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Healthy, Happy Humans: The Benefits of Dog Companionship

Healthy, Happy Humans: The Benefits of Dog Companionship 0

Dogs provide people with unconditional love and companionship that puts most humans to shame. But are there really health benefits to having a furry friend? Yes! It is scientifically proven that dogs improve their owner's mental and physical well-being. These beautiful animals are healers and best friends, what more can one ask for? Here is what science says when it comes to the benefits of a furry family member.

 

A Healthy Heart and a Happy Life

Studies suggest that people living with dogs tend to eat better and have healthier blood sugar levels as a result. This ultimately leads to improved cardiovascular health. According to one Harvard study, people with canine companions are likely to have lower blood pressure, decreased triglyceride, and reduced cholesterol levels. This lowers the risk of heart attacks while improving recovery rates in the event of a stroke.

Harvard terms this the “pet effect”. The study further suggests that dogs have a calming effect on their owners and motivate them to seek regular exercise for a fitter lifestyle. 

#FitnessGoals are Achievable with Five Dog Walks a Day 

Dog owners are often physically active since canine friends keep them busy with fetch games and potty walks all day long. Health experts recommend at least two to three hours of exercise a week for adults - while people with dogs are more than likely to surpass this goal. 

Elderly dog owners have also been reported as being more active and mobile compared to their dog-less counterparts. A report found that older adults with dogs benefit from lower body mass index, fewer doctor visits, and fewer limitations in daily activities. 

Your furry friend might just be the answer to longevity!

Better Mental Health with Reduced Stress

Some dogs are naturally gifted as professional therapists! Yes, you read that right-- there are therapy dogs that help sufferers of PTSD or grief to cope through companionship. The nonjudgmental nature of service dogs is ideal in helping sufferers emerge from despair and loneliness. 

In fact, spending a few minutes with a dog can help lower anxiety and blood pressure. Dog-assisted therapy can also increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, two positive neurochemicals known for their soothing effects on the body. As such, dogs are known to ease tension and keep family members united regardless of the generation gap. 

Security with a Peace of Mind

Dogs are known for their unquestionable loyalty. Their dedication to the safety and care of their owners is legendary, to say the least. Hachikō, an Akita in Japan waited daily for its owner at the train station where he'd regularly alight, despite nine years of the man's passing. Talk about dedication!

The testament of canine loyalty is replayed in homes every day, as dogs bark and defend their owners from unsuspecting strangers. Many reports and studies have shown that homes with dogs are less vulnerable to theft, burglary, or break-ins than households without. 

This bestows pet parents with a greater sense of security and comfort, which reduces stress levels that are responsible for a plethora of health issues.

The Feel Good Factor: Scientifically-proven

Anyone who has ever interacted with a friend's or stranger’s dog will agree that there is something uncanny about those canines, which brings a smile to their face. And no, it is not simply a figment of the imagination. Simply locking eyes with your furry companion and gazing lovingly at its adorable face triggers the release of oxytocin-- the “feel good” hormone of your system. This relaxing and joyful sensation is 100% natural, wholesome, and all free courtesy of your pooch pal.

  • Holly W
EXTRA ITCHY? HOW TO TELL IF YOUR DOGGIE SUFFERS FROM SEASONAL ALLERGIES & HOW YOU CAN HELP

EXTRA ITCHY? HOW TO TELL IF YOUR DOGGIE SUFFERS FROM SEASONAL ALLERGIES & HOW YOU CAN HELP 0

Five Amazing Mutts for National Mutt Day

Five Amazing Mutts for National Mutt Day 0

On the last day of July, we get to celebrate our four-legged heroes with National Mutt Day, also known as National Mixed Breed Dog Day. This celebration takes place twice a year on July 31 and December 2, and raises awareness for mixed breed dogs in shelters around the nation. Approximately 80% of dogs in shelters are mixed breeds!

While not all the dogs featured here come from mixed lineage, all of them prove their intelligence, strength of spirit, and willingness to share the trials of life with their human companions. 

Jasmine

While working his beat, British Policeman Geof Grewcock inspected a shed and found a skinny-to-the-bone, filthy greyhound inside. He took the abused female to the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Preserve to rehabilitate her. And ever since, Jasmine has repaid that kindness by the ton.

