The Winners!

The results are in! You voted on the best places in Cleveland for dog lovers, and we have the winners. Although there were a few surprises, in most cases, the places that are most involved in the dog community, with events and promotions aimed at dog lovers, ended up winning out.

The awards had a great response, so thank you to everyone who voted. I love how much the Cleveland dog community has grown and I am excited to see some local businesses that have really embraced dog lovers and gotten involved in the community receiving recognition.

So, without further ado, here are the winners:

Best Dog Park – Lakewood Dog Park

Lakewood Dog Park has always had a strong connection to the west-side dog community, so it’s not surprising to see it take the top spot. Although not technically a dog park, Edgewater Beach got a lot of votes as well, making it a close second. Read our dog park tour of Lakewood Dog Park here: https://dogsinthecle.com/cleveland-dog-park-tour-lakewood-dog-park

Photo courtesy of the Lakewood Dog Park Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of the Lakewood Dog Park Facebook page.

 

Best Patio – Luxe

Cleveland has a lot of great dog-friendly patios, so it’s not easy to just pick one. I think Luxe takes the top prize, not only because they do a dog-friendly “Bow Wow Brunch” every Sunday during the summer, but also because it’s just a really pretty patio, and it’s just nice when dogs are allowed on a patio that is one of the best in Cleveland. Visit their website here: http://luxecleveland.com

Photo courtesy of the Luxe Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of the Luxe Facebook page.

 

Best Hike-  Rocky River Reservation

This was a tough call, as many people just put “Metroparks” or “Cuyahoga Valley National Park” as their answer. I guess I should’ve been more specific about naming trails or specific areas. Rocky River Reservation got the most votes for a specific part of the Metroparks, so it is the winner. With the Fort Hill stairs and the dog-friendly nature center, the North Olmsted part of the trail is one of Hunter, Roscoe and I’s favorite.

At the Rocky River Reservation, Berea Falls Scenic Overlook
At the Rocky River Reservation, Berea Falls Scenic Overlook

 

Best Dog-Friendly Brewery – Terrestrial Brewing Co.

It was a close call between Terrestrial and Sibling Revelry Brewing in Westlake. But with its numerous dog-friendly events, dog bowl promotions and generally being known as a place to bring dogs of any size, Terrestrial took the top spot for dog-friendly brewery. Follow them on Facebook to keep up with all of the dog events they host: https://www.facebook.com/terrestrialbrewing/

Photo courtesy of the Terrestrial Brewing Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of the Terrestrial Brewing Facebook page.

 

Best Dog-Friendly Store – Milo & Me

Happy to see Milo & Me take the top spot as this new business venture is really picking up a following among dog and fashion lovers in Cleveland. Jessica, the owner, hosts a lot of fun dog-events so this is definitely a top store for CLE dog lovers to visit. Follow on Facebook to find out about events : https://www.facebook.com/shopmiloandme/

Photo courtesy of the Milo and Me Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of the Milo and Me Facebook page.

 

Best Day Care – TIE -Camp Bow Wow and Inn the Doghouse

This tie is probably more indicative of where people live than anything else. Since people tend to pick daycares close to where they live, the answers can really vary for what is the best. Camp Bow Wow has a lot of locations around the city (Strongsville and Westlake got the most votes individually), and Inn the Doghouse is located in Lakewood and just opened a location in Mentor. Check them out at www.campbowwow.com and https://innthedoghouse.com/

Photo courtesy of Camp Bow Wow Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Camp Bow Wow Facebook page.

 

Best Trainer – Fortunate Fido

I was happy to see Fortunate Fido win as I have taken Hunter there for several classes and love all of the trainers there. Fortunate Fido does a lot of fun classes, including Rally, Parkour and Scent Games. Hunter got his therapy dog certification done through them and is now taking Rally. See their upcoming classes at: http://www.fortunatefido.com/classes-training-all

Photo courtesy of Fortunate Fido Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Fortunate Fido Facebook page.

 

Best Photographer – Greg Murray Photographer

An active member of the Cleveland dog community and pit bull advocate, it was no surprise to see Greg top the list. You may know him from his Peanut Butter Dogs book which gained national attention in 2017. Greg is not only a great photographer and a genuine dog lover, but just a really nice person overall. Check out his website at http://www.gmurrayphoto.com

Greg's book, Peanut Butter Dogs.
Greg’s book, Peanut Butter Dogs.

