Happy National Dog Day!

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Social media feeds were flooded with personal dog photos and tributes Monday in honor of National Dog Day celebrated since 2004 on August 26.

According to the main National Dog Day website, this holiday was launched by pet advocate and expert, Colleen Paige, who subsequently also created National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day, National Cat day, and other similar holidays to help promote the need for pet adoption and bring awareness to issues they face.

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The date of August 26 was chosen as Colleen’s remembrance date of her family’s first dog adoption. The holiday celebrates both mixed and pure breeds, whether adopted from shelters and rescues or not, to honor the work dogs provide to comfort, protect, and to serve.

Pets, service dogs, therapy dogs, work dogs, military and police dogs–dogs have busy roles in our society.

According to the website: National Dog Day becomes many a dog’s birthday and for all dogs, it’s as popular and exciting as the Super Bowl, with the anticipation of the day culminating into an explosion of network news stories, national TV show segments, online videos, shelter events, internet photos and K9 parties planned around the globe!

The scientific benefits of having a dog:

Dogs are commended for their work in detecting bombs, detecting an oncoming seizure, and other outstanding works. However, dogs can provide just as much benefit on a daily basis for all owners.

Having a dog can benefit both mental and physical health.

According to a study by Swedish Uppsala University reported by TIME, people who lived with a dog reduced their risk of death by at least 33%. Those who owned dogs also decreased their chances of heart disease by 11%.

In Sweden, registration and licensing is required for dog owners, so the research group had access to a database of 3.4 million dog owners along with information of every hospital visit also available on a public registry.

“Dog owners had a lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease than people who did not report owning a dog, as well as a lower risk of death from other causes. That was true even after adjusting for factors such as smoking, body mass index and socioeconomic status,” the study showed.

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According to their findings, factors of explanation for higher life expectancies include:

  • A more active lifestyle needed to care for a dog.
  • A dog may adjust allergies exposure and acclimation making owners less susceptible to allergens.
  • Some immune boosting benefits reported.
  • Lowers blood pressure and stress levels following a stressful events.

Although researchers reported that there is no guarantee for a higher life expectancy, it could not “hurt” to get a dog.

As an owner, I can’t imagine my life without my dog, days when I feel sad or stressed he can tell then comes to comfort me and its the other way around.

Ever since I was around five years old I don’t think there has been a time where I didn’t have a dog, and if there was, I was always talking about how my family should get another dog. Being a child and having a dog tremendously helped me grow up. I feel better with myself having a dog because when I’m having a bad day, my dog is there, so I don’t get caught up in my emotions.

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