Geoff founded the wildlife preserve as a place for sick and injured animals. Jasmine fit right in.

"When I first met Jasmine, you could tell she had been emotionally devastated but was a gentle dog by nature," he said. "And soon, she started nurturing the other animals." 

During her life with him, Jasmine stepped in as mother to puppies, foxes, a fawn, four badger cubs, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, 15 rabbits, a deer, and her favorite, a goose.

Jasmine died in 2011, but her legacy lives on through her story and the animals she nurtured. 

Pearl

Another magnificent mutt, Pearl, escaped a bleak fate at a Los Angeles animal shelter and went on to save lives around the world. 

Initially, a group that trains seeing-eye dogs saw potential in the beautiful black lab but found her too hyper for the job. But her I'm-just-getting-going attitude made her perfect for the National Search and Rescue Dog Foundation. 

Pearl passed the intense training program for these four-legged heroes and found herself in Haiti in response to the earthquake of 2010 and Japan in 2011 after the tsunami.

From rescued to rescuer, Pearl proves the power of our amazing friends!

Rancho

Just like their humans, not every dog earns the title of amazing for training-intensive, spectacular feats. Rancho helps his owner with the laundry and even knows how to fold. Check out this beautiful shepherd pulling his weight around the house here.

Survivor

Imagine falling from a fishing boat and becoming lost at sea. That's what rescuers from an oil rig 135 miles off the Thai coast believe happened. This brave little fellow swam up to their boat without a sound of complaint or suffering. The crew used a rope to pull him from the water and gave him the only name that fit: Survivor. Click here to have a look at the pictures of this lucky dog and his new family in the comments.

Chancer

Chancer changed the life of his humans within 24 hours of joining the family. His first night in his new home, Chancer crawled into bed with the family's adopted teenage son, Iyal, who displays symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome. After years of round-the-clock care and little rest, the entire family got its first good night's sleep. Iyal's new companion keeps him calm and lessens the severity of the symptoms that do slip through, Iyal's mother says.

Giving back to the Givers

All mutts are amazing. They just need the opportunity to prove it. Like people, every dog has a unique personality. These differences make them perfect and especially ideal for their owners. When choosing your new family member, please consider adoption!

If you want a hero, best friend, soul mate, and protector in your life, considering adopting one of the many dogs that find themselves in shelters through no fault of their own. Check out this list of animal shelters by state to help get you started.

If you want to help but can't adopt, never fear. Agencies large and small, national and local, always need supplies like dog food, collars, and leashes. Check out their websites or call them to see how you can give back to our marvelous, four-legged companions.

  • Alex Brown
Putting Our Best Paws Forward: Animal Aid Society

Putting Our Best Paws Forward: Animal Aid Society 0

Here at Doggie Dailies, we believe there is no better feeling than helping those in need. That's why every quarter we pick a new charity to donate a portion of our proceeds to!

We’re now in the third quarter of 2020 (July - October) and this quarter we're excited to be donating to Animal Aid Society of Hampton, Virginia.

About Animal Aid Society

Animal Aid Society (AAS) is a non-profit, no-kill dog shelter located in Hampton, Virginia. Since its founding in 1971, AAS has helped countless stray, abandoned, and abused dogs find their happily ever after in coastal Virginia. 

Open to the public 365 days a year, AAS utilizes campus-style kennels that give each of each dog their own temperature controlled housing with access to an outdoor area 24 hours a day. In it’s nearly 50 years of operation, AAS has transformed from a home-based, one-woman effort to a 41 kennel facility located on 7 acres of land with over 100 volunteers. 

After all these years, it remains committed to providing dogs with medical care and safe shelter until they can be placed with a foster family or with their forever family!

Noticing A Need 

Nearly 50 years ago, Sue Henninger, an animal advocate and military wife, noticed a sad trend in her coastal Virginia military community. When military families were given new orders and had to relocate, they often couldn’t bring their furry family members with them. The only option at the time was to surrender their pets to a kill shelter. 

Sue knew she couldn’t stand idly by and watch this happen. To avoid these animals being surrendered to a kill shelter, Sue offered to take in and care for these animals until they could be rehomed with loving families. That’s when the Animal Aid Society was founded. 

In its nearly 50 years of operation, with the generous support of their community and the tireless efforts of volunteers, AAS has transformed from a home-based, one-woman effort to a 41 kennel facility located on 7 acres of land with over 100 volunteers.