 

Best Local Dog Instagram – Sweet Life of Rudy

Ok, so this one was funny. I really didn’t know what to expect, but since I love IG so much so I wanted to see what accounts others love. Pretty much everyone just voted for their own dog’s account (which hey, I would’ve done the same, no judgement), so there wasn’t a big standout winner. Sweet Life of Rudy did get the most votes, followed closely by Disco the House Elf. Give them a follow! @SweetLifeofRudy and @Disco.the.House.Elf

rudyWhat CLE needs – Indoor space for dogs

I kind of figured this would be the answer, but always like to hear what other people think we need Cleveland. I totally agree we need more indoor spaces to take dogs during the winter. We live in a city with winter for six months, how do we not have an indoor park or activity center for dogs? CLE Run, which I recently wrote about, is the closest we have for now. Read about them here: https://dogsinthecle.com/the-cure-for-your-dogs-winter-blues-cle-run

 

Cover image photo collage: Soza Fitness and Wellness (middle left), Rescue Village (middle right)

The Cure for Your Dog’s Winter Blues – CLE Run

Update- CLE Run will be closed at the end of March (2019.)

 

Looking to get your dog some exercise during these cold winter days? Well, Cleveland finally has a new indoor play option for your dog – CLE Run.

Located in Valley View, CLE Run is an agility training center, but also offers obedience classes and space you can reserve for indoor playtime, walks and agility practice.

CLE Run.com
CLE.Run image

Hunter and I stopped by recently to check out one of their drop-in agility classes. The cost is $20 for an hour session with an agility trainer who takes you through the basics. (Learn more about agility here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/sports/how-to-watch-an-agility-competition-101-prepare-to-get-hooked-on-the-sport/) This drop in class is good way to expose your dog to agility, and is a fun activity to do during the cold winter months when it’s challenging to exercise your dog. And if it turns out your dog loves it, you can check out CLE Run’s other classes.

I am glad I took Hunter to try the agility out before signing up for a course, because I found that this type of large, loud facility is not really his thing. He got spooked, I think by the noises from dogs in the main room and from the industrial fans, and pretty much shut down and would not participate in any of the agility activities. The instructor assured me that a lot of dogs get overwhelmed in these large, open spaces, and it would probably just take a few visits to get him comfortable. We are going to go back and try to reserve space for playtime and walks to get him more comfortable.

hunter

I have heard from other dogs who have gone and loved it, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you have a high energy dog you want to get out to exercise. If you don’t want to try agility, you can reserve a half hour time ($10) to play in their 117″24 space where you can throw a frisbee or ball for your dog. There’s a three dog limit, but you could bring a doggie friend for playtime too. You can also reserve a time online to walk around the facility, a great  idea for these -2 degree days!

cle run

Check them out at https://cle.run/

And, don’t forget to vote in our first ever Dog-Friendly Cleveland Awards. I will be closing the voting in a few days. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VWGHKWZ

 

 

 

Introducing the Dogs in the CLE Dog-Friendly Cleveland Awards…

Introducing the first ever Dogs in the CLE Dog-Friendly Cleveland Awards!

Since I started this website almost six (!) years ago the dog-friendly scene here in Cleveland has grown beyond my wildest expectations. The number of dog-friendly patios and dog events has grown exponentially over the last couple of years. And, it’s officially legal now in the state to take your dog to a patio! (So glad I am no longer aiding and abetting a crime.)

Since Cleveland has become so dog-friendly, it’s time to hear from you – CLE’s most engaged and active dog lovers – what the best places and activities are. From patios to trainers and dog parks, this is your chance to shine a spotlight on the best of the best.

I will keep the poll open for the next two weeks. Make sure to share with any local dog lovers in your life so that I can get a lot of feedback to determine the winners.

Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VWGHKWZ

Best of Cleveland (2)

Ways to give back this #GivingTuesday

Now that we’ve gotten through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s time to focus on a day that really matters – Giving Tuesday. I love that this event falls right during the busy holiday season because it gives us a chance to step back from the hustle and bustle of the holidays and do something good for others.

