Client Testimonials

SnowE

“At the age of 9, my dog, SnowE, clearly showed signs of arthritis. Heather’s massages definitely helped him as he clearly walked better and was more energetic after treatments. A year later, SnowE was diagnosed with cardiac issues and subsequently tore his CCL. NSAIDs were not an option to ease his pain and keep the inflammation down. Heather helped to further support him through diet changes, nutritional supplements, and targeted exercises; and her housecall service made his life much less stressful during his recovery! As hard as it is to watch the age-related decline in your dog, it felt good to have a holistic advisor at your side.”

— Mirjam, San Francisco


Scooter

“I began working with Heather in 2009 to enhance the health and longevity of my nine year old corgi, Scooter, after my oldest corgi suffered from disc problems and died from lymphoma. Heather recommended a new diet and supplements to improve his health and herbal remedies to reduce stress and detoxify his system. Her acupressure massage also eased emerging back and muscular problems. The result: a much slimmer, more energetic Scooter who lived another three years. It was great to have someone I could rely on for all his changing medical needs that really cared about his health and well being. I still see Heather for massage and dietary recommendations for my other corgis and we all love seeing her!”

— Virginia Gray, Kensington


Cooper

“Heather has made a huge difference to Cooper’s quality of life. After experiencing persistent problems with digestion, pain from an old fracture in his back knee that had not healed properly, and arthritic changes to his front leg, the poor guy was tired of being dragged from one specialist appointment to the next. Heather’s gentle, hands-on approach with massage and acupressure has made all the difference. She also overhauled his diet and recommended a specific exercise routine. My husband and I have significant trust issues when it comes to our dogs, but Heather is a real God-send. Most importantly, Cooper loves her!”

— Tracey Raymond, Ross


Charlie

“We hired Heather to help with our cockapoo, Charlie’s, obsessive itching. We saw Heather once a week for 2 months and saw a marked improvement in Charlie’s behavior. Heather is the first professional to see that Charlie’s itching is related to anxiety, rather than a food allergy. (We had previously changed her diet several times with no noticeable changes in her behavior). We appreciate that Heather helped us understand the underlying issue and gave us tools and suggestions to use for the future. As a result, we are now able to think of Charlie’s behavior with more compassion and understanding.

“Heather has a very gentle manner with dogs, seems to hone into their personality immediately and has a keen intuition. She has deep knowledge about dogs’ physically, emotionally, and behaviorally and is punctual, professional and friendly. Charlie really liked her and we highly recommend Heather.”

— Janet McCaffrey & Deanna Glory, San Francisco


Scout

“My 12 year-old Australian Kelpie mix, Scout, was suffering from arthritis and gastroenteritis. After a hip replacement and years of pain medication and steroids, we had run out of options to treat her. She had chronic diarrhea, was lethargic and her pain was apparent. After a consultation, Heather started weekly bodywork and devised a customized diet. After 6 months, the results are amazing. Scout’s gastroenteritis issues have been completely resolved and she is no longer on steroids. Her diarrhea stopped and her stomach no longer emits gurgling sounds that could not be cured by any medicine. She moves better and has more energy than she did at age 8. She lost a total of 7 pounds, which greatly improved her mobility. Scout can now go up and down the stairs without difficulty and has even gone back to the beach! People comment that she looks and acts years younger than her age. What impressed me most of all is the thoroughness of Heather’s approach. She really thought about the issues Scout was having and then, methodically, approached each issue with determination and compassion. I believe in her services 110% and am grateful for all she has done for Scout and me.”

— Ann Kloepfer, San Mateo


Nikki & Ben

“My dog, Nikki, has developed severe arthritis in her spine near her hips. Her back is very tense and all of her other muscles are working hard to compensate for the weakness in her hind leg. At times she is immobile and it is so sad to see her in so much pain. Nikki has always been shy and fearful around people, so I thought it might be very stressful for her to get a massage. Contrary to my apprehension, Heather worked very well with Nikki and was able to quickly earn her trust. Heather consistently encourages Nikki to accept more handling and massage.

“Recently, Nikki had 4 bad days without relief from her pain. The evening after Nikki’s massage with Heather, I was surprised and delighted to see Nikki running around the house. She was obviously very happy and playful. She ran into the living room and jumped up on the couch, looking very pleased with herself. She hadn’t done that in years!

“Ben, my senior adopted Australian Shepherd, also loves his massage sessions with Heather. It’s good to see him close his eyes and relax into the massage; he seems so peaceful and happy. Heather is patient, confident and knowledgeable and I recommend her services.”