Driven By A Passion For Dogs 

Animal Aid Society is an all-volunteer organization! On average, the AAS volunteer force contributes 900 hours of every month, which translates to just under $275,000 annually in donated labor. Everyone from the daily dog walkers, the marketing team to the board members donates their time to create a safe haven for homeless dogs. That means that AAS is able to invest 100% of all donations and fundraising monies to provide for the dogs in their care. 

To encourage this passion in future generations, AAS partners with community groups (scouts and athletic teams) to create volunteer and educational opportunities for local teens and young adults. Families with children are encouraged to come and walk dogs in their park-like facility as a bonding experience and volunteering opportunity all rolled into one. 

The rescue strongly believes that the connection and interaction of volunteers with the animals results in a higher level of healing for both the volunteers and the animals. From walking and socialization to fundraisers and adoption events, volunteers are integral to the day-to-day operation of the rescue. 

Going the Extra Mile

Animal Aid Society has a comprehensive adoption process to ensure that each of their dogs is placed with a family that they will be able to thrive with. With each adoption, AAS provides as much information as possible about a dog’s medical history, personality, and temperament to the potential adopters. This allows the potential adopters to make an informed decision about whether the dog will be a good match for their family and lifestyle.

The relationship doesn’t end once the adoption is complete. Their positive reinforcement trainers are available to adopters for a no-cost consultation to help with the transition of bringing a new dog home.

If circumstances change or a placement doesn’t work out – AAS always takes the dog back. AAS has even gone so far as to fly a dog from across the continent when the family that adopted had to move overseas and couldn’t take the dog they adopted with them.  When AAS accepts a dog into their organization, they consider themselves to be responsible for that dog for the rest of his/her life. Once an AAS dog, always an AAS dog!

Effort to Rebuild

In 2016, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services changed the shelter rules, requiring public and private shelters to follow the same set of regulations. This rule change states that unattended outdoor enclosures should have impervious floors. This rule change meant that the outdoor run portion of each doggie apartment was in violation of the new rule.

The volunteers of AAS have embarked on the monumental task of redesigning their facility and raising the estimated $2 million dollars needed to complete it. The new facility will be bigger and better! The new plan calls for four new sets of kennels, with larger play yards and more climate-controlled spaces. There will be a retention pond to reduce flooding issues and more paths for walks. Additionally, the new layout will be more visitor-friendly and allow potential adopters to view each dog.

This new facility will allow AAS to continue providing a safe haven for homeless dogs in their care for the next 50 years! If you want to help support their fundraising efforts for their new facility, click here to donate.

Brewing for Breeds

In January of 2020, AAS partnered with Tradition Brewing of Newport News for their BrewDog celebration. That’s when they came up with the idea to create the perfect summer beer to help spread awareness about dogs in need and to help raise money to rebuild the shelter.

Over the July 4th weekend, Tradition Brewing released  “Chasin’ Tail Pale Ale”. This specialty brew features a picture and bio of an adoptable AAS dog. A portion of the proceeds from Chasin’ Tail Pale Ale is donated to AAS, helping them get closer to their fundraising goal to rebuild the shelter. 

Our friends at Animal Aid Society work hard each and every day to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome as many dogs as possible, but they can’t do it alone!

There are a few ways you can help... 

Of course, you can make a donation to the Animal Aid Society. Any amount you can afford to give will help pups in need! You can also lend a helping paw by donating items from Animal Aid Society’s Amazon Wishlist. There are tons of needed items at all price ranges that will help out in a big way. 

Animal Aid Society has many adorable, deserving dogs available for adoption. If you live in or near coastal Virginia and are interested in adding a furry family member to your home, take a look at all the loveable dogs available for adoption. All adoptable dogs are up to date on shots, spayed/neutered, and micro-chipped. 

Not able to adopt? Help Animal Aid Society spread its message and mission with your friends. Share Animal Aid Society’s information on Facebook and Instagram to let your friends know about this amazing organization.

There are so many ways to support the Animal Aid Society. Visit their website for a full list of ways that you can help

To learn more about Animal Aid Society or to assist them in their mission, visit their website, ‘Like’ them on Facebook, or ‘Follow’ them on Instagram.