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This Cold Weather is Ruff!

There is no mistaking it, the winter cold weather is here. For those of us in the Midwest, we had a short reprieve of warmer winter weather…but not anymore! Welcome to the cold winter months!

Just step out into the cold to know that cold weather affects us all physically. This is true for our four legged companions as well. When we go out into the cold, it can be a shock on our system – we shiver, muscles tense, teeth chatter, and our body tightens. Our pets can have a similar experience. Going from a warm house out into the cold air is a big change.

In A Nutshell  
In normal circumstances, blood vessels transport warm blood from the internal organs to the skin. When the body gets cold, the blood vessels closest to the skin’s surface shrink in order to reduce heat loss, which also slows the blood flowing through the vessels. Next the shivers begin, which are muscle spasms designed to generate body heat. These spasms can occur in any muscle of the body. Therefore, when the body gets cold, muscles tighten / contract, leaving our muscles feeling tight, stiff and cold!

Tighter muscles and less blood flow restrict the movement of the muscles in the body. Joints also tend to feel tight, stiff and locked, especially if the joint is already compromised from a previous injury or arthritis.

Beware of the Ice!
Another concern in these cold winter months is ice. Slipping on ice is such a danger! So, not only are our muscles already tense from being cold, add slipping on top of that and the result is messy!

While many public areas use salt to melt the ice, salt can burn your pet’s paws. And while there is pet friendly salt available, many public places do not use this. If your pup suddenly lifts his paw while walking, check to see if salt and/or ice have gotten lodged into his paw pad.

Massage Can Help!

 

 

 

So, what can we do to help our companions during these cold winter days? Massage of course! Massage warms and relaxes the muscles of the body. Massage can take those tight muscles and gently encourage them to relax, stretch, and return to its normal state of rest. Massage also gets the blood flowing back into the contracted muscles and joints, improving the overall feeling of comfort in the area. If your pet slips on the ice and it results in pain, tenderness, or a soft tissue issue, massage can help alleviate the pain and inflammation in the area while also supporting other areas in the body that may be affected.Two simple massage techniques for warming your pets muscles before or after going out into the cold are:

  • Rubbing the body – gently rub your fingers and/or palm over your pets body (avoiding the spine) to increase the blood flow to the body. This is especially good over the large muscle groups of the leg (“thigh), along the back, about an inch from the spine, the neck, and the shoulders.
  • Light compressions – using the palm of your hand, lightly press and release the large muscle groups of the shoulders, hind legs, and neck. Be gentle, this is a light compression not a squeeze! This acts like a pump to get the blood moving in and out.

A Few Winter Thoughts

  • Dress for the weather – use a dog sweater or coat if necessary. Both of my dogs have fine fur and get cold easily. They don’t go out in the cold without their sweaters on.
  • Keep the paw pads (and nose) moist – this cold weather can cause your pups paw pads and nose to crack. Rub some organic, virgin coconut oil on these areas of the body. Coconut oil is great! It is a wonderfully healthy oil that will moisten the pads and nose of your pet. It is also safe (and healthy) for dogs to eat, so if your pup licks it off, no worries
  • PAWS Boots – I love these! They look like rubber balloons, but they are for your dog’s feet. They are lightweight, so not as cumbersome or awkward as some of the other boots out there. On a personal note, when my lab was older and began slipping on our wood floors, I put these on her in the house to prevent her from slipping. They were great! She no longer slipped, and she was much more confident in walking and standing.
  • Make your own paw wax – there are many great paw protectors on the market, but I recently came across this recipe on the internet posted by Rodney Habib (and from Dr. Karen Becker):
    In a pot melt: 3 oz. beeswax, 2 T coconut oil, 3 oz calendula oil, and 3 T avocado oil. Pour into a small jar, tin, cupcake mold, etc. Let cool and harden. Rub on the paw pads before venturing out! Note: this may be greasy, so don’t apply in the house or your pup could slip and/or get rugs, furniture, beds, etc. greasy.

Wishing you and your companions a safe and Happy New Year!

 

MehrKatThis Cold Weather is Ruff!
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It’s A Pet Massage Deal!

SOPHIE SAYS, “I’M SO EXCITED! A DEAL FROM THE RIGHT SPOT PET MASSAGE!”

Do you need that perfect gift for your pet or the pet lover in your life?!

Look no further! The Right Spot is offering a special deal on 60-minute pet massages!

$40 for a 60-minute massage (regularly $60!)

Give the gift of love and good health!

Lucy says, “Run – don’t walk! Get that appointment today!”

