Want to start a career in canine massage therapy but don't know where to start? This article will explain how!
Step 1 - Determine if animal massage is legal in your state
While most states do not have licensing boards pertaining to animal massage, there are different regulations from state to state mainly depending on the state's veterinary board. Some states do not allow anyone except a licensed veterinarian to massage animals, while other states allow certified animal massage therapists to work under veterinary supervision or referral and other states allow animal massage without any veterinary affiliation. Click this link for a list of animal massage laws by US State.
Step 2 - Decide what type of course is best suited for you
There are many canine massage programs available ranging from one day or weekend courses to 100+ hour courses. You will find courses that are completely hands on, ones that have both home study and classroom requirements and ones that can be completed completely online. There are pros and cons to each which you must consider before choosing a school.
Classroom Programs: Pros: these classes will offer you the most personal guidance while you are learning the massage techniques. Cons: you will have to travel to the location where the course is held which comes with additional expenses (plane flight or gas expense, hotels, food, taking days off work and other expenses). Another con is that you must be available during the specific days the course is held.
Home Study with Classroom hours: Pros: these courses have a little more flexibly as far as the time you have to complete it since there is an online component. They will also offer the same personal guidance as a classroom only program since you will do part of your training in person. Cons: these types of courses have the same cons as a hand's on only program...you will need to travel (with adds expenses to your cost of education) and you will need to be available during the specific class dates.
Online Course: Pros: Start and complete the course on your own schedule without deadlines or timeframes. If something comes up in your life and you need to put the course on the back burner, you can without losing any registration fees. These courses are also usually more economical since you do not have to add on the expenses of traveling. Cons: you do not get the same personal one on one guidance as you would in a classroom setting.
Step 3 - Find a program that is affiliated with other organizations
Since animal massage is not regulated by the state, there is no state licensing board for it. This means that pretty much anyone can teach animal massage. To ensure that you are taking a quality course and receiving a valid certification, make sure that the program you choose is affiliated with other bodywork organizations.
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) is a massage organization for licensed human massage therapists. They will approve some animal massage courses as continuing education for their members. If a course has the NCBTMB seal of approval, then you know it has been reviewed and approved by this strict organization.
The International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork (IAAMB) is another great organization that offers membership to those who have received a certification from an approved school (schools must apply and meet their requirements to become approved). If the program you choose is approved by IAAMB, then you will be able to become a member of their organization which will provide you with support as you are practicing animal massage and options for malpractice insurance (in the US and Canada).
Step 4 - Enroll, complete and start practicing!
Enroll in the course that meets all your requirements. Complete the course material and receive your certification and start practicing! Note that is definitely helps if the program you choose also has a business aspect to it. You could be the best canine massage therapist in the world, but if you don't know how to run your own business, you will not be successful.
About Our Program
Angel's Animals LLC offers an online canine massage certification program. Our course is a 100 hour course that requires the student to complete 50 hands on practice hours, 10 case studies, homework assignments and 2 exams to receive their certification. Our program is available to people in every country and does not have any timeframes or deadlines. One of the many great things about this course is that you can log into it at any point in the future (even years after completing it) to review the material....your course never expires!
Our course is approved through NCBTMB, IAAMB, IVCA, ACAN and several other organizations.
Our canine massage course covers the following techniques:
Click Here to Enroll in a Free Trial!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I know if I'm doing the techniques correctly if the course is online? This course has been structured in such a way that it maximizes the learning potential. There are also homework assignments that must be submitted via video of the student performing the techniques. The videos are reviewed by Dr. Barbara and the student receives feedback and must master the technique before they can move on in the course.
What if I have a question as I am reviewing the material? Dr. Barbara makes herself available to students through email, FB, website chats and other forms of communication. When a student asks a question, they can normally expect a response within a few min to an hour. If the student is in another country and happens to write when Dr. Barbara is sleeping, they will have to wait a bit longer, but most students can attest to the fact that they normally get instantaneous responses for her allowing them to move on with their studying without having to wait.
Am I able to communicate with other students? Yes! We have private FB groups for each of our courses which allows current and past students to interact with each other. This is a great way to share case studies, ask questions and seek advice from other students and practitioners who have already received their certification.
How do I take the online course? When you register, you will be sent a link and password so that you can access your course. The course is comprised of presentations (by Dr. Barbara), PowerPoints, articles and demonstrative videos. You can save your place in the course so that you can start up where you left off the next time you log in. The exams are completed online. Homework assignments and case studies are submitted through email (with videos). Hands on practice hours are done at a local rescue or shelter (if there is not one located in your town, Dr. Barbara will help you find other arrangements).
