Here’s How You Can Make $50 An Hour Petting Dogs And Cats

Related video: Watch This Dog Absolutely Enjoy His Massage

How would you like to have a job where you could spend the day playing with and petting adorable cats and dogs? If this sounds like a cuddly dream to you, you should consider becoming a Pet Massage Therapist.

Yes, there really is such a thing. In fact, there’s a National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure and Massage. They ensure there are proper guidelines and training for current and future therapists.

Benefits of Massage for Dogs

Dogs can suffer from the same aches and pains as people. They may be due to medical conditions or simply from getting older. Lola Michelin of the Northwest School of Animal Massage believes massage can help man’s best friend feel better than ever.

dog photo
Getty Images | Drew Angerer

“Regular massage throughout the life of your pet may help prevent the stiffness and pain that contributes to arthritis,” Michelin told The Penny Hoarder.

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Medical Benefits of Pet Massage

There are numerous medical benefits to pet massage, according to MaryJean Ballner, a graduate of the Swedish Institute of Massage Therapy.

Physiologically, massage stimulates the body’s nerves, muscles, circulatory system and lymphatic system. It enhances range of motion, increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells, relieves muscle spasms and helps to flush away toxic compounds, such as lactic acid, that cause pain. Massage has been used therapeutically to aid in healing after injury or surgery, ease chronic stiffness and reduce the heart rate.

Cats Can Love Massage, Too

Cats, by nature, may be a bit more hesitant to be still for a massage. Still, it’s possible with the right technique.

Over the years, Baller found that cat massage can calm even the jitteriest cats.

cat photo
Getty Images | David Paul Morris

“The first time we met, it took a few minutes for me to gently pry his claws from the shelf,” she said of a 4-year-old cat she worked with. “For the next few weeks, I patiently cradled this cat in my arms… held him securely on my lap and repeated gentle soothing words. Gradually he began to accept being massaged with a soft bristle brush.”

Pet Massage Legal Requirements

Animal massage laws and requirements vary by state. There are strict laws in Arizona, Arkansas and Maine limiting it to medical practices, meaning it can only done by veterinarians. However, unlicensed practitioners are allowed in states such as Alabama, Alaska and Delaware.

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Looking for formal training? A Canine Massage Therapy program is offered on Upon completion of the program, students can get national certification from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

Animals, Money, Pets, Work

About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World.

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