Health Benefits of a Dog & Smile Challenge #4
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Health Benefits of a Dog & Smile Challenge #4

Healthy Labrador Retriever equals healthy pet ownerI hope your dog enjoyed the first exercise in the Dog Smile Challenge! They are good solid activities for your best friend and they are great for you the owner as well. Did you know that there are numerous health benefits for those individuals who own 
dogs? There is medical evidence that a human who just spends time with lovable
canine can actually lead a longer healthier life. I encourage you to read the article in US News entitled The Pet Prescription. It describes just some of the many health benefits that our dogs (especially in my opinion - our Labradors) have given to us. So, not only do we have the privilege of enjoying life side by side with a loyal comrade, but we also reap lasting benefits, both mentally and physically, from their endearing faithful companionship. It is a great miracle that a furry creature who is so dependent on us can bestow such a gift; while they are at the same time, such an amazing gift in themselves. So, love your dog and thank them for their "gift" as you spend time enjoying them today. Today one way I encourage you to thank them is by applying Jenny Langbehn's fourth suggestion in her list of ways to make a dog smile. I just know your dog will thank you for trying out this fun exercise. And just maybe you can thank your dog too :) !
"Using both hands, gently knead (don't pinch!) the excess of your dog's back and scruff. Sing a rousing rendition on "That's Amore" as you knead the dog's skin like pizza dough."
Langbehn, Jenny. 97 Ways to Make a Dog Smile. Workman Publishing: New York, 2003.

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