Kathleen Crisley

 The Balanced Dog Ltd
Christchurch 8053, New Zealand
1 Main North Road Christchurch Canterbury 8053 NZ
 Other (Veterinary)

The Balanced Dog is a mobile massage and natural health practice for dogs based in Christchurch. Kathleen Crisley, Principal Therapist, specialises in in-home care because this helps busy dog owners to follow a rehab programme for their dog and it helps to manage the dog’s anxiety that can be associated with veterinary procedures and car rides. In addition, Kathleen uses her understanding of the home to create rehab exercise programmes that are easy to follow (often without the need to buy or hire specialist equipment) and in the creation of lifestyle programmes which use longer-term management and exercise techniques.

Kathleen has trained in animal behaviour at the world-famous Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah where she developed a professional interest in working with special needs dogs. She offers her services to local dog rescue and re-homing groups at reduced rates. Her Fear Free certification is an added commitment to her customers to work with them cooperatively in caring for their dog. She was particularly motivated to undertake her Fear Free certification after being told by a new client that their previous physical therapy practice muzzled their dog to undertake massage and stretching.


“Caesar is a 2 year old Neapolitan Mastiff Cross that came into the care of Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue and was diagnosed as having a ruptured cruciate. Kathleen started her rehabilitation work with Caesar once he was at the recovery stage from the surgery on his leg.

Kathleen accommodated us by coming to the rescue every Saturday before our opening hours to work with Caesar; she developed an exercise plan that we could easily work with in a rescue environment with our limited resources. He learnt quickly to love the beep from the laser therapy machine, as he got a treat from Kathleen each time and would give her hand a bunt if she was taking too long delivering that treat.

Kathleen changed the exercise programme as Caesar regained strength, the improvement each week became so visible towards the end of his rehabilitation. We would not hesitate to use Kathleen’s services again if the need arose & highly recommend her services.” – Charlene Te Amo, Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue (Caesar went to a forever home in March 2018)

“Zoe, our retired greyhound, and I attended one of Kathleen’s massage workshops. During this workshop it was noticed that Zoe was tender in her hind legs and there was a difference in muscle development on each thigh . She had trouble jumping into cars and onto things like beds, waiting instead to be lifted.Zoe testimonial photo for widget

Kathleen and I decided that some intense therapy was required. Kathleen came to our home and treated Zoe in her own surroundings a number of times. Zoe was immediately at ease and eventually would nearly nod off during sessions. Her movement improved immensely and soon we witnessed her ‘bunny jumping’ when on a ‘zoomie’. This is where the greyhound tucks its hind legs under and almost leaps with delight while running. After Kathleen’s treatment was the first time we had seen her to do this. She also began jumping onto beds and couches (!) and can now leap into the car with no difficulty. It was quite obvious the muscle tension holding her back had been eased. The sessions with Kathleen made all the difference and it is great to know our girl is now feeling comfortable. I wouldn’t hesitate to ask Kathleen to provide more treatment if Zoe ever required it.”- Kirsty Mathieson