This Giving Tuesday I thought I’d focus again on some ways that you can help out local rescues and shelters. Here are just a few ideas to make an impact this holiday season:

Giving Tuesday events

Meet Tuna Melts My Heart

Instagram star @TunaMeltsMyHeart will be visiting the Cleveland APL for Giving Tuesday on Nov. 27. Bring items to donate (food, toys, treats, beds) to the APL and get your picture taken with Tuna. He will be at the adoption center (1729 Willey Ave.) from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

@tunameltsmyheart
@tunameltsmyheart

Holiday Hops for Hearts

On Nov. 27, the 4th annual Holiday Hops for Hearts benefitting The Plankton Fund, will be held at Forest City Brewery. The Plankton Fund was started in honor of a dog named Plankton who arrived at the kennel in 2014 and tested positive for late-stage heartworm disease. Tickets are $25 and include one drink ticket and two raffle tickets. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/249289622444677/

Upcoming holiday fundraisers:

Holiday Puppy Yoga

Join the Friendship APL and “animal Yoga pioneer” Julie VanMeter-Moffitt on Sunday, December 9th from 4 to 5:00 p.m. for a special holiday-themed puppy yoga event. Ugly Christmas sweaters are encouraged, and light drinks and snacks will be provided. This is a humans-only event, although there will be puppies there to do yoga with you. Tickets are $25 and space is limited, so purchase your tickets today. All proceeds from this event will support the Friendship APL. Find out more here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/2252497415027669/

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Ugly Sweater Christmas Party

Hosted by Second Chance Animal Rescue, the 2nd Annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Party will be held on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2018 from 6 -9:00 pm at Scalpers Bar and Grille in Lyndhurst. Dress up in your favorite ugly Christmas sweater and enjoy dinner, drinks, raffle baskets, 50/50 raffle. All proceeds benefit Second Chance Animal Rescue. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/556801858113157/

Check out the dog-friendly events calendar for more events including all of the Santa Paws events that raise money for local rescues/shelters: https://dogsinthecle.com/dog-friendly-events/

Purchase from a Wishlist

While doing your holiday shopping this year, why not throw in a few gifts for the local homeless dogs and cats in our community? It is so easy to purchase items that a shelter or rescue group needs by searching Amazon for their wishlist and purchasing items on the list. The best part is that you can ship the items directly to them.

You can also use Amazon Smile while you shop on Amazon this holiday season to donate a percentage of your purchase to the rescue group of your choice. Search for one here: https://smile.amazon.com/

Here are just a few Amazon wishlists for local rescues. Many organizations have wishlists on Amazon or have a list of items they need posted on their website.

Cleveland APL: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/17JWHFI8ZR6ZV/ref=topnav_lists_1

Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter: http://www.amazon.com/wishlist/15JCVK42TMWEY/ref=sr_1_1_acs_wl_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388683921&sr=8-1-acs

Lake Humane Society: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/13A29C482PO0Y

Sign up to volunteer

Rescue groups always need volunteers to help with fostering, transportation, dog walking, events, and fundraising. If you are new to volunteering, the Cleveland APL is a great place to start. They always need more volunteers to keep up with the animals in their care. Check out more information about volunteering here: https://clevelandapl.org/volunteer/steps-to-become-a-cleveland-apl-volunteer/

The next volunteer orientation for the Cleveland APL will take place on Dec. 5 at 6 pm at St. Wendelin’s Parish.

Most rescue groups have information about becoming a volunteer on their website, so check out your local shelter to see what they need.

dasdas

Hold your own fundraiser

It is now easier than ever to raise funds for local rescue groups thanks to Facebook. You can start a fundraiser right on Facebook for the local animal charity of your choice and get donations from your friends and family. On Giving Tuesday, Facebook and PayPal will match a total of $7 million in donations, so it is the perfect day to set up a fundraiser and make it easy for others to donate to the group of your choice.

Happy #GivingTuesday everyone!

How to make a DIY Dog Halloween costume under $5

I was pretty proud of myself this year for coming up with the perfect Halloween costume for my dogs. And, the total cost of it was under $5!

It occurred to me earlier this year that Hunter and Roscoe both look like muppets. Roscoe more so than Hunter, but Hunter does have one muppet in particular he reminds me of. I think it’s the eyebrows.

both

 

Wocka Wocka Wocka! Hi-ho! Do you know who we are?

Just a quick trip to Pat Catan’s for some green felt and some ribbon and my boys were transformed into two of my favorite muppets! I already had the hat so I just had to cover it with some tissue paper and a brown stripe I cut from a paper bag. What do you think?

kermit

 

And if you are in the mood for some muppets now, check out this hilarious clip of Kermit and Fozzie ad-libbing during the filming of The Muppets Movie: http://www.liketotally80s.com/2016/04/fozzie-bear-kermit-ad-libbing/?fbclid=IwAR16Ya_Xv2r7lJLUdfc_ipj3K2J7zZn_xPzCb9IL4M6VlCcdinGye4ULCKU

Happy Halloween everyone!