 

 

 

 

Please call Katie at 773-329-7233 or email katie@therightspotpetmassage.com to set up an appoiontment.

DETAILS: this offer is good at the Skokie Studio – 9244 Kilpatrick Ave, Skokie, IL                                                                         Offer Offer ends 12/24/16; however appointments can be made anytime in the next 3 months. Limit 1 per person.

Thanks so much! happy Holidays!!

OH! Huge THANK YOU to Cristian Pop Photography for these awesome pictures!

 

 

MehrKatIt’s A Pet Massage Deal!
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Thoughts From A Canine Massage Therapist

When I tell people what I do for a living, I am met with a variety of responses – excitement, acceptance, laughter, shock…Many people still have no experience with canine massage and have no idea that it is a “real” profession.

Animal massage has been around since very early times. I think most people are more familiar with equine massage due to horse racing. But dog massage? C’mon…
The fact is, dogs are living much longer lives these days. Advances in surgeries, better medicines, advances in veterinary approaches and knowledge, and more folks trying alternative therapies have all led to our companions living longer, healthier lives. Animal massage is just one more aspect of helping our pets live longer, more comfortable, and higher quality lives.

Here are a few facts about canine massage:

  • To become a certified canine massage therapist takes training. I went to school and learned about anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and all sorts of other body related subjects. I am always seeking to learn more about our companion animals – specific illnesses that affect them, how nutrition affects our pets, and other healing modalities that complement my work.
  • There is a national board exam animal massage therapists take. Although not required at this time, in my opinion it is important that canine massage therapists be held to a high standard. After all, we are dealing with a living being.
  • A canine massage therapist is different from a human massage therapist (LMT). While we both have similar muscles, the anatomy of a four-legged animal (quadruped) is different from a two-legged human (biped). I would never assume that because I am a small animal massage therapist I could therefore be a human massage therapist (that is, without further training in human anatomy). It goes both ways.

People often say to me, “I massage my dog/cat at home, why should I bring her to you?” Massaging your pet at home is great! There is no doubt you are not only bonding with your pet, but also helping him/her to feel better.

However, my education and experience have given me knowledge and understanding of many conditions that can affect our companion animals. I feel for tightness, sore areas, disharmonies, and other issues that the pet’s body may be indicating as problem areas.

My hope is that more and more people understand why massage can help their pet live a longer, healthier life. For those of us who understand the benefits of massage for ourselves and notice a difference in how we feel following a massage, please know – this also is true for your pet!

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

MehrKatThoughts From A Canine Massage Therapist
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Fun at The Spooky Pooch Parade 2016

As a pet massage therapist, I love attending dog events and offering free massage to the dogs! It is a great way to meet dogs and their people, and talk about and demonstrate all the wonderful benefits of pet massage.

One of my favorite events is the Spooky Pooch Parade held at The Chicago Botanic Garden every year. This is the only time of year dogs are allowed in the Botanic Garden. This is probably smart as last year I saw one exuberant pup jump right in the Lily Pond. I don’t think the garden officials found this funny, but to the rest of us, well…

This year, the weather was beautiful – warm (especially for Oct 29!), sunny, and most importantly, DRY! The event was sold out, so lots of 2-and 4-leggeds were in attendance.
It is always interesting doing canine massage at large events. In the beginning, the dogs are too excited to even sit down. But after a little bit, most dogs calm down enough to experience a short massage. Many of the dogs I see at events are nervous and anxious. Events are loud, busy, and chaotic, a sure recipe for anxiety. I love seeing how the effects of massage can almost immediately calm most dogs nervous system and help them relax a bit. One little senior was carried over to me, and as the owner slowly handed him to me, he started growling. She quickly explained that he is an anxious dog, even under the best of circumstances. As I gently began massaging his head, he began to relax. After just a few minutes, he was relaxed and even calm. It was wonderful!

One of the most fun aspects of the Spooky Pooch Parade are the costumes the dogs, and often times owners, are wearing. The dogs all look fantastic! Many of the hand made costumes are ingenious with an amazing amount of detail. There are five categories with a prize for each category, so this is serious stuff. Of course, The Right Spot always donates a free massage gift certificate in the prize baskets.

This is an event that is well worth attending. Below are some pictures from this year’s event.

