There are a lot of good reasons to own a dog. They are loving companions who are always fun to have around. But have you ever stopped to think about all the ways they are helping you?
The truth is, the benefits of having a dog extend far beyond the obvious amusement they provide and we’re going to do a run down of them right now.
After reading this, you might just want to thank your dog just for being such a good friend (who is also good for you).
They Literally Make You Happier
It has been found that spending only a short time with a dog can significantly improve our mood. People playing with dogs have a marked increase in dopamine and serotonin, chemicals in the brain which positively impact our happiness levels.
In fact, studies on dog owners have found that these groups are less likely to suffer from depression.
They Make Your Heart Healthier
No, we don’t mean they fill us with love and warm our hearts (though they do that as well). They actually make our cardiovascular system stronger.
Studies have shown that dog ownership is directly correlated with lower blood pressure. In fact, it has been found that petting a dog for no more than 15 minutes will ease a person’s heart rate.
They Improve Your Immune System
Yes, dogs expose us to a lot of germs and bacteria. Is that a bad thing? Not if you don’t like getting sick.
The truth is, our immune system needs to be exposed to germs to develop an immunity against them, and dogs are just the thing to serve up such fodder. The result is that dog owners get sick less and are able to fight off infection much more effectively.
Relating to the previous point, exposure to dogs also has the function of keeping us from developing allergies. A recent study indicated that growing up with dogs gave people a much greater chance of not developing pet allergies.
Another study indicated that growing up with dogs reduced the risk of developing eczema as well.
They Can Warn You of Danger
It is well known that dogs can warn you if a fire breaks out or if a someone breaks into your home, but they can also warn you about dangers to your health as well.
Dogs have been observed spotting and reacting to things like seizures or cancerous tumors long before the afflicted person is aware of it. A dog may point something like this out by pawing at you for an irregular amount of time. In some cases, they have saved lives this way.
They Get You Exercising
We probably don’t have to tell you all of the benefits of exercising. The outcomes are improvements in both our physical and mental health.
So you should never underestimate the good being done for you, whenever your dog demands to be taken for a walk or outside to play. While your dog may seem much more excited about the activity, it is both of you who are benefiting greatly.
Don’t believe us? At least one study has proven that dog owners, on average, get better exercise than those who don’t.
They Improve Your Social Life
When you get a dog, you get an opportunity to join a huge community of dog lovers. You get to hang out with them at dog parks, go for walks with them, and generally bond over the dog loving experience.
In a sense, the companionship you get when you have a dog is exponential when you factor in the social connections you make with dog enthusiasts.
In fact, there are even dating sites, just for people with pets.
They Improve Your Personality
Having a dog requires patience, compassion, conscientiousness and responsibility. If you were lacking in some of these traits before having a dog, you might find that you picked some of them up while you were caring for it.
They Provide Warmth
Do you have bad blood circulation or live in a generally drafty house? No problem if you have a dog! Just cuddle up with your pooch and your cold extremities will be a thing of the past. They are like a big walking heat pad.
You’re not likely to find a dog who doesn’t like a good cuddle so if you have a dog, there is no reason to be cold.
They Help Cope with Stress
Dogs are proven to be amazing at stress avoidance. One study found that people who were able to pet a friendly or familiar dog, showed a dramatic reduction in stress indicators. This reduction took hold even faster than the effects of many medications which are meant to directly combat stress.
Any dog owner knows that dogs are capable of doing some truly remarkable things. We have been living with them and making them a significant part of our lives for so long, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that history is littered with amazing and influential dogs. Some are famous for the impact they made on society, while others are famous for the extraordinary and sometimes tragic things that happened to them. And then there are those which take an honorary place in history for their incredible heroics. This list is filled with such dogs and their stories. While this list is filled with great dogs, it only scratches the surface of the many dogs that changed the world in some way or another. That fact is a testament to what incredibly remarkable animals dogs can be.
Laika achieved something few humans can only imagine: going to space. Laika was a stray dog, living on the streets of Moscow, when she was selected to be a part of a test mission outside the earth’s atmosphere in 1957. She made it into outer space and her space craft, Sputnik 2, orbited the earth. Laika was the first dog in space and got there before any human as this was a time when humans were only starting to gain an understanding of how a person can travel into outer space.
