Love Bug Pet Massage
Whidbey Island Pet Service
Welcome to Love Bug Pet Massage. We provide pet massage and laser at our location in Coupeville. We’re thrilled you’ve decided to visit us - please browse our site to discover what we’re all about. Or click the "Request Appointment" button below to begin booking.
Regardless of your animal’s type, age or mannerisms, massage can be beneficial for them. Massage helps muscles stay supple, joints move fluidly, skin be healthy, and immune system stay strong, among many more benefits. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, or the “rest and digest” system (as opposed to fight or flight), which calms anxious, hyper, or bored dogs, as well as aiding the digestive system. In short, a regular massage schedule does wonders for keeping your pet at his or her healthiest.
Whether your dog or cat has acute or chronic illness or injury, I can employ specific therapies like manual lymphatic drainage, massage to relieve inflammation, acupressure, laser therapy, crystal massage, and more. This is useful for older dogs and cats who have arthritis, IVDD, and neurologic issues. It's also helpful for dogs who have injured their CCL (ACL in humans) or had surgery recently. I also see young dogs who are tripods to help them stay at their best.
Massage is not a substitute for medical veterinary care, but rather a complement to it. As a holistic practice, massage considers the entire animal's body systems even when addressing a single issue. I will do my best to listen to your pet and find out what they need at each visit, using whatever tools and techniques are best suited for that moment. Along with regular veterinary visits, massage is a proactive therapy as well as a rehabilitative and palliative therapy.
Hours (in Coupeville clinic):
Tuesday 9:30-2:00 & Wednesday 9:15-12:30
Best for big dogs and dogs with high energy/anxiety. I will work with a variety of modalities and tools and allow them lots of time for processing and integrating the work I do.
Best for cats, small dogs, or dogs who relax easily. I consider each visit a unique opportunity to listen and employ the modalities that seem best suited to the moment.
About Love Bug Pet Massage
Sarah Wheeler, SAMT
Sarah always enjoyed the company of animals and learning about them. She understood there is something especially meaningful that passes between humans and other animals through touch.
She studied small animal massage beginning in 2016 at the Northwest School of Animal Massage, and continued with another certificate in small animal rehabilitation massage.
After moving back to Whidbey Island, where her husband grew up, she met and partnered with Dr. Stephanie Garlichs, MS, DVM, CCRP, of Whidbey Canine Conditioning and Rehabilitation. Sarah was honored to work with Dr. Stephanie until the Dr.'s retirement in mid-2022. Sarah has kept the same location, and shares it with Dr. Michelle Kordupel, DVM, CVA, of Island Holistic Pet Care. Sarah is thrilled to continue sharing her love of animals with the pets of Whidbey Island.
Sarah currently lives in Langley with her husband, son, 2 cats, and 3 dogs. She is insured through ABMP and licensed with the Washington State Health Department.
About Island Holistic Pet Care
Dr. Michelle Kordupel, DVM, CVA
To fill an elective requirement in veterinary school, Michelle took an introduction to veterinary acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) course. What she thought would be an interesting one-time class turned out to set the foundation for her future in integrative veterinary medicine (which she describes as “utilizing holistic practices to complement traditional veterinary medicine”). She began studying veterinary acupuncture while she was in veterinary school, even traveling to China to train under some of the world’s most influential and respected veterinary acupuncturists and TCVM theorists. She has used acupuncture to help manage patients with a variety of behavioral and medical conditions. Michelle has performed acupuncture on many different species of animals - including dogs, cats, small mammals (guinea pigs, ferrets, rabbits), reptiles (lizards, tortoises, turtles), birds (chickens, parrots), and even a tiger!
Michelle is a licensed veterinarian, certified veterinary acupuncturist (CVA), and certified Fear Free professional. She is member of the American Veterinary Acupuncture Society and World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. She has a special interest in geriatric patients, exotic animals, and pain management, and is currently working towards certification in other TCVM modalities and as a Veterinary Pain Practitioner.
Michelle shares her home on the island with her husband, their water-loving dog, Zulu, and their mischievous cat, Cheech.
What Clients Say
Our 12+ year old Border Collie, Piper, loves his massage and laser treatments with Sarah. He damaged both anterior cruciate ligaments racing the neighbor’s dog in his younger days and now has arthritis in all four legs. The treatments are helping him cope with arthritis so he can still go for walks and play ball with our younger Border Collie Tess. Sarah is always professional and caring with her clients. She notices little changes in Piper’s condition and treats him accordingly. Sarah also takes notes to track his progress. Piper walks onto the mattress and barks to get started with treatment after he gives Sarah lots of kisses. He is excited about going in for his treatments. I am so glad we have a caring professional on Whidbey Island to help our Piper cope with the ailments that come with aging. I highly recommend Sarah and Love Bug Pet Massage.
When Sarah arrived for Ginger's first massage appointment, I wasn't sure how Ginger would react. Although she's cuddly with me, she can be nervous in new situations with new people. During the first appointment, and in subsequent sessions, Sarah patiently allowed Ginger to warm up to the idea of massage, keeping a steady focus on Ginger's cues and finding inventive ways to meet her on her own terms. After a couple of sessions, Ginger relaxed and seemed to enjoy the massage. On her fifth session, Ginger even dozed off and began to snore a little.
During each session, Sarah explained why she was focusing on specific areas and pointed out places where she noticed tightness or sensitivity. Sarah gave special attention to Ginger's wrists, which she explained bear added stress because of Ginger's leg shape. After each massage, Ginger's limbs seemed looser, and she appeared more relaxed overall.
Ginger certainly benefited from Sarah's massage therapy, both physically and socially, but I also learned more about Ginger's physical health and well-being. Sarah's patient and loving approach to Ginger made the experience enjoyable, as well as therapeutic.