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5 ways to show your dog love

Wednesday March 11th, 2009

By DogTime

Diamond-studded collars and couture clothing? Dogs couldn't care less (sorry, Paris). The things a dog wants and needs are free and fun to give.

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1. Feed her well, but not too well: High-quality, lick-the-bowl tasty food and treats will do your dog's body and spirit good; just don't give her more than she needs. Obesity is just as bad for dogs as it is for people. (See our food and nutrition section for advice.)

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2. Take her with you: Dogs are social creatures, and you are their pack. Whenever you can, take your dog on walks, to outdoor cafes, on errands, to visit Grandma...wherever you go, chances are, they want to go too.

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3. Exercise, exercise, exercise: Many dogs are exercise-deprived, especially high-energy working dogs like Labradors and Border Collies. They need mental stimulation as much as a physical workout — our article on mental and physical fitness will help you give it to them.

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4. Give her a little of that human touch: Got 10 minutes? Give her a dog massage. Got 10 seconds? Give her a belly rub. She finds it as blissful as you do.

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5. Speak her language: Like any relationship, it's all about communication. Knowing some basic training guidelines and how to "speak dog" — what her body language can tell you, and what your body language is saying to hernow that's the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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