Our History

The IAAMB was created in 2000 when Jonathan Rudinger, the founder of PetMassage, Ltd. heard about one animal massage school making disparaging comments about another. At that time there were very few schools teaching animal massage and bodywork and only a few hundred practitioners. He recognized at once that referring to any colleague in negative terms demonstrates disrespect to a significant percentage of the whole. As a new and burgeoning profession, there is more than enough opposition and misunderstanding from the uneducated and the threatened without adding to it from within our ranks.

With over 75 million dogs and 100 million animal owners in the US alone, there are abundant potential clients and students for all practices and all schools. The concept of “limited competition” for students and clients does not apply.

The first tenant for the new association was to “consciously speak kindly of our colleagues.”

Recognizing the need for practitioners to stand united, Jonathan saw the need to create a community of people and schools with some common goals: helping animals find greater quality of life through complementary, alternative and holistic practices, helping to promote and professionalize the animal massage and bodywork industry, developing forum in which practitioners of many disciplines could interact, network and support each other.

It is now that forum and more. It is a venue for more experienced practitioners to train and mentor others in their specialties. As more and more, pet owners seek answers and methods outside the traditional veterinary vision, IAAMB/ACWT members’ practices provide resources that support the work of veterinarians.

The IAAMB/ACWT was created to meet the need for an organization that establishes professionalism within animal massage and bodywork practices, with scopes of practice and codes of conduct, setting the standard for responsible, professional behavior. It fulfills a need for the place where people interested in learning about specific animal massage and bodywork practices and the legalities affecting them can go for assistance, support and guidance.

The IAAMB/ACWT is an organization that was created to stay aware of and help in bringing reasonableness to impending restrictive local and national legislation affecting our members’ practices.

In 2009, the IAAMB welcomed the Association of Canine Water Therapy into its fold.

Preferred Education Provider Program

In 2010 The IAAMB/ACWT introduced the Preferred Education Provider Program. After fielding several complaints from dissatisfied students about animal massage and bodywork schools that did not meet student expectations for quality of education and style of delivery, the IAAMB/ACWT established standards of practice that only well qualified schools would be able to meet.

These schools, upon acceptance and vetting, are the IAAMB/ACWT Preferred Education Providers. The IAAMB/ACWT can confidently recommend attending these schools for your initial training and continuing education. Other schools that you may investigate that are not IAAMB/ACWT Preferred Education Providers may or may not have applied or were denied IAAMB/ACWT PReP status. We do not offer opinions on any schools other than the ones we have accepted into our program. We are not a policing agency. We see our function as passively helping influence market forces and decisions for programs through positive information about schools we know and trust.