Unfortunately, Laika and her spacecraft were never meant to return to earth. She died on the mission and this led to significant controversy and debate over how animals should be treated in terms of scientific testing. Even some of the scientists involved in the mission expressed regret that Laika did not survive and that things should have been done differently. We can at least take comfort in the fact that future missions were designed to be recovered and Laika has been immortalized through a statue erected in 2008.
Philly, a mut, can be considered among the most famous hero dogs of World War I. She began her career as a mascot for Company A of the 315th infantry but was then brought to France where the unit was being deployed. Here, she served as a guard dog for the allies. Despite being gassed and injured in battle, her guard dog skills never waned, to the extent that the Germans even put a price on her head.
Here are some other war hero dogs for your reading pleasure.:
Susie may be the only dog on this list who is directly responsible for the passing of legislation. This part pitbull of North Carolina’s story began in 2009 when she was set on fire by her owner’s boyfriend. Susie suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns as a result of this horrible instance of animal abuse. This probably makes you incredibly sad, but this story has a happy ending. After the perpetrator of this unspeakable act received probation for his crime, a huge public outcry took place, and massive amounts of people wrote their state representatives asking for tougher legislation in cases of animal cruelty. This caused the passing of Susie’s Law, which upgrades charges of animal abuse to a felony and allows judges to sentence offenders to jail time.
Susie is now a certified therapy dog, who appears at schools and hospitals to teach kindness and respect. In the years since her horrible ordeal, she has gone on to make lives of dogs better as well as those of the humans she visits.
Just as Philly is arguably the most famous dog of WWI. Smoky, a Yorkie, can be considered the most famous dog of WWII. Smoky mysteriously appeared, fully grown, in the jungle of New Guinea with no indication that she was owned by the Japanese or the Americans when she was found by an American soldier. She was adopted by Corporal William Wynne, with whom she enjoyed a long and eventful military career. Throughout this time, she embarked on 12 combat missions and was awarded with eight battle stars. She served by warning Wynne of incoming shells, and learning many tricks, which entertained the troops. She was also famously instrumental in building an airbase, where she ran wire through small pipes which would have taken thousands more man hours for humans to accomplish, thereby keeping them out of harm’s way.
After the war, Smoky became an American celebrity, appearing on some of the US’s first TV shows to do tricks like blindfolded tightrope walking. Her body now rests beneath a statue erected in her honor and in honor of all war dogs, in Ohio.
5. Rin Tin Tin
Rin Tin Tin, a German Shepherd, began his career as a movie star in the 1920s and was among the first canine Hollywood celebrities. Rin Tin Tin’s status as an international superstar of the time cannot be understated. He appeared in 27 silent films throughout his career and is credited, in part, with making Warner Bros. studios the successful company it is today. Because of the ease with which silent films could be localized to different languages, Rin Tin Tin gained popularity all over the world. Rin Tin Tin is also largely responsible for the popularization of German Shepherds as pets in the United States. Rin Tin Tin’s death was met with national mourning. Obituaries were published in newspapers across the nation, and regular programming was interrupted about news of the event.
When it comes to taking care of your pet having a regular exercise for them will ensure that they will live a long and healthy life.
Some of the physical activities could include going for walks, playing ball or even going to a dog park. A dog park is a great alternative to a regular walking routine as it gives your dog a chance to socialize and interact with other dogs.
However, there are certain precautions and things that you should be aware of as a dog owner before heading to a dog park.
1. Have a Quick Look Online
Before you visit a dog park for the first time it is always a good idea to look at the guidelines online for the specific park that you are planning on going to as each dog park is different and has specific rules to make sure that your dogs are safe.
For example, some parks have a rule of making sure your dog is up to date with all their vaccinations before entering the dog park.
2. Make Sure Your Dog is Healthy
Before you take your furry loved one to the dog park you want to make sure that he or she is up to date with all the vaccines and medications if needed.
This is because it will protect them from other dogs that may be sick and also protect them from outdoor bugs like fleas and ticks.
Fleas and ticks can be easily avoided by giving your dog medication from www.petcarechoice.com.
3. Give your Dog a Walk
A dog park is not meant to be a substitution for their daily exercise; but, rather a place to complement their daily exercise and a chance to socialize with other dogs.
It is also a great way to stimulate your dog when you have not been home during the day. However, it is important to remember not to force the idea of socializing onto your dog if they do not seem to be ready yet.
