Like humans, dogs love to be pampered.

Think about the last time you visited a local spa or your partner gave you a massage. The feeling -- before and after -- of a professional Swedish or Shiatsu massage or a back rub from your lovey-dovey is like heaven.

Well, it should be no surprise that your dog gets that same sensation when you caress his furry body. Animals lovers, here are five reasons why you should massage your dog. Later, you'll learn three techniques you can do for your pet companion in the comfort of your home.

Disclaimer: Please check with your vet before trying canine massage to ensure that your pooch is not suffering from physical problems that may become worse if the massage is not done properly (e.g., cancer, arthritis, skin conditions).

Stress Reduction

dogmassage_azi: "That's the spot."Instagram

Experts say all breeds of dog enjoy the benefits of canine massage; the human touch seems to work wonders. You know, it's the "ooh, ahh, I'm in heaven" feeling you get when your therapist gets it going. Massage helps dogs that are antsy about something or showing signs of distress. Just like humans need some R&R after a long work week, dogs relish in regular rounds of, ahem...petting.

Relationship Building

Not only does a daily rub down work wonders for your dog, it also helps to build trust and a lasting bond. Ever see animals in the wild grooming one another? It's the same thing with dogs, but don't expect your canine to return the favor. The advice here is to start off slow until your dog gets accustomed to the massage, especially if you've recently adopted or acquired your pet. As time goes on, she will associate you with the spa treatment and will forever love you for it -- just as you would.

Promotes Circulation

"I'm about to get a massage, Harry. Life is good, brutha."


Massage therapy for dogs not only feels good by releasing endorphins, aka the "happy hormones, which are produced by the brain's pituitary gland. The primary function is to promote "lasting happiness and satisfaction," according to Good Relaxation. Massaging a dog's body helps with circulation and allows vital nutrients to reach the animal's organs and every cell in their body. The act of rubbing a dog down helps muscles relax after a hard day of play and helps promote healing from soreness. This becomes more important as your dog ages.