Dogs are truly one of nature’s most successful stories. Though many of the details are left to speculate upon, it seems clear that dogs evolved from wolves originally. They then started to live with early humans some fifty thousand years ago. While wolves today still retain their natural instincts and show fear toward humans, dogs gravitate to people even as puppies. Thousands of years of cohabitation and natural selection have created a species that is the only known animal, apart from us, that can read and interpret human body language without any teaching.
The Benefits of Having a Dog
There have been many studies done about the health benefits of dogs, but the conclusions tend to reinforce the following:
- Depression and anxiety: It is a fact that living with a dog is a good way to decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. This is especially beneficial to elderly people who are at risk of being lonely and socially isolated.
- Health: Increasingly, trained dogs are being used to help diagnose certain medical conditions early. In fact, some breeds of dog have such sensitive olfactory senses that they can detect certain forms of cancer before medical testing can do so. This is in addition to the many dogs that help to predict epileptic seizures for their owners so that action and medication can be taken.
- Therapy: Many dogs are also being trained as general therapy companions for people who suffer from social anxiety and agoraphobia. The presence of a dog seems to have a beneficial, calming effect on the owner and helps to relieve anxiety and panic attacks.
- Motivation: It is known that many elderly people suffer from social isolation, loneliness, and depression. Looking after a dog can be of great benefit to these people, because it provides them a motivation each and every day. Caring for a dog can relieve the burden of a lonely life and introduce a good reason to get up in the morning.
Scientific study has also shown that when we give affection to dogs, Oxytocin is released by our bodies. This chemical is responsible for making us feel motherly, paternal, and emotionally bonded. Astoundingly, when we give affection to our dogs, their bodies also release an amount of Oxytocin and they feel closer and more emotionally bonded to their owners. Such is the close relationship we have with this species.
Making Sure They Get the Right Food
All dog owners understand that dogs are built to seek food and eat as much as possible, but it is important to ensure that they get the best food possible that is appropriate for their age and weight. Products like Sentinel Spectrum and others are divided into age brackets. This means that dogs of any size can have the treats and chews that they require.
Making sure that your furry friend doesn’t eat too much of the wrong foods is as important as it is for people. Like us, they can suffer from weight related conditions and require medical treatment. A balanced diet that is appropriate for their age and size at recommended daily intakes is a good foundation for a long and healthy life.