Love me as I love you!
As avid animal lovers, we already know the immense benefits we receive from our pets, especially dogs.
We “get it” because we experience the daily joy of having our loving companions greet us at the door with remarkable enthusiasm, unconditional love and that “where have you been all my life?” excitement (even though we only went to the grocery store for a few hours).
We walk them and benefit from not only the exercise they need, but also the exercise we get in the process. While we are out and about with our companions, we meet other dog lovers and form friendships; through casual and common-bond conversation in our neighborhoods, dog parks and dog-friendly establishments.
According to Time magazine, a January (2016) report from the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative made the claim “that pet ownership could lower national health care costs by $11.8 billion a year, largely because frequent dog walking results in lower levels of obesity”.
Per Rebecca Johnson, professor and director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri: “people do the things required to get out of the hospital quicker to get home to their pets”. She also found that older adults who walked shelter pets did so more quickly than those who volunteered to walk humans.
Here’s a hint: if you don’t have a dog, or have recently lost one, consider becoming a Doolittle’s Doghouse host and if you can’t commit to us and our clients, please contact a local shelter and volunteer your time to walk a shelter pet! The health benefits alone will be good for you, not to mention the benefit to a shelter pet to receive just a little bit of love and affection they don’t have now, while they wait for their forever home and family to find them.
Additional benefits from dog ownership, grounded in several studies, have also shown that children who are raised with pets in the home tend to be healthier. Why? Because pets bring dander and dirt into the home, they shed and help promote the immune systems of small children by the exposure to outdoor elements and natural allergens. There is a “hygiene hypothesis” that suggests we have a high incidence of human allergies and asthma as we are too clean and underexposed to nature and its elements.
Did your parents tell you that “a little dirt won’t hurt you”? Mine did. I was raised with all kinds of animals my entire life; I played with them, and in the dirt, and attribute my current health largely to early exposure to all that dirty fun!
So, get down and dirty with your dogs…provide them with their daily dog care needs, such as frequent walks, proper mental stimulation, socialization with other dogs and children, and of course proper nutrition and Vet care… and reap the benefits from their presence and gratitude.
You are their everything! And we love you for being everything to them…and for opting for cage-free boarding in our nannies homes, as opposed to kennels and cages.
photo of Couple with Dog (above) courtesy of Ambro @ freedigitalphotos.net