— Kathy Miller, Pacifica


Maya

“Heather has been treating Maya for the past year and we have seen tremendous progress. Maya has chronic arthritis and had arthroscopic surgery on both elbows. While she still has some stiffness, she no longer limps and her quality of life is much improved. Heather has been terrific…not only because of her obvious therapeutic skill, but also in the way she gets a dog’s particular personality. Maya and I are very lucky to have found Wags n’ Wellness and Heather!”

— Debra Viall, San Francisco


Bishop

“Bishop my 12 1/2 yr old black field lab began seeing Heather about 2 years ago. He was beginning to show signs of arthritis pain, particularly in his rear limbs. As Bishop is an energetic and playful lab, I was reluctant to begin a daily med regime. Instead, upon the advice of my vet, I started sessions with Heather. We began with biweekly massage for approx 6 weeks, and then tapered off to once a month. The improvement in Bishop’s mobility was amazing! As Bishop ages and his arthritis and old injuries are affecting his mobility, Heather continues to be our “go to” gal! After a session with her, his muscles are pliable, his back is not tight and his gait is improved. Heather’s knowledge and healing touch is a gift worth giving to any “best friend.”

— Ellen Davison, Pacifica


Charlie

“When our 9 year old Bernese Mountain Dog, Charlie, was diagnosed with severe arthritis in his hind legs we feared this was the first step toward “the end.” Then we heard about Heather Sanders and her wonderful healing abilities with canines. She came right over to our home, did a thorough intake, and began a regimen that involved healing massages and acupressure, teaching us exercises and ways of observing and treating him, and suggesting better foods and supplements. In a few months, with some realistic modifications based on his age and overall physical fitness, Charlie has returned to his exuberant self and we are delighted! I thoroughly recommend Heather as a generous, warm and extremely knowledgable professional who treats her clients (both canine and human) with wisdom and loving care. ”

— Linda Blackstone, San Francisco


Lorca

“My boxer, Lorca, who is nearing 15 years of age, still looks and feels great — always ready to go out for long walks and to play with his friends. Part of what keeps him that way is the work that Heather does with him to maintain his supple and balanced musculature. The range of motion he regains and the difference in his gait after a session with Heather are nothing short of astounding. His physical improvements and overall sense of relaxation in the weeks following a session have made me a devoted client of Wags ‘n Wellness. I trust Heather’s wealth of knowledge and commitment to her work and rely on it for any questions I might have. She always finds the most direct approach to addressing Lorca’s issues, combining multiple therapeutic modalities with thoughtful suggestions regarding supplements and nutrition to keep him thriving. It shows!”

— Adaire Chamyan, San Francisco


Moe

“My dog, Moe, had surgery on his left knee two years ago for a ruptured CCL and now has a partial tear on the right knee. I was determined not to put him through the surgery again and was thrilled when we found Heather. In a very short time I saw a real improvement in his gait and his energy. His knees and hips are gaining their strength again, and Moe is more agile than I have seen since before his surgery. Moe is a young dog and, with Heather’s acupressure treatments and dietary and supplement recommendations, I feel confident that he will be a healthy and active dog for many years to come. Thank you, Heather, and a big “woof” from Moe!”

— Elizabeth O’Brien, San Francisco


Leo

“My 5 year old, 80 lb chow/golden mix, Leo, ruptured his right CCL. After weeks seeing veterinary specialists, researching the pros and cons of surgery, and losing sleep, I decided to try conservative management. We embarked on a regimen of supplements, weight loss, acupressure and massage with Wags ‘n Wellness and Leo quickly started showing remarkable recovery.

“Heather relieves muscle tension and stretches Leo, gradually improving his range of motion and encouraging even use of his muscles, thus facilitating the healing process. I wasn’t sure I would ever see him run and play after that serious injury. Just four months after initiating treatment with Heather Sanders, Leo was bearing weight evenly across his hindlegs. Now, after his sessions with Heather, he bounds with the flexibility and energy of a puppy.

“We continue to see Heather regularly to keep Leo in the best possible condition. Acupressure and massage have proven to be a great way to relieve tension, pain and inflammation associated with arthritis in his spine. I feel very confident in Heather’s skill and see her as a partner in developing the best health plan for my boy. Her evaluations help me to ensure he’ll be healthy and active for years to come. Wags ‘n Wellness has been a wonderful addition to our lives.”