How much does the course cost and can I make payments? This course is $1100 USD and you have the option to either prepay at a discount (pay a total of $990) or make 4 monthly payments of $275. Although our prices are in US dollars, we do have many international students and their payment will be converted to USD at checkout.
What techniques does the course cover? The course covers Swedish, Acupressure, Myofascial Release, TMJ Release, Gua Sha and Core Muscle Stim massage as well as several physical therapies (hot and cold therapy, stretches, ultrasound, whole body vibrational therapy, etc). Click here for a full curriculum.
What will my certification title be? Once you complete the certification process, you will have the title of Certified Canine Myo-manipulative Functional Therapist. You will receive a high quality, wax sealed certificate in the mail and your name (along with your contact info and website) will be listed on our website under practitioners so that potential clients can find you.
How do I register? You can register here.
Have a question we didn't cover? Email Dr. Barbara
10/31/2017 10:03:46 am
I am in Canada. I'm wondering about a Canadian course that may similar/affiliated with this one? Thank you!
10/31/2017 11:12:30 am
9/10/2020 11:11:40 am
Hey Dr. Barbara, I also live in Canada and was curious how to attain this certification, could you email me with some more information
1/27/2021 09:59:43 am
I'm in the same boat as a canadian...please include me in this mailing. Thanks so much!
1/27/2021 10:10:31 am
Hi Tina, our courses are approved in Canada through IAAMB and they provide liability insurance options to their Canadian members (you can become a member once you complete our certification). I don't have your email address, but you are welcome to email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions :-)
1/18/2018 02:15:19 pm
How much does each class cost
4/6/2018 07:41:28 am
The total prepay price for the massage certification course is $990. There is also a payment plan option which is 4 monthly payments of $275. Click this link for more info: https://holistic-animal-studies-by-angels-animals-llc.thinkific.com/courses/canine-massage-certification
4/5/2018 10:57:44 pm
How much does someone in this field make on average? Thank you.
4/6/2018 07:42:15 am
Most canine massage therapists charge from $40-85 per session.
5/13/2018 02:20:14 pm
When it says this
5/13/2018 02:38:39 pm
7/23/2018 02:54:14 pm
Does this course offer any business training along with the massage training?
7/23/2018 02:59:25 pm
Hi Sarah, Yes, we have a full chapter in the course on running an animal massage business. If you have any other questions I can be reached directly at email@example.com
8/21/2018 10:27:28 am
Do you know who I would contact if it says: IOWA : NO RESPONSE FROM VET BOARD: ACUPRESSURE NOT ALLOWED for my state?
8/21/2018 10:32:51 am
8/22/2018 11:14:35 am
Hi, I'm Elena. Are all of our courses valid in Italy? Thank you
8/22/2018 11:26:26 am
11/15/2018 03:32:07 pm
Is the price of $990 certification only for canine massage? I see you offer some equine courses as well, is that an extra cost ?
11/15/2018 03:51:12 pm
Hi Erin, yes the price for our Equine massage course is also $990 and they are separate courses. If you are interested in learning how to massage both horses and dogs, I recommend checking out our money saving course bundles. https://www.holisticanimalstudies.org/comprehensive-bundles.html
This is GREAT Dr. Barbara ! Animals should get massages to! Im a licensed massage therapist in the USA BUT never thought that there was a license to massage animals . Animals naturally respond to bring Petted over and over again. When I was younger I massages some horses just for fun . It was hard ! Kudos to the people who do! ❤
2/1/2019 06:54:08 pm
Hi! I'm in Canada and certifications are nearly non-existant. I would like to be certified in cat massage therapy as well. Would I be able to apply canine therapy to cats? Do you offer general small animal massage therapy courses? Thank you!
2/1/2019 07:01:30 pm
Hi there. We do offer feline courses as well and we have a small animal bundle that would be perfect for you. Here is the link https://www.holisticanimalstudies.org/small-animal-certifications.html
5/1/2019 02:53:44 am
Hi. I'm Brazilian and I live in Florida. I'm not an American citizen. Do I get the massage license after the certificate? Is this course recognized in Brazil?
5/1/2019 10:53:57 am
1/25/2022 11:25:02 pm
Do you provide information in the course on how to become a member of iaamb?
