Manual and Canine Massage Therapy

Manual therapy is a more targeted approach towards improving joint mobility, whereas therapeutic massage can reduce tension and increase flexibility in pets.


What is manual therapy and massage?

Manual therapy and massage are both techniques which make use of the hands for therapeutic effect. However, there are important differences between the two techniques in how they are used to treat and rehabilitate pets.

Canine massage therapy softens and refreshes strained or sore muscles through the rhythmical application of pressure, helping a pet to relax and become more mobile. Manual therapy involves a more hands-on technique to realign joints and supportive structures where they have become ‘bent out of shape’. Relieving pain and improving flexibility in this way, can help a pet exercise safely and effectively, thus strengthening the body more broadly.

How do we use manual therapy and massage?

Massage and/or manual therapy commonly form part of the bespoke rehabilitation programmes designed for pets who have undergone orthopaedic surgery. These patients often suffer tight, strained muscles as a result of compensating for a problem limb or joint.

These therapies are invaluable for pets recovering from injury too, for example the sporting dog who has pulled a tendon or strained a muscle. Common candidates also include pets with chronic conditions such as arthritis, for whom regular ‘maintenance’ treatments can help keep the body strong and supple.

What happens at the appointment? 

  • Whatever the reason for a pet to visit us for massage or manual therapy, you can rest assured that they are in safe hands. 
  • An initial veterinary examination will take 1 hour and follow up appointments are usually around 30 minutes. 
  • Treatments will take place on comfortable mats at your pet’s level.

How many treatments are needed?

You will be advised how many treatments your pet is likely to require and whether they would benefit from ongoing sessions as part of a longer-term management plan.

Is massage good for dogs?

Therapeutic massage for dogs with arthritis can have benefits, but we will often recommend manual therapy for these patients to help with joint mobility. Our team are experts at managing osteoarthritis using a combination of different therapies to meet your pet’s needs.

Can cats be treated with manual therapy?

Absolutely! Many of our therapies are suitable for cats and they can really benefit from techniques such as feline joint manipulation. Our team loves working with all of your four-legged friends, and are used to the extra time and patience that felines need to feel comfortable.

If you are unsure whether your cat would tolerate treatment sessions, give our team a call to discuss your concerns. Even if manual therapy is not the right fit, we may suggest an initial consultation to help develop a bespoke treatment plan that suits your pet’s temperament.

Happy Owners and Happy Pets

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Our Veterinary Treatments

Patients at Physio-Vet can receive a full range of cat and dog physiotherapy treatments and types of care that have been developed over many years of scientific and clinical research. The team can treat any kind of domestic animal, no matter their size, breed, age or condition.


We have a fantastic dog hydrotherapy set up, complete with our very own underwater treadmill.


Therapeutic ultrasound offers pain relief and helps to reduce any swelling for your pet.

Laser Therapy

Our laser therapy treatment is ideal for conditions such as osteoarthritis, soft tissue trauma, and more generalised pain management.


We use some of the best and latest technologies to diagnose neurological conditions, such as dog epilepsy.


Our pet acupuncture services can safely be used to treat dogs and cats with a variety of ailments.


Our surgeons are equipped with the knowledge and skills to perform advanced surgical procedures with the best possible outcomes.