— Tammy Hilbrich, Corte Madera


Lillie

“Our 3 year-old rescued Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lillie, has two subluxated patellas and three fused vertebrae. Given her young age, we wanted to be proactive with her care and also try a holistic approach using conservative management before surgery became our only option. Heather came along at just the right time. Her focused and hands-on approach has resulted in improvements in Lillie’s mobility. In addition, as responsible owners, we truly appreciate her extensive knowledge regarding dietary improvements and suggestions for alternatives to surgery. We completely changed Lillie’s diet (& the cats as well!) based on Heather’s recommendations and, as she said it would, Lillie’s chronic “weeping eyes” — a bane for all Cavaliers — disappeared within the week. Heather is now our trusted second medical opinion!”

— Mike & Lesley Baird, Novato


Lisa, Abbey & Sabrina

“My dogs’ lives have been improved by working with Heather. Both Abbey and Sabrina have more energy and are moving more freely with less stiffness from arthritis. I’ve seen the most dramatic changes with my little 11-year old miniature poodle, Sabrina. A rescue eight years ago, she had always been a fearful, timid dog…afraid of rain, loud noises, other dogs, new people…and had always seemed to be in her own little world. She wasn’t very affectionate and didn’t seem to appreciate being pet or held. After just a few sessions with Heather, Sabrina started to become more relaxed and self-confident. Now she loves to be touched and seeks me out for attention, to play, and to be held and loved. I couldn’t be happier. I recommend Heather to everyone who cares about their dog.”

— Lisa Hinman, Greenbrae


Riley

“My 14.5 year old boy, Riley, went from a very active and energetic dog to almost immobile overnight; he was in too much pain to move. After 1000’s of dollars worth of tests, vet visits, x-rays and medication, no cause or solution could be found by my vets other than keeping a fentanyl patch on him at all times to help control the pain. Though he did eventually start to move around again, it was with obvious difficulty. Fortunately, I found Heather a few weeks after the onset of his symptoms. In the time that she has been working with him, his energy and mobility have markedly improved. She has since begun working on my little worry wort dog, Maggie May, to help reduce her anxiety and minimize her obsessions. In addition to being a skilled and articulate healer, Heather is a pleasure to be around.”

— Kim Conley, San Francisco


Daisy

“Our precious Daisy began having mobility problems last summer. Getting up the stairs was a problem and soon so was walking. Heather Sanders has been immensely helpful; in just a few sessions, we saw improvements in Daisy’s health and mobility. Heather is a warm, intuitive, devoted, kind, and fun person and just as important to us is that Daisy loves her. I wholeheartedly recommend Heather’s services.”

— Bebe Lemone, Oakland


Rachel & Muppet

“Heather is very present and focused with the animals she treats. Her treatments were very effective — both acupressure & supplements — and her sessions were informative for me as the owner as well. Muppet is feeling much better. Thank you, Heather!”

— Rachael Bouch, Berkeley


Valerie and her dogs

“Heather is a great resource. I knew my dogs would benefit from her knowledge of acupressure, but didn’t anticipate Heather’s ability to assess dogs from A to Z. She has custom-designed a nutritional, exercise, and life enhancement program for my dogs’ unique physiques and temperaments, which made them more comfortable when they were sick and has ensured their continued health. Bottom line? Heather enhances my dogs’ lives and my life with her energy and joy.”

— Valerie Peck, Oakland


Sasha

“Heather Sanders is a well-spring of information about how to best take care of your dog holistically. Besides her strong knowledge base, Heather is warm, engaging and kind. My dog, Sasha, and I both loved the time we spent together with her and the suggestions she made during our meetings have enhanced both of our lives. A gem!”

— Jane Webber, Berkeley


Bailey

“It is tremendously valuable to have someone who is my personal dog advisor and can answer my questions, help me find the right supplements, parse food ingredients, and direct me to other vendors and services. Honestly, I just like having Heather as a friendly 1-800 help line.”

— Chelsea Hardaway, Montara


Bodhi

“Bodhi has been visiting Heather for several years for massage, acupressure and nutritional advice. In addition, Heather has provided information and advice on herbal therapies for various chronic and acute ailments that Bodhi has had over the years. When we first came to Heather, Bodhi had chronic lower back issues. Since that time, Heather has been instrumental in helping Bodhi to maintain his posture and gait. I am happy to say that, while other issues have come and gone, Bodhi is now 11 and the chronic back issues have not returned. Heather has a vast knowledge base and professional nature; however, it is her compassionate and holistic treatment approach that has made Heather an integral part of Bodhi’s healthcare regime.”

— Kim Hanson Hari, Pacifica