1spooky-pooch-17-2016spooky-pooch-3-2016 3spooky-pooch-4-2016 4spooky-pooch-13-20165spooky-pooch-15-20166spooky-pooch-5-2016 9spooky-pooch-14-20167spooky-pooch-7-20168spooky-pooch-11-2016 10spooky-pooch-12-2016

MehrKatFun at The Spooky Pooch Parade 2016
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A Beautiful Golden Boy

wrigleySo probably the worst thing about my job is when a beloved friend (some say clients) makes his/her transition. Last weekend a wonderful, sweet, gentle, and kind golden retriever made his transition. Wrigley was a bit older (12) but had the spirit of a much younger dog. He was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago, had his spleen removed, and was given a few months to love. Wrigley wasn’t ready to go, and outlived the expectations by quite a bit. His quality of life was fabulous, and he received amazing care from his people, his holistic vet (herbs, acupuncture, and chiro), and weekly massages. He passed quickly with grace and dignity, the way we all wish it to be. I will miss him, but will see him again on the other side. Rest well, sweet Wrigley!

MehrKatA Beautiful Golden Boy
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New Location at Love Fur Dogs

I am so excited to announce that The Right Spot Pet Massage will now be working in Glencoe, IL at Love Fur Dogs – 69 Green Bay Rd, Glencoe, IL

love-fur-dogs-logoLove Fur Dogs is a beautiful pet grooming salon with a brand new area for doggie daycare! Not only does Love Fur Dogs offer grooming, but you can get trained to be a groomer yourself! Check them out at www.lovefurdogs.com

To set up an appointment with The Right Spot at Love Fur Dogs (or any other location), please call Katie at 773.329.7233. Hope to see you soon!

MehrKatNew Location at Love Fur Dogs
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Free Pet Massage Demo at Bentley’s Corner Barkery!

Come one, come all!
The Right Spot will be at Bentley’s Corner Barkery in Rogers Park Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 11:00am – 2:00pm.
Bentley’s Corner Barkery – Rogers Park is located at:
1257 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60660

I love doing these events!! It’s a great opportunity for people and their pets to experience animal massage! There is NO pressure, I promise! Just an opportunity to learn about dog massage and see personally how your dog responds to it!

MehrKatFree Pet Massage Demo at Bentley’s Corner Barkery!
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Free Pet Massage at Love Fur Dogs!

WooHoo!! FREE MASSAGE!!

The Right Spot Pet Massage will be offering free pet massage at Love Fur Dogs in Glencoe, IL. The event will take place TOMORROW 4/11/15 from 10:00 am – 3:15 pm.

There are still a few spots left! To schedule a FREE short massage (about 20 minutes), please call Katie at 773-329-7233.

Come learn and see for yourself the wonderful benefits of massage for our beloved family members.

Love Fur Dogs is located at
69 Green Bay Rd, Glencoe, IL

In the Hubbard Woods shopping plaza. Love Fur Dogs is a wonderful and warm grooming shop, boutique, and doggie daycare center! Check them out at www.lovefurdogs.com.

MehrKatFree Pet Massage at Love Fur Dogs!
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Fun Event at Rex’s Place!

Come to Rex’s Place in Evanston on March 28 for an Easter Egg Hunt with your dog! Woo Hoo!! The Right Spot will be offering free massages to all canine participants! This is sure to be a great event! All proceeds benefit The Red Door Shelter in Rogers Park, Chicago.

K-9 Egg-stravenganza! Dog Easter Egg Hunt
March 28, 2015
1:30 pm to 4:00 pm

This egg hunt will be so much fun for your dog! Every egg contains a treat; all of them for k-9s and humans. Treats include restaurant gift certificates, dog toys, dog biscuits, and chocolate bars for people. Also, a photo opportunity for your dog to pose in a spring background with owner.

Participating dogs must be socialized, leashed and well-behaved. $10 per dog for egg hunt. Spring photos are $10 each. Egg hunt at Rex’s Place/Dog Obedience Group, 2120 Ashland, Evanston. All money raised goes directly to the homeless rabbits at Red Door.

MehrKatFun Event at Rex’s Place!
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Why Pet Massage? Simply put…

In my work, many of my clients are looking for alternatives and additions to their traditional vet care. Massage is one of those alternatives. Massage helps ease muscle pain, arthritis, edema, injuries, high blood pressure, anxiety and stress, etc.  by working with the whole body system. By working with the whole body, I can feel where pain may be, and work with that area as well as surrounding areas that also may be affected. As with most humans today, pet massage is not simply a luxury, it is a way of helping your pet feel better, move better, and learn how to respond better. Think about it–you know how much better your body and mind feel after a massage, the same is absolutely true for you pet!

MehrKatWhy Pet Massage? Simply put…
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