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13 Jun 2024

Let this dog give you the love hormone.


In previous issues of the Selwyn Digest we covered why having a pet in your life makes dog-gone sense.  Here are some more benefits, and insights, to support having a canine in the house.

First off.  It IS a big responsibility.  Feeding and caring for your dog can be somewhat of a financial burden.  But the benefits are worth the work and risk. Dogs can give you joy, companionship, and unconditional love. They can bring warmth and comfort into your life.  Looking after them gives you purpose and on-going delight. 

Good for fitness.  Internet health and information provider WebMD cite decades of studies that show  health benefits of spending time with dogs. Dog owners tend to have better heart and blood vessel health, including lower blood pressure, than those who don't have a pet pup. That's because dogs get people moving. Walking a dog regularly can help you boost how much exercise you get each day.

Less lonely. Dogs offer companionship just by being around. They might also help you be more social. Taking your dog on walks gives you a chance to meet neighbours or other canine owners at the local dog park.

Much happier. Simply looking at your dog can release a hormone that makes you and your canine feel demonstrably happier.   Known as the ‘love hormone, the benefits are real for two and four legged parts of the relationship.  Oxytocin quickly boosts your mood. Getting more up close and personal, studies have shown that when dogs and humans interact with each other in a positive way (for example cuddling) both partners exhibit a surge in oxytocin, similar to a bonding between a mother and child.

Best Breeds for Seniors

No question that every dog owner will say their particular breed of choice is by far the most suitable for older people. 

Though not scientifically chosen a review of a variety of web sites show the following as the most preferred breed for older folk.  You’d be barking mad to go with anything else.

Bichon Frise. These dogs are very small and cute. Their fluffy coats need regular grooming. They're happy in small homes and apartments, and they only need moderate exercise.

Cocker spaniels. These dogs are known for their beautiful, soft coats, which need regular grooming. They're gentle and friendly, and usually weigh under 13 kilos. They need regular walks to stay fit, but they aren't highly energetic.

Beagles. They’re small, smart, and make wonderful companions. Their short coats are easy to groom. Beagles are energetic and need a lot of exercise every day.

Greyhounds. They can run fast, but they don't always want to. They're happiest lounging around indoors, but they need walks to stay fit. They're large, usually weighing around 27 kilos, but they have short coats that don't require a lot of grooming.

Pugs. These happy little dogs make great companions. They’re usually around 6 kilos and have short, easy-to-groom coats. They need more exercise than they want because they're prone to be overweight. Regular walks can take care of that.

If you're an older adult looking for a four-legged companion, you can speak to a veterinarian or a dog trainer in your area for more information. They can help you choose the perfect pet.

Another option is checking with services such as the SPCA that might have the ideal pet for you.    

Dog jokes.

Forget the dad versions.  Dog jokes are howlingly better but you still might end up in the ‘dog house’. 

What do you call a great dog detective?

A: Sherlock Bones!

What breed of dogs do scientists have?

A: Labs!

What does a dog get when she finishes obedience school? 

A: Her pet-degree!


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Published:  June 2024

To be reviewed: April 2027