The voice I do when I see a dog makes myself cringe, it’s horrendous, but I’ll tell you something: I’ll never stop. Why? Because dogs bring me joy even when I’m my most down. 50% of the reason the ladies of Prescribe Nutrition work as well as we do together is because we have an equal amount of love for dogs. Am I exaggerating? It’s possible, but when I think about dogs I just get excited. And we don’t discriminate, we love all animals (except snakes, gross), but today is all about the dogs. Love it or hate it, we are the people who walk down the street, see a pup in our path, and we.must.stop. It’s not a matter of choice, it’s in our DNA. Don’t even get me started on their paws.
But here’s the beauty: there is a whole array of health benefits that come from having a canine family member, and I’m not trying to sell you on this, it’s science folks. Some fun facts for you on this winter Friday:
Did you know….
- Children with dogs spend more time doing moderate to vigorous physical activity than children without dogs.
- Dog owners walk an average of 300 minutes per week, compared with non-dog owners, who walk an average of 168 minutes per week.
- Some dogs can detect low blood sugar levels. Dogs living with diabetic people have been reported to display behavioral changes when their owners’ blood sugar drops, sometimes even before patients themselves were aware of it.
- Preliminary research has showed that children are significantly less likely to develop eczema by age 4 if they began mingling with dogs at infancy. Wild huh?
- Dogs olfactory prowess is well used in detecting food allergens. For people with severe allergies where even minuscule residues can trigger an attack, dogs can be trained to detect the smallest traces of food.
- For people with all forms of anxiety, having a dog may be an important coping mechanism. Therapy with animals significantly reduces anxiety levels in hospitalized settings more than conventional recreational therapy sessions.
- Dogs act as “social catalysts,” leading to greater interaction between people and alleviating feelings of loneliness, especially among elderly patients with physical disabilities.