2018 Halloween events for Cleveland dog lovers

October is one of the best months for dog lovers in Cleveland.  There are costume contests, Halloween and fall-themed photos and yappy hour parties spread all throughout the month. For those of us who love seeing dogs dressed up in costume (and who doesn’t really?) this is going to be a fun month.

Here is a list of some of October’s can’t-miss Halloween events. Oct. 20th is going to be busy day with no less than five Halloween events that day! Pace yourself! And, don’t forget to check out the dog-friendly events calendar for everything else going on this month for dog lovers.

Oct. 13 – 2nd Annual Corg-a-ween Meetup

Held from 11 am- 2pm at Wadsworth Community Dog Park, bring your corgi (or other friendly corgi-loving dog) to enjoy some frapping and costume contests. The contests, which include Scariest Corgi Costume, Most Original Corgi Costume, Most Creative Corgi Costume, The Spooky Corgi Race, begin at 12pm. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1089478957872152/

Oct. 13 – Howl-o-Ween Fall Festival and Fundraiser

The annual event features a kid and canine friendly costume contest, as well food, games, raffles and entertainment from police dogs. The party will be held from 11 am to 3 pm at B.A.R.C. Akron Dog Park on Memorial Parkway. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/316413672267920/ 

howl o ween

Oct. 18 – Yappy Hour Halloween Party

Yappy hour at Pet-Tique is back! Dress up your dog and celebrate Halloween while supporting City Dogs Cleveland. Event will be held under the tents outside and a $10 donation is suggested at the door. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/469253593568865/

Oct. 19 – Howl-o-ween Party for Dogs

Stop by the Mentor Dog Park from 5:30 to 6:45 pm for a fun Halloween party just for dogs! There will be contests and prizes. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/561284184286873/

Oct. 20 – Spooky Pooch Parade

This is one of the most fun Halloween events in Cleveland! Come see the parade of dogs dressed up in some very creative costumes, or register your dog to walk in the parade and strut his stuff. There will also be vendors there and prizes for the best costumes. Pre-registration for the parade is $10 per dog and day-of registration is $15 per dog. Festival begins at 12:30, but the parade starts at 2pm. Find out more in this month’s issue of CLE Dog Magazine, or visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1575118199274186/

Oct. 20 – Halloween pictures at Grateful Dog Bakery

Bring your dog (with or without a costume) for a fun fall-themed picture. The cost is $12 for a 4X6 framed print. The pictures will be posted Facebook for a costume contest and winners will be selected for the funniest, cutest and most creative categories.  Proceeds will benefit Friendship APL. No appointment is needed. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/254844688451696/

grateful dog

Oct. 20 – Dogtoberfest

K9 Cleveland will be celebrating its grand opening with a fun Halloween themed party from 4pm to 7pm at its facilities near downtown Cleveland. You can enjoy some tasty Oktoberfest themed food, while your dog can enjoy a dog-safe “beer.” Admission is free. BYOB, dog beer available for purchase. RSVPs are appreciated at https://www.facebook.com/events/307624826681525/

Oct. 20 – “Here for the Boos” Halloween party at Nano Brew

Hosted by Rescue Ohio English Bulldogs, bring your furry friend and enjoy an early Halloween party at Nano Brew in Ohio City. Raffles, photos, costumes, and more starting at 5pm. Find out more here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1988085587931374/

Oct. 20 BarkHappy Cleveland: Trick & Treat Trivia & Costume Pawty

This fun Halloween party includes a costume contest as well as raffles and Trick-or-Treat Trivia. Tickets start at $10 and include a free digital photo of you and your dog from Lindsay Marie Photography, a free daycare pass from Max & Alayna’s Paws Play and other free prizes! Tickets should be purchased in advance and a portion of the proceeds will benefit a local rescue. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/321131795327787/?active_tab=about

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Oct. 27 – Pumpkin Patch Pet Photos

Held from 12 to 3pm at Happy Healthy Dogs Mayfield, you can have a photo shoot for your dog in a Pumpkin patch. The cost is $5 for a digital photo and all proceeds will benefit Second Chance Animal Rescue. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2108304706090641/

 

2018 Cleveland Dog Swim Events

Summer’s not over yet! August and September are full of dog-friendly events to get out and have some fun with your dog. One end of summer event you definitely don’t want to miss is the chance to take your dog swimming. All over town over the next month there will be dog swim events at community pools and recreation centers.

