Hey all! We are doing a new segment on other at-home pet services that we think can benefit our clients who love their house calls! The first in the series is Thera Paws Animal Massage, run by RMT and Certified Animal Massage Therapist, Josh Fry! I did an interview with him, and got the rundown on his business!
Megan: Explain your business to our clients:
Josh: I work with animals that need therapeutic help-recovery, arthritis, age care, etc. I work on animals the same way as I work on people. I find out where they are ailing, and help to get them back to as normal as possible.
M: What made you interested in this field?
J: I have been a RMT for the last 5 years. 1.5 years ago a human client I was working on suggested I start working on animals. Looked into it, and thought it was a good idea. There is a market for this business, because animals are family, and being able to help them is incredibly important to their people. Being able to help both people and animals when I come into their house is nice.
M: What about your business benefits those seeking at home care for their pets?
J: First and foremost, decrease in stress in the animal. Going to a strange place and having a random person massaging them is stressful. Seeing the animal in their natural habitat is also important for proper treatment. It is good to be able to see how they are sitting, walking, and moving about in their own environment. Watching them move around in their home helps create their treatment plan for both myself and their owners.
M: What can a client expect from a general appointment with you?
J: First I have the owner fill out a health history form-pertinent health information, pain, past surgery, infections, temperament, activity level, etc. Next, we schedule a time to meet owner and meet the animal. At this appointment I ask more thorough questions. Find out what the goals are, for example a dog may have a limp from a past injury, but it isn’t the focus of the owner if there is something more critical for them. Once the animal is comfortable with me, I do an exam with manual palpation, to find sore spots. I use an app to slow video time and see gait changes, compensating, stepping only on certain spots on paws, etc. I figure out where they are uncomfortable. I try to get them used to being touched in an area that may be tender or sore, and that they may not like. Once I do an exam and a session working with the animal, I make up a home care plan to give homework for owners between treatments with me. Basically I do an assessment and see if anything needs to change at home-for instance sleeping position, long walks. It can be easier for owners to work on massaging a place that an animal is uncomfortable with me touching.
5. Can clients come to you/are you solely mobile? (like us!)
Clients can come to me, I have a space I can use in SJ-must be booked ahead of time. Ideally see them in their own environment to see how they are behaving normally!
M: Tell me about yourself, and how your personality helps forward your business:
J: All I really want to do is help people, and now that I am able to do what I want with my life and help animals as well. People's animals are so important to them that helping them is forwarding happiness in their people. I think this helps me in my business because I truly love what I am doing, and spreading the happiness!
M: Tell me your favorite part about working in this field:
J: It is new experience for me because of the anatomy of each animal. Each new animal is eye opening, as they all move differently. I grow a new appreciation for how tissues move and how each animal moves differently.
M: Tell me your favorite part about being mobile:
J: I get to travel! I get to see different places, and see the seasons change across the problem. I get to meet a lot of different animals.
M: What is your range:
J: Within NB honestly. If I can make it work I will. Travelling further obviously means a higher cost, but if there is time to plan it I would go anywhere to help. The travel cost is split between groups of people who may be far away. Like if you get a group of people and animals together, and my travel time to your location is an hour, the cost is discounted.
M: Do you think being mobile sets you apart/explain:
J: Yes, not just because I am mobile, but because the business is different and unlike anything we have in the area. There are spas and the like for animals, which is nice, but I wanted to get more into the anatomy and movement to relieve pain and help in recovery.
M: How can clients get in contact with you, and get more info?
Website: www.thera-paws.com (Click the name to go to the website)
Anything additional you might like to say:
One of the main questions I get is “Why would I pay you to "pet" my pet?”
To this I would say, although it is uncommon, doesn't mean it isn't effective. Everything was once uncommon! If you’re skeptical, give it a try!
We love working with Josh, and think that his business can help immensely with some animals and their pain. Use any of the info above to get in contact with Josh and learn more about how he can help your furry friends!