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Published: Apr 22, 2011

A new trend among pet owners is being scoffed at by some and praised by others - pet massages. Many dog parents are taking their furry friends to professional masseurs for treatment, but some may be wondering if this is just an expensive form of good old petting, according to The New York Times.

One advocate of pooch massages is Renee Lane, owner of a toy poodle named Grace. She claims that her dog "absolutely loves it - she turns into a puddle. I want to keep her around as long as I can, and I think it's going to keep her healthy. She helps reduce my stress, so why shouldn't I reciprocate?"

Lane isn't alone in her belief that the massages are good for pet health. Other pet parents claim that the rub downs aid digestion, immunity, relaxation and increase circulation. However, the news source states that veterinarians are unsure whether these claims hold water.

Whether or not pet parents bring their pooch to a professional masseur, it appears that petting your dog can help them relax. According to The Daily Mail, pet owners themselves are likely to feel more calm after petting their canine companions.