To attend these events, dogs should be up to date on vaccines and on leash when not in the pool. And please remember to clean up after your dogs! No one wants to hang out with their dogs in a dirty pool.

Cleveland Dog Swims 2018

August 15
Dog Dayz at Manry Pool

Cost is $2 per dog and proceeds go to the Lake Humane Society. 6 to 7 pm Small Dogs (weigh under 50 pounds) only and 7 to 8pm Large Dogs (weigh over 50 pounds) only.

August 18th
Doggie Dip Day

1pm-4pm at Mentor Civic Center Park Pool. Cost is $5 per dog.

Aug. 25
Brookpark Recreation Center

11 am to 1 pm, admission is free for residents and includes a picture with your pet.

pool1Aug. 26
Dog Paddle & Pet-a-Palooza

11 am to 2pm at Hinckley Ledge Pool. Cost is not listed yet, but is typically $5- $10. A liability waiver should be filled out prior to admission. You can find it here: https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/getmedia/95e3e3f1-4280-4209-a5f3-5c9b3a749637/2018DogPaddleWaiver.pdf.ashx

Sept. 4
Lakewood Dog Swim

5 pm o 7pm at the Foster Pool at Lakewood Park. Cost is $8 for one dog, $7 for each additional dog. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Lakewood Dog Park. Fill out your waiver here: https://www.lakewoodrecreation.com/user/files/dog_swim_waiver_2017.pdf 

Hunter swimming at a dog swim event last year.
Hunter swimming at a dog swim event last year.

Rocky River Dog Swim

For Rocky River residents, this dog swim will be held 6:30-7:30 pm at the Rocky River Rec Center outdoor pool.

Sept. 8
13th Annual Big Splash Dog Party38689041_10157638225422519_4178010629245763584_n

This dog swim benefits Love-A-Stray animal rescue and will be held from 12-5pm at the Ellen Trivanovich Aquatic Center. This event is always very popular, so to avoid the long lines you can pre-register online for $20 and avoid waiting in line. Day of the event admission is $10. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/288457821734245/?active_tab=discussion

There are also dog contests and fun activities for dogs and people.

 

September 9th
Doggie Swim

For Willoughby residents from 1pm-3pm at Osborne Park Pool, 38575 Lakeshore Blvd. Cost is $3 per dog.

September 22nd
Doggy Paddle

11am-2pm at Twinsburg Water Park, 10260 1/2 Ravenna Road, Twinsburg. Cost is $2 per dog at the door. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/300695434017971/ Bring a donation for Never Surrender Pet Pantry.

Hunter is a Therapy Dog!

I have always thought that Hunter would make a great therapy dog. I have never met a more loving, friendly and laid-back dog. I’ve seen kids push him, kiss him, back him into a corner and he barely reacts. And since being a therapy dog is much more about personality than obedience or training (although they do need to be under control and obedient), it seemed pretty likely to me that this would be something he would excel in.

And now it’s official! Hunter passed his evaluation and observations in May and became a member of the Alliance for Therapy Dogs last month. As part of the process of being accepted as a member, Hunter had to complete an evaluation by an approved tester, do three observations at a nursing home and I had to do a background check. Being accepted into the Alliance for Therapy Dogs mainly means that Hunter now has insurance through them (in the event something would happen at a therapy dog visit). It also means that as a member of this organization we can be informed of therapy dogs opportunities in the area.

hunter4

It’s important to do research on which therapy dog organization you want to be a part of, as I learned, since some places only work with certain therapy dog organizations. Alliance for Therapy Dogs came highly recommended to me from several different people and so far it seems like there are a lot of opportunities for therapy work as a member of their organization.

Although schools, nursing homes and hospitals are the most common places for therapy dogs to work, I have seen a lot of other interesting opportunities since becoming a member of the local Cleveland group. There was a request for therapy dogs to attend a memorial service (the deceased woman had asked that there be therapy dogs at her funeral) as well as a request for dogs to attend a trade show.

And, for Hunter’s first therapy dog experience he got to go comfort patients waiting to get Lasik (or other eye surgeries) at Clear Choice Laser in Brecksville. He had a blast! He will be back there again next week bringing joy to people as they wait.

Dog-Friendly Spotlight: Banter Beer and Wine

Shhhh don’t tell anyone, but one of the best patios you probably haven’t been to yet is Banter Beer and Wine in the Detroit Shoreway area. As much as I’d like to keep it a hidden secret, I couldn’t keep such a great spot from all my fellow Cleveland dog lovers!

