It was a doodle kind of day on Saturday. This is a Goldendoodle. Educating yourself about proper coat and skin care is imperative if you own one of these dogs. At See Spot, we try to educate our clients on how to maintain the coat between grooming sand work on a care plan for every coat type and budget. Proper coat care begins with understanding that these dogs cannot be bathed without a complete dematting each time they get wet. Much like a wool sweater that shrinks when wet, every bath or romp in the wet grass tightens the matting that exists and creates a vise-like grip on the dogs skin!
We take good care of our pets. They have better healthcare and nutrition than ever before. For many American households, our dogs are considered to be cherished family members who receive birthday gifts and Christmas tidings. They are our best friends, protectors, therapists, coworkers, secret-keepers, hand warmers, and garbage disposals. There has been a lot of focus in recent years on what we do for our pets- now, however, there is a shift to understand exactly what our pets may be doing for us.
People and animals have a long history of living together and bonding. Perhaps the oldest evidence of this special relationship was discovered a few years ago in Israel—a 12,000-year-old human skeleton buried with its hand resting on the skeleton of a 6-month-old wolf pup. “The bond between animals and humans is part of our evolution, and it’s very powerful,” says Dr. Ann Berger, a physician and researcher at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
While the science of studying human/animal bonds is still in its infancy, the general belief is that there are health benefits to owning pets, both in terms of psychological growth and development, as well as physical health benefits according to Dr. James Griffin, a scientist at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
The list is long and varied but here are some examples of the health benefits of owning a dog:
Dog owners are more likely to exercise, be active, and walk more. One study of elderly persons found that senior citizens who owned dogs were more mobile inside their own homes.
Dog owners are more likely to survive a heart attack. One NIH-funded study looked at 421 adults who’d suffered heart attacks. A year later, the scientists found, dog owners were significantly more likely to still be alive than were those who did not own dogs, regardless of the severity of the heart attack.
Dog owners enjoy less stress. In another study which looked at 240 married couples. Those who owned a pet were found to have lower heart rates and blood pressure, whether at rest or when undergoing stressful tests, than those without pets. Pet owners also seemed to have milder responses and quicker recovery from stress when they were with their pets than with a spouse or friend.
New also research suggests that pet ownership may hold special benefits during childhood. Researchers in child development and behavior have discovered that pets are an important source of comfort and help children develop empathy. In fact, therapists and researchers have reported that children with autism are sometimes better able to interact with pets, and this may help in their interactions with people.
Dog owners have long enjoyed the benefits of caring for their canine companions. Now, it seems that it’s actually a two way street. So, go pet a dog on the head, enjoy puppy breath, or take your dog for a walk- and let your dog help take care of you.