4. Pick Up After Yourself
It is important to leave the park as it was when you entered it. This means having plastic bags that are handy to pick up after your dog. In addition, it is a good idea to bring your own water bowl with you. As shared water bowls in the park could be filled with bacteria that can make your dog sick and ill.
5. Make Sure That Your Dog is Trained
It is essential to train your dog before taking them to a public dog park. This is because you want to be able to call your dog on demand in case there is an unsafe situation.
In addition, you want to make sure that your dog is well trained in order to avoid miss behavior or unsafe behavior when it comes to other dogs and people.
6. Leave the Treats in the Car
As a pet owner, we love to reward our furry loved ones after they have had a good positive day without any behavioral issues. However, treating your dog with a delicious treat in the dog park is not a good idea.
This is because it can cause fights with other dogs because of jealousy of not receiving a treat. Therefore, it is a good idea to give your dog a treat in the car or when you get home.
7. Always Keep an Eye on Your Dog
A dog park is not meant for you to catch up on your emails or to chat with other dog owners. This is because it is important to keep an eye on you’re to make sure that he or she is behaving well and is safe. For that reason, it is important not to bring kids as it would be impossible to keep an eye on the both of them.
8. Don’t Worry if Your Dog is not Interacting
If your dog is new to a dog park or is usually shy around other dogs and people; it is normal if they would want to avoid interacting with other dogs.
You should not worry too much about your dog. However, over time and more visits to the dog park you might witness that your dog is slowly becoming a little bit more sociable over time.
What is NexGard?
In addition, NexGard is FDA approved and has been proven to be safe and effective.
It contains afoxolaner which helps treat and prevent fleas and ticks for up to 30 days. Dogs also love the chewable beef-flavored medication which makes it easier for you to give it to your pet.
How Do You Apply NexGard?
Nexgard is a flea and tick prevention medication that is super easy and simple to give to your dog.
Just follow these 3 steps below:
- Separate a single dose
- Peel back the foil backing
- Give your dog the medication to eat
Recommended by Your Veterinarian
Many veterinarians recommend NexGard as it is from the maker of Frontline Plus brand; which is the number one recommended flea tick protection by veterinarians.
In addition, it helps kill adult fleas before they even lay eggs and kills ticks as well, up to 30 full days. Also, Nexgard is FDA approved which means that it has been proven that it is safe to give to your dog.
Where Can you Get NexGard?
NexGard requires a prescription, but it can be easily ordered from www.petcarechoice.com. Remember that it is always important to consult your veterinarian before giving any kind of medication or treatments to your furry loved on.
What is K9 Advantix?
K9 Advantix is a great product used to stop, prevent and gets rid of fleas. It begins working less than 5 minutes after applying it to your dog and begins killing the fleas within 12 hours. This product is known to get rid of 98% or more of all the fleas on your dog.
In addition to getting rid of fleas it also respells them as well.
How Do You Give K9 Advantix?
With K9 Advantix it can only be given to dogs and not to cats and other animals.
However, it is simple to use, just follow the steps below:
- Part the hair on the dog’s back, between the shoulder blades, until the skin is visible.
- Squeeze the solution out of the tube until it is finished directly on the dogs skin.
- Let product dry before your dog has contact with water.
Recommended by Other Dog Owners
Many dog owners recommend K9 Advantix as it is a fast and effective way to give relief to your dog if they have fleas.
In addition, it is easy to use.
Where Can you find K9 Advantix?
K9 Advantix does not need a prescription and can be easily ordered from www.petcarechoice.com.
Remember that it is always important to consult your veterinarian before giving any kind of medication or treatments to your furry loved one.
What is Advantage?
Advantage is a once a month tropical flea treatment that is used on cats and kittens that are 8 weeks or older and also for dogs and puppies that are 7 weeks or older.
It is a product that kills 98% to 100% of fleas on your pet within 12 hours. In addition to killing fleas, it also prevents flea allergy dermatitis.
Advantage comes in two different sizes depending on how large your cat or dog is.
How Does it Work?
Advantage works by spreading the medication directly on your pet’s skin and it locks in the oils that are found in their skin.
With the direct contact of the medication, it kills fleas quickly and also breaks up the life cycle to prevent future flea development. In addition the great thing about Advantage is that it also works when you’re pet is wet for 28 days.
How do you Apply Advantage?
Applying Advantage to your cat and dog is made easy; just follow these instructions:
- Remove collar from your pet.
