By Stacey Brecher
The Dog Daily

There are many ways to show your dog that she is your best friend and an important member of your family. From doing activities together to creating a space just for her, these are some easy ways you can strengthen your bond with your four-legged friend.

Belly Rub Love

Giving your dog belly rubs is a surefire way to show your love. Nicole Rigger, owner of Pets a Go Go LLC, an 11-year-old pet care company in Westchester County, N.Y., explains, "Just like humans, touch is key for bonding and relaxation [for dogs]. Bellies are pleasure centers for many dogs, along with the insides and outside of ears, both sides of the tail and the underside of the chest."

Take a Walk

Going on long walks together not only benefits your dog and your relationship, but your own health as well. "Statistics show that pet owners exercise more frequently, and for a longer periods of time," said Rigger. "They even show owners of dogs tend to weigh less. So for the sake of both your fitness and happiness, make it at least a 30 minute walk every day."

Enjoy a Ride

Many dogs love car rides … as long as it doesn't end in a visit to the vet! "Whether it's watching the scenery go by or listening to you singing your favorite tune off key, your dog will enjoy the time out of the house and love being around you," says Rigger.

Before you head out, always make sure your dog is safe by keeping the windows partially closed securing your dog with a safety belt.

Dog Yoga

The new doga craze will have your dog happily working out with you. "Doga combines massage, poses and even chants of yoga for human practitioners," explains Rigger.

Try taking a class with your dog, or sign her up for a massage that will relax her. You can even try doga at home using these techniques.

Go to the Dog Park

Dogs are curious and social creatures, and they enjoy exploring new areas and making new friends. Spend the afternoon in the park with your dog and let her chase some squirrels and meet other dogs. Who knows -- you may even meet some new friends of your own there.

Stacey Brecher is a freelance writer. She has contributed to Animal Fair magazine, and her blogs have previously appeared on The Dog Daily.

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