Banter was already one of my favorite spots in Cleveland, because, really, who doesn’t love poutine?? So I was extra excited to learn they have a dog-friendly patio. Tucked away behind the restaurant, the patio is surrounded by plants and has a casual, peaceful vibe that makes it a great spot to relax and grab a bite with your dog.

The patio is also spacious enough to bring dogs of all sizes. I brought both of my dogs and my friends brought their dog too, a pit bull, so that tells you how much room there is on the patio. Large picnic tables line both sides of the patio, so I guess on a more crowded day you may have to share space with others. It’s casual enough though that it shouldn’t be an issue (depending on your dog’s personality). I often don’t bring Roscoe to patios because I don’t want him to be forced to interact with people or dogs (since he is very shy), but based on the size of the patio and the fact it wasn’t crowded, he was ok.

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Where’s my poutine?

Final bark: 4 out of 5. Since the large patio tables might mean you have to share space, I can’t give it a perfect score. Pretty close though!

The Details:

7320 Detroit Ave, Cleveland

Hours:
11 am to 12 am Monday through Thursday
11 am to 1 am Friday and Saturday, 12 to 8 pm Sunday

That time Hunter got a massage …

When you think of canine massage, you probably picture a dog laying on a table wearing a robe and getting his ears scratched. Or, maybe you think it’s a glorified petting session and just another way cute way to pamper your dog. You may be surprised to know that canine massage is actually a therapeutic practice that can be used to treat all sorts of issues, from stress to arthritis and injuries.

I had no idea what to expect when Hunter got invited to try out a canine massage session courtesy of Diane Pekarek, Certified Canine Massage Therapist and owner of Modern Dog Massage. Diane recently began a partnership with Holistic Lakewood, a human massage studio, to offer canine massage clinics periodically throughout the year.

 

I figured canine massage would be similar to a human massage and that Hunter would eat it up since he loves to be pet and get attention. In reality, the massage was very different than what you’d expect based on how a human massage goes. Which makes sense, since dogs are very different than humans.

First, there is no table for a dog to lay on. Which is good, since if you think about it, a dog would not be most comfortable laying on a table. As Diane explained, canine massage is all about making the dog feel comfortable, which can mean letting them wander around and get comfortable with their surroundings and the masseuse (as was the case with Hunter), before doing any massage. Since a dog has no idea why they are there, they can’t be forced into receiving a massage, they need to get comfortable with the situation first.

Hunter was definitely a little apprehensive. Unfortunately, I had taken him to the vet right before the visit, so he probably was still in a vet frame of mind when we arrived. Diane was very patient, explaining that many dogs are nervous on their first visit since they really don’t understand what is going on. Diane gently focused on certain areas, noting parts of his body where he was tight, and even mentioning some atrophy he has in his leg from a previous surgery he had. She is very knowledgeable about dogs and their anatomy and I could tell that she was focused on evaluating Hunter to see what his needs were and how best to make this a pleasant experience for him.

She said it can take a few sessions for the dog to get comfortable and understand what is going on, but most dogs adapt to the practice fairly quickly. Hunter spent most of the massage looking at me, which I thought was so sweet. I could tell he was nervous and wanted my assurance that this was ok.

 

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The whole practice of massage was very eye opening to me. We talk so much about the stress relief our dogs provide to us, but do we ever think about all the stress they are taking on living in our world? A typical dog can deal with so much stress on a daily basis – from the anxiety of being left at home all day to the stress of visiting a dog park or accompanying us on our human activities – and it can take a toll on them in many different ways. I love the idea of doing something for my dog to help relieve some of the stress he may be carrying, but is not able to communicate to me.

Canine massage has many physical and emotional benefits, including relieving muscle and joint pain, improving circulation and immune functions, releasing endorphins as well as decreasing stress and deepening the human-canine bond. Although all dogs can benefit from canine massage, it is especially helpful for senior dogs or dogs with recent injuries. Diane encourages pet parents to watch the session and she provides simple massage techniques you can use at home. Each canine massage session lasts 30 minutes and is $40.

To reserve a canine massage session, call Holistic Lakewood at (216) 904-2524. They only schedule canine massages when there are no human massages scheduled, since not everyone may want to be greeted by a dog when going for a massage (crazy I know!)

You can find out more information on massage and Holistic Lakewood here: https://holisticlakewood.com/services/Canine-Massage-Clinic/

You can find out more about Diane here as well: https://www.moderndogmassage.com/ She also offers in-home massage sessions for dogs that don’t travel well and schedules appointments at her studio in Medina too.