A number of dog spas offer massages as part of their grooming services, but at Abundant Life massage in Sarasota, co-founders Jenifer Funk and Katie Jones teach people how to DIY. Students learn the benefits of dog massage, various massage techniques and when to use them, and a full-body dog massage routine that will help relax your pup. “Dogs get the same benefits humans do,” Funk explains. “Massage can ease anxiety and pain, help with injuries and build the bond between you and your pet.” $225 for a 15-hour class; call (941) 356-0587 or visit abundantlifemassage.org to learn more and register.
Joyce Kesling, a certified animal behaviorist, works with dogs and their owners to help solve behavioral issues like aggression, barking, pulling and lunging. “I focus on using positive reinforcement and predictability,” she says. “Predictability in a dog’s environment gives them a sense of control. It removes anxiety.” Training regimens are based on the needs of the dog, and Kesling aims to help humans understand their furry companions. “Dogs are always looking for feedback from us, and if we’re not thinking, and just doing things willy-nilly, how will the dogs have any idea what we want from them?” she asks. Find out more and get in touch with Kesling at responsibledog.net.
Einstein Pets started when Kelly and Robert Ison’s beloved Westie, Abbey, developed a sensitive digestive system and required a special diet. Kelly got to work researching and making food that Abbey could eat. Now the Isons are running a dog food empire based on Kelly’s healthy recipes, which are oat flour-based and flavored with natural ingredients (flavors include turkey bacon, cha cha coconut and pb’n jelly time). Annual demand for the treats now exceeds 10,000 pounds, and they’re distributed internationally. To get your paws on the treats, visit einsteinpets.com.
Inside The Bradenton Hound on Cortez Road, in-house bakery Once Upon a Dog whips up heart-shaped, wheat-free organic treats for canines of all sizes. Ingredients include quinoa, steel-cut oats, nutritional yeast, kelp, milk, flax seed, orange blossom honey and grapeseed oil, and each treat is filled with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (the good kind). Find out more at thebradenthound.com/onceuponadog, stop by 6650 Cortez Road W., or call (941) 251-5984.