1/26/2022 10:07:09 am
Hi Cristina, Yes we have instructions in the course on how to become a member of IAAMB :-)
5/22/2019 08:06:30 pm
Hi, im in Massachusetts and have had my massage therapy license for 7 years but i am now set on working on animals . Im so passionate about this !
5/23/2019 07:28:32 am
Hi Lori, to my knowledge there is not a state regulatory board for animal massage in MA. Completing our certification (which will allow you to become a member of the International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork and carry malpractice insurance) will allow you to practice there. Our course is also approved for CEUs through NBCTMB so if Mass accepts animal CEUs, then you can use them towards your license renewal. If you have any other questions, I can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
6/2/2019 09:44:37 pm
My son is homeschooled and will be 16 in November. He really wants to learn this. Can he take this course? Thank you!
6/3/2019 08:28:27 am
Hello Bonnie, Yes, we have other high school students enrolled in our massage certification courses. I just recommend that he completes a general biology course before enrolling. If you have any other questions, I can be reached through email at email@example.com
8/17/2019 02:07:29 pm
Hello, I'm interested in taking online courses and laws state that there are no regulations against animal massage in my state. As a technologist in another medical profession, I am trying to learn what the best route is for proper certification and know how detrimental it is to chose the right accredited program to be able to practice independently.
8/17/2019 02:18:28 pm
Hi TM, To complete our certification process, students need to submit 10 case studies, 2 full massage videos and complete 50 practice hours (we recommend doing half of them at a local shelter) and an online exam.
10/18/2019 01:46:11 pm
how much does the certification cost?
10/18/2019 01:53:19 pm
I was just wondering if I had to have a website if I were doing this course for the betterment of my own animals and not to make money. I have a Frenchie who gets this twice a week and it can be quite costly, not to mention a bit far, but it totally seems to help her. I am a stay at home fur mom and would love to be able to provide this for my animals.
2/13/2020 07:49:09 am
2/29/2020 12:46:34 pm
Do the certifications cover both therapeutic and rehabilitative massage
2/29/2020 02:28:14 pm
Hi Jessica, yes we cover several forms of massage and practitioners are able to utilize them to rehabilitate injured animals.
6/25/2020 12:02:57 am
I’m a massage therapist in Illinois. Want to add canine massage to my current practice. Can I do this with taking your courses?
6/25/2020 08:06:38 am
8/8/2020 04:41:56 pm
What are the rules for South Carolina. I am a retired 20 year AMTA member but would like to be certified in canine massage. Thank you for your reply.
8/8/2020 05:16:07 pm
Hi Jean, You need veterinary referral in your state. We cover how to do this in the course. If you have any other questions I can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
12/28/2020 03:22:40 am
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2/23/2021 10:11:13 am
Hi! I am looking into taking the ultimate body work equine certification bundle... I was also wanting to do the canine massage therapy certification. Is there any way I can get a bundle deal for taking both of them?
2/23/2021 11:06:31 am
9/8/2021 08:03:31 am
Hi there, I found your website by means of Google while looking for a similar matter, your site got here up, it looks great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
9/8/2021 11:25:18 am
That's wonderful! Reach out anytime if you have questions about our program! email@example.com
11/1/2021 03:50:57 am
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9/3/2022 08:44:17 pm
I would like apply
9/4/2022 04:21:13 pm
1/3/2023 01:20:43 pm
Hi, I just started thinking about being a canine massage therapist and I see different certifications like NBCAAM, IAAMB/ACWT etc. I'm based out of WA, USA. How do I know which certification to aim for? I understand I will have to enroll in the course first.
1/3/2023 02:20:38 pm
It's my understanding that in the state of Washington you can only work as an animal bodywork professional if you've passed the NBCAAM exam.
2/8/2023 03:59:54 pm
I would love to take this class and I am in Texas. It says on the link that you have to be a vet or work under one. Would I be able to use a vet as a referral to practice on my grooming clients? I work as a house call groomer and it’s just me as a sole owner and operator.
2/8/2023 05:54:01 pm
Hi Chelsea, to my knowledge you just need a referral from a veterinarian to practice in Texas. We have some practitioners there. You're welcome to contact them to find out how they handle it. :-)
3/1/2023 08:46:55 pm
3/1/2023 09:40:38 pm
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Dr. Angelique Barbara is the founder of Angel's Animals LLC, a company that has developed online animal bodywork courses for both owners and professionals. Dr. Barbara's unique teaching style along with the dynamic layout of the courses allows people of different educational backgrounds from all over the world to benefit from her knowledge.