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Forever Loyal: The Lifelong Benefits of Having a Dog

black and white dog

Dogs’ loyalty is legendary. It seems their sole mission in life is to make ours better. This loyalty has many benefits in all parts of our lives, and some we might not even recognize. So call Fido into the room so you can read this together.

 

dog on walk

Love Is Good for Your Heart

Dogs offer ample opportunities to increase our physical activities, whether they’re getting us off the couch to play tug-of-war, take a bathroom-break walk around the block or run by our side. Studies show that some of the benefits of pet ownership include decreased blood pressure and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.1

 

girl kissing lab

Smile, You’ve Got Dog

A dog’s loyalty is stronger than a month of bad Mondays. They’re like a furry mental mood boost whose goal is to make stress, anxiety and sadness disappear faster than a piece of bacon put in front of them. Take two tummy rubs and call us in the morning.

 

dog with family at picnic

Meet My Human

Your best friend helps you make new friends. Dogs are great at increasing our social interactions: going for walks around the neighborhood, meeting new people at the dog park. And who hasn’t had a conversation with someone who’s asked to pet your doggo because “they’re soooo cute”? Well, they are.

 

white golden retriever

Bring Your Dog to Work Day: AKA “Every Day”

Dogs are great for playtime, but they can also improve our work. Studies have found that bringing your dog to work can lower stress while boosting productivity and job satisfaction.2 Plus, dog coworkers never reheat fish in the microwave.

This is just the tip of the snout when it comes to all the ways dogs’ loyalty improves our lives. All are also reasons why the PEDIGREE® brand works so hard to promote adoption — so more pooches and people can share this love.

We’ll leave you with these lines from poet Lord Byron’s epitaph to his loyal pup Boatswain:

But the poor Dog,
in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome,
foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his Master’s own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone.

Sniff. Sorry, got something in our eye.

 

References

  1. About Pets & People. (2019, April 15). Retrieved June 14, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html
  2. McDermott, J. (2012, July 06). Study: Office Dogs Reduce Stress. Retrieved June 14, 2020, from https://www.inc.com/john-mcdermott/study-office-dogs-reduce-work-related-stress.html
  • The Serious Benefits of Play

    dog carrying a frisbee in its mouth

    Playing and having fun helps to eliminate stress from your life—and the same holds true for your dog. In fact, incorporating various forms of play into your dog's daily routine is vital to helping him develop a healthy, loving personality.

    The benefits of play

    Here are some of the ways that playing and having fun is important:

    • Physical health. Active play helps keep your dog's heart healthy, keeps the joints lubricated, and improves his overall balance and coordination.
    • Mental health. Games with rules force your dog to use his brain, not just his body. This can help keep his mind sharp and focused.
    • Social skills. When your dog plays with other dogs and other people, it helps improve his overall social skills. He learns basic rules and how to play by them.
    • Bonding. Even if it's only for a few minutes a day, playing with your dog helps strengthen the bond between you.
    • Your health. What better way to alleviate the stress of a busy workday and get a bit of exercise than to come home and play with your dog? It's a win-win for both of you.

    How to play with your dog

    There are right ways—and wrong ways—to play. The most important thing to remember is that you're the boss. You decide what games should be played and you set the rules. This helps establish your credibility as the pack leader. It also helps keep your dog from getting overly excited and out of control while you play. If your dog does become difficult to manage, simply put a stop to the game until he calms down again.

    When you're teaching your dog a new game, reward him when he does well. Remember, rewards don't have to be just treats. You can also reward him with his favorite toys or lots of hugs and praise.

    When you start out teaching your dog a new game, keep it simple and go through the game slowly, until your dog fully grasps the rules. Also, wait until he fully understands one game before you teach him a new one, otherwise it will end up confusing him.

    Playtime tips

    • Avoid games like keep away, wrestling, or tug-of-war. Those games encourage biting or dominant, aggressive behavior.
    • Stay in control of the game at all times. Show your dog that you're the pack leader, not just another member of the pack. Retrieval games are good at teaching control.
    • Don't include your body or clothing as part of any game.
    • Incorporate the SIT or DOWN and STAY commands in every game.
    • You decide when it's time to end the game, not your dog. The best time to stop the game is when your dog is still eager to play.
    • If, for some reason, your dog doesn't seem to understand the game at some point, go back to the beginning, or simply leave it and try again a few days later. Don't get angry if you're dog isn't "getting it" right away. Remember it's supposed to be a fun experience for both of you!

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