“The human/animal bond represents a partnership, and as such, it places on us the responsibility to ensure and enhance the health and well-being of our animal companions.."

-Marilyn Koski, DVM, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, UC Davis

“I've recently incorporated massage therapy into the treatments my elderly, arthritic dog is receiving and have been impressed by both the relief she gets from it and by her range of motion afterwards.

-Sheri Cardo, Humane Society Public Information Director


Dog and Owner

Wellness encompasses a variety of attitudes, programs and complementary therapies that enable pets:

  • to heal more completely after injury or disease,
  • to enjoy richer lives with exercise and jobs,
  • and to live better quality lives as they age.

Animals are sentient beings with emotional and physical needs, just like their human owners. When they are injured, there are ways that their owners can help them recover more quickly. As they age, it is possible to improve the quality of their lives and enhance Western medical treatment. When they are in pain, left alone for long periods, or experience changes in their routines, they can become depressed or anxious.

Owners can take a more active role in their pets' emotional and physical lives by learning about acupuncture, massage and rehabilitation therapies, including hydrotherapy. New exercise routines, learning tricks, or finding a "job" for a pet will stimulate their brains (as well as the owners'). Old dogs do learn new tricks and that is a perspective on life that humans can take to heart.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wellness

1. How do you know rehab or massage therapist, or acupuncturist is qualified?

Always ask for a therapist's credentials, and, unless they are veterinarians, acupuncturists are expected by law to practice under the auspices of a veterinarian's office.

2. Is massage for your pet only a current fad?

Absolutely not. Just like humans, dogs become stressed and store toxins in their bodies, especially those who work as therapy or service animals. Dogs that hunt or compete in sporting events can strain or sprain parts of their bodies, and massage is important for maintaining muscle tone and strength while recuperating. After surgery or traumatic injury, massage (and acupuncture) can help reduce pain and decrease recovery time by aiding in the healing process.

3. Why is brushing my dog's teeth so important?

Tooth decay, infection and plaque all add toxins to a pet's body, and can literally take years off a pet's life. Try introducing your pet to brushing in small doses, followed by a really good treat. Make it part of a daily routine and an upbeat activity. (Make sure to use a soft brush and toothpaste specially formulated for dogs.)

You can also use a clean damp cloth to wipe teeth if brushing is too difficult. If you do consider other products sold to help clean pets' teeth, make sure to read the ingredients and check with your veterinarian to make sure the products are safe. And always have your pet's teeth routinely examined by your vet.

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Your donation helps to support community clinics and education classes so that people can find additional ways to comfort their pets, especially as they age. Through hospice outreach, owners can learn how to make their pets more comfortable, and receive much needed emotional support as well. Thank you for caring.

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Please visit our Events page to get more information about upcoming Wellness-related classes and learning opportunities.


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