- Hold the tube upright and pull off the cap.
- Break the seal by using the opposite side of the cap.
- Part the hair on your pet between the shoulder blades and apply the entire dose directly to the skin.
Recommended by Pet Owners
Advantage is a product that is recommended by many pet owners and is considered the number 1 treatment in the United States.
It works quickly as it stops fleas from biting within 3 to 5 minutes; which decreases pain and discomfort for your pet.
Praising your dog is an important part to reinforcing good behavior and a great tool to be used when training your dog to learn new skills or just general rules. It is also a way to show that you care and love your dog by displaying some extra attention.
However, many pet owners turn to using dog food or treats when praising their four-legged friends. And with the concern of obesity growing among dogs, it is important to consider if praising with treats is the right approach to use when it comes to your dog’s overall health.
But on the bright side there are many different ways that you can praise your dog without using food and in most cases your dog will love any of the following options.
What Are The Benefits of Using Non-Food Rewards?
- It will make each reward more valuable as it is something different that your dog will show excitement for each time
- Helps prevent over feeding and helping your dog maintain a healthy weight
- It will allow you to train your dog and/or reward your dog without worrying if you have treats available
- Give you the opportunity to learn more about your pet
1. Play with Your Dog
Praising your dog with playtime is a great alternative to dog treats and comes with many extra benefits. This is because it promotes interaction and bonding time between the both of you. It also provides some form of physical activity to keep your dog in shape and healthy.
Example: Tug-a-war and Frisbee
2. Fun Toys
If your dog has listened to a command correctly give them a fun and/or new toy to play with. A sudden appearance of a toy can be the best form of praise and excitement for your furry loved one.
Chewing toys also come with the benefit of them maintaining optimal dental health.
Example: Chew toy or bone
3. Verbal Praise
Verbal praise may be the most simplistic way to show your dog that they have done something well. Offering kind words like “Good dog” or “Great job” is a natural way to reward dogs for good behavior.
Example: “Good job”
4. Physical Affection
Majority of dogs love when they are hugged, patted or rubbed, which is why physical affection is another technique to praise your dog without treats. However, before choosing this method of praise it is important to know your dog well. This is because depending on your dog he or she may not like to be touched in certain areas.
Example: rubbing of the head
5. A Walk
Dogs love going for walks and having that sense of freedom by letting the fresh air go through their fur. Therefore, if you praise your dog with an extra walk in the park to let him or her take the chance to explore new things is a great alternative to treats. In addition, your dog will get the extra health benefits of staying active along with yourself.
6. Eye Contact
Using eye contact is a powerful way to praise your dog. This is because eye contact for dogs is a natural way for them to get approval for doing something. In addition, eye contact is a natural way of them recognizing that you are pleased of what they have just accomplished.
7. A Massage
Dogs love massages as just as much as we do, which is why it is a great option to choose as a way to praise you dog. It is a great way to calm and relax your dog and also can help release physical tension and anxiety.
However, some dogs do not like massages so it is important to pay attention to their body language. For example, if your dog goes towards you then it is most likely rewarding for them.
8. A Fun Trick
Having a few easy tricks that your dog enjoys is another great option to praise your dog with. For example, a high five is a great choice of a fun trick to praise your dog. However, it is important to keep in mind that this type of praise is not for a dog that is still in its training process.
Creating space is not a common way to praise your dog; however, it is something that they do appreciate and enjoy. For instance, if you have boundaries that block off the kitchen but have seen the good behavior with your dog respecting these rules; you can eliminate these boundaries. This will show them that you have acknowledged their good behavior.
10. Let Them Explore
When you take your dog for a walk most of the times we don’t stop to let out dog explore their surroundings. However, if you want to praise your dog for good behavior then stopping during a walk to let them explore and sniff around is a great way to praise your dog. This is because they will recognize that this action usually does not happen so it is acknowledged that it is a treat for good behavior.
11. Healthy Treats (Bonus praise but technically a food)
When praising your dog it is important to recognize that dog treats are not always a great option as they are unhealthy and can lead your dog gaining unwanted weight. However, you can substitute these treats with healthy ones. But it is always good to remember that moderation is key and too much of anything is unhealthy.
Example: ice cubes and watermelon
The list is just a few of the many ways you can praise your dog without food and unhealthy treats. It is also important to remember that the simplest things like a walk may be the best reward that your four-legged furry loved one would appreciate the most.