Animal massage therapists are animal health professionals who use their knowledge of anatomy, physiology and massage techniques to improve the health of animals. Some massage therapists serving human clients have expanded their business to include animal clients. This job usually requires the ability to perform the following duties: Evaluate animals to discover any problems they may encounter. Develop and implement treatment plans according to the needs of individual animals. Assess and record the animal’s progress. Use hands-on massage techniques to manipulate muscles and soft tissues in animals. Collaborate with veterinarians, other professionals and animal owners.Usually, massage relaxes the muscles
Animal massage therapists are animal health professionals who use their knowledge of anatomy, physiology and massage techniques to improve the health of animals. Some massage therapists serving human clients have expanded their business to include animal clients.
Responsibilities and responsibilities of animal massage therapists
This job usually requires the ability to perform the following duties:
- Evaluate the animals to discover any problems they may encounter.
- Develop and implement treatment plans according to the needs of individual animals.
- Assess and record the animal’s progress.
- Use hands-on massage techniques to manipulate muscles and soft tissues in animals.
- Collaborate with veterinarians, other professionals and animal owners.
Generally, massage relaxes muscles, stimulates blood circulation and enhances the animal’s range of motion. Although some animal massage therapists specialize by species (horses and dogs are the most common), other animal massage therapists mix large and small animals.
Horse massage therapists have worked on top performance horses in a variety of disciplines, from Olympic long jumpers to winners of the Triple Crown competition. From show champions to family pets, canine massage therapists have worked on all types of dogs.
Animal massage therapist salary
The salary of an animal massage therapist may vary based on factors such as the number of clients, the location of work, the length of work and the level of education received. The Northwest Animal Massage Institute (NWSAM) pointed out that the salary of an animal massage therapist usually reflects the income of a human massage therapist:
- Median annual salary:$41,420
- Top 10% of annual salary: $78,280
- Minimum 10% annual salary: $21,340
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018
For those animal massage therapists who visit clients at home or on the farm, travel expenses (vehicle maintenance and gasoline) should be considered.
Education, training and certification
The path to becoming an animal massage therapist varies from person to person. The specific requirements depend on your residence.
- education: The degree related to animals is useful, but not required. The key to success in this field is to develop a solid knowledge of animal physiology, especially muscle groups and their functions. Animal first aid training can also prove beneficial to those who wish to pursue this profession.
- training: Although you can learn the necessary techniques as an apprentice or trainee, most animal massage therapists will complete one or more training programs.
- Certification: Proof of certification or professional training is required in some states. Check with the veterinary department and the health department for specific requirements.
The International Association for Animal Massage and Physical Activity (IAAMB) tracks state laws and regulations regarding animal massage.
Skills and abilities of animal massage therapists
To succeed in this position, you usually need the following skills and qualities:
- sympathy: This type of work requires friendliness and respect for the animal and its caregiver or owner.
- Communication skills: For animal massage therapists, it is important to communicate with animal caregivers, owners, and other professionals working with them (such as veterinarians) about their behavior on animals.
- Skills of analyze: Animal massage therapists must be able to assess the condition and needs of animals based on their physical symptoms, clues and behaviors.
- Physical strength and flexibility: Animal massage therapists must be able to effectively manipulate the muscles and soft tissues of animals.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2026, the overall employment of animal care and service workers will increase by 22%, which must be faster than the overall employment growth of all occupations in the country by 7%.
Many animal massage therapists will work for themselves and travel to serve their clients. They may also find opportunities to work in a veterinary clinic, kennel, beauty salon, large pet store or zoo.
Just like working with animals, massage therapists may encounter some difficult situations, such as sick or tortured animals and animal waste. Massage and dealing with animals may also place great demands on the body.
According to BLS, because this job is physically demanding, about half of massage therapists work part-time.
How to get a job
Organizations that provide animal massage training programs include Northwest Animal Massage Academy, Equisage and Brandenburg Massage Therapy.
Write a cover letter and restore
If you don’t want to work on your own, you need to write a reliable cover letter and continue. Familiarize yourself with the important things about job hunting in animal-related occupations and learn how to write a great resume.
Relatively similar work
Those who are interested in becoming an animal massage therapist can also consider the following other occupations with a medium salary:
- veterinary: $93,830
- Veterinary technology: $34,420
- Veterinary assistant: $27,540
- Zoologist: $63,420
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018