will pass like oh she have four four months to live. She has six months to live. No she stayed and when it was her time it was her time but

Amy Castro (42:17.102)
She had better quality of life thanks to these practices. And I cannot be more honored that God has given me this gift and this miracle and these hands to work with my beloved dogs. It's my favorite practice. I love my humans, but I love my dogs more. Me too. I love my dogs more than you. I agree. Gosh, well, Blanca, thank you so much for making the time to be here with us today. Thank you. I'm so glad that we met.

at least virtually and I'm so glad to have this opportunity to have you share your experiences and your expertise with our audience. Thank you. Thank you so much, Amy, for having me. Thank you for so much for everything you do. This is very powerful and many, many people really need what you have to say. That's for sure. Thank you. I appreciate that.

And for all of you who are listening to this episode, I know I always say, you know, share it with people you know, but I would also want to do a specific reach out to anyone that's involved in shelter and rescue to maybe do some homework and see if there is a certified massage, a canine massage therapist in your area to help with the animals, especially ones that might be facing some specific challenges, because I can just imagine just based on my conversations with Blanca, the impact.

that having professional massage can have on these animals and their adoptability and their long -term, you know, the rest of their lives. So definitely something to look at. And if you are somebody that knows somebody that works in sheltering and rescuing, please do share this episode with them. Thanks for listening to Starlight Pet Talk.

Be sure to visit our website at www .starlightpettalk .com for more resources and be sure to follow this podcast on your favorite podcast app so you'll never miss a show. If you enjoyed and found value in today's episode, we'd appreciate a rating on Apple. Or if you'd simply tell a friend about the show, that would be great too. Don't forget to tune in next week and every week for a brand new episode of Starlight Pet Talk. And if you don't do anything else this week, give your pets a big hug from us.

Unraveling the history and benefits of pet massage
The Ancient Practice of Canine Massage Therapy
The Transformative Power of Canine Massage Therapy
Success Stories: How Pet Massage Improves Quality of Life
Enhancing the Bond: Pet Massage and Trust