Animal Massage Licensing Information

Apply for a license

Apply online

The Washington State Department of Health requires that only the applicant or licensee may complete an attestation for an application, or for continuing education. This is a legal attestation. Completion of the attestation by anyone other than the applicant may constitute a reportable felony offense. The Department of Health can take action against people for perjury or for making a false statement they know to be false.

For further information please see:

Washington State law authorizes the Department of Health to obtain fingerprint-based background checks for licensing purposes. This check may be through the Washington State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We may require this if you have lived in another state or if you have a criminal record in Washington State. This would be at your own expense.

You must pay the application fee at the time you apply. You may use a credit or debit card with a VISA or MasterCard logo, or pay by ACH/E-Check. Please make sure your address on the payment information screen matches the address your financial institution has on file for you. This fee is non-refundable. There is a convenience fee to apply online.

If we need additional documentation, we'll notify you by email.

There are additional items you may need, in addition to your application:

If you have questions, contact our Customer Service staff members at 360-236-4700.

Getting started

Online Application Instructions

See the online application video.

Online application instructions are on our website. Online applications are accessed through SecureAccess Washington (SAW) security portal. You'll need to add the Department of Health Online Application Portal service to access the online applications. The first time you add the service, you'll be prompted to answer several questions to verify your identity. The questions will match the name and address you provide with the existing public record information. Because the questions come from public record, you need to provide a complete address and your full legal name as it appears on your driver's license or birth certificate. You may find you have to enter a former address, especially if your address has changed recently (within the past one or two years) to get the right questions that pertain to your identity. If don't have sufficient information in the public record to verify your identity and aren't currently credentialed by the Department of Health, then you'll need to submit a paper application, as you won't be able to access the Online Application Portal.

Once you have completed the process you will receive an email with your pending credential number, or you may look on Provider Credential Search. Refer to this credential number any time you contact Department of Health or submit paperwork.

Apply on paper

The following forms are required for completing the application process. Please download and print forms.

Fee Schedule

See licensing fees below

WAC 246-940-990 – Fees

Non-Refundable Fee Type Fee amount
Large animal certification $440
Small animal certification $440
Large animal renewal certification $335
Small animal renewal certification $335
Late renewal penalty $170
Expired credential renewal $95
Duplicate credential per certification $30
Verification of credential per certification $30

Certification Requirements

See certification requirements below

Training

Applicants must meet one or more of the following:

  • To practice animal massage on large animals, the 300 hours of instruction must be related to the performance of animal massage on large animals.
  • To practice animal massage on small animals, the 300 hours of instruction must be related to the performance of animal massage on small animals.

Applicants must provide proof of successful completion of the training required in WAC 246-940-050 received directly from the program where the applicant completed the training. See the Animal Massage FAQs to see which training programs are approved.

Examination

Applicants must pass one or more of the following exams:

  • To practice animal massage on large animals, successfully complete the National Certification Examination for Equine Massage.
  • To practice animal massage on small animals, successfully complete the National Certification Examination for Canine massage.

State license verification

Applicants must list all states where they do or did hold credentials. This list must also include when the applicant has applied for a credential, even if a credential was not granted. The jurisdiction where the applicant is or was credentialed must complete and submit the verification form (PDF). The jurisdiction must send the completed form directly to the department.

Personal data questions

Each applicant must answer the personal data questions. If there is a positive answer to the professional liability claims history question, the applicant must send an explanation of the nature of the case, data and summary of care given, copies of the original complaint, and the settlement or final disposition. If a case is pending, applicant must indicate status.

Additional information/documents required

  • Successful completion of the Washington State Jurisprudence Examination

Process for approving/denying applications

We finish final review for approval after a credentialing specialist verifies that the application is fully complete, and complies with requirements in chapter 18.240 RCW and chapter 246-810 WAC. We complete background checks and make sure applicants have submitted required fees. Credentialing supervisors and lead workers have the authority to approve routine applications. The disciplining authority may conduct further review if the credentialing supervisor can't verify the applicant meets all requirements. We'll formally notify applicants of a denial. Those applicants may request a hearing to appeal the decision.

Renewal requirements

Animal massage practitioners must renew their license every year on or before their birthday. They're required to submit the appropriate fee.

Note: If the certification has expired for more than five years, the animal massage practitioner must also submit verification of active practice in any other state or jurisdiction, or retake and successfully pass the examinations required in WAC 246-940-020. For the purpose of this section, active practice means at least two hundred hours of practice in each of the previous three years.

Continuing education requirements

Continuing education isn't required.

Education requirements

To qualify for an animal massage certification, the applicant must show successful completion of a secretary approved animal massage training program. RCW 18.240.030.

For certification in both small animal massage and large animal massage, the applicant must complete separate training programs.

Minimum program requirements

The education and training in animal massage therapy must consist of a minimum of 300 hours of instruction in general animal massage techniques, kinesiology, anatomy, physiology, behavior, first aid care, and handling techniques.

See WAC 246-940-050 for additional information.

Verification forms are available on the Applications and Forms webpage.

Approved schools

The Equine Institute
73-1396 ili ili Place
Kailua Kona, HI 96740
808-494-5838
Program: Professional Equine Fascial Integration Therapy training program

Langley Equine Studies, LLC
Mary Lou Langley, LMT
19601 Rd. F.4 N.E.
Soap Lake, Washington 98851
509-246-8053
Program: Equine Massage Therapist 300 hour program

Northwest School of Animal Massage
Lola Michelin, LMT
P.O. Box 670
Fall City, WA 98024
206-463-1425
Program: Small Animal Massage
Program: Large Animal Massage​

Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage
Tracy Vroom
7745 N. Moore Rd.
Littleton, CO 80125
303-660-9390
Program: Canine Massage
Program: Equine Massage

School of Applied Integrative Therapy Equine
Kim Kizzier Sherrodd
P.O. Box 64
Devils Tower, WY  82714
605-430-7253
Program: Equine Bodywork and Massage

The Equine Natural Movement School
Jacqueline Freeman, School Director
20309 N.E. 242nd Ave.
Battle Ground, WA 98604
360-687-8384
Program: Equine Natural Movement

Additional Licensing Information