Dogs, our loyal companions, are just waiting to put a smile on our face at any given moment. Even without any research, we know that dogs make us happier, more resilient when facing stress and keep us physically healthier.
In fact, they support our well-being in so many ways:
❤️Lower cholesterol and triglycerides
❤️Decrease blood pressure and stress
❤️Increase physical activity
❤️Increase feelings of well-being
❤️Lower rates of depression by elevating the levels of serotonin and dopamine
❤️Help us to feel less lonely
❤️ Help promote social interaction with other people
❤️ May reduce the demand for medical care for non-serious health issues
❤️Pets have been shown to build self-esteem, increase mental alertness and lift the spirits of people with Alzheimer’s disease
❤️ Seniors also tend to care for themselves better when they own a pet.
Once a dog joins our life it changes our lifestyle in many ways.
The most prominent being physical activity. Once you have a dog, you have to walk him. Period.
A study from Glasgow Caledonian University, here in the UK, found that adults aged 60 and over enjoy better health thanks to the “enforced” exercise they get by walking their dogs. According to Philippa Dall from Glasgow Caledonian University, over the course of a week, the additional time spent walking your dog may in itself be sufficient to meet The World Health Organization’s recommendations of at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Little Chihuahua, Cherry, joined my mum and dad just over a year ago and she has definitely enriched their life on so many levels.
Dogs are great therapy animals.
A dog’s ability to boost our well-being makes them great therapy animals. They can enrich lives and provide necessary assistance as well as unwavering love and support. Emotional support dogs (other animals as well) are beneficial to people who suffer from severe mental health disorders. They are companion animals that provide therapeutic support, unconditional love, and comfort to those in need. These animals are not required to receive specialized training or perform certain tasks for a disability, however, they do need to be house trained and well behaved around other people and animals… obviously.
Darcy is registered with Pets As Therapy and with her very gentle nature, Darcy helps people with a fear of dogs to overcome the fear by gentle introduction. In addition, she has visited a number of primary schools to engage with pupils who are reluctant readers. The children bring a book of their choice and read it to her. She loves the children and particularly the treats they give her. Darcy has also helped children enduring a period of bereavement to manage their grief by being available for 1:1 time. She is very intuitive and responds to children in such a loving manner. Finally, she has visited special schools and has had a remarkable impact on autistic children. She is a very special dog and turned 10 this year. Her visits have reduced but she is available when needed.