A dog is, and has always been, a man’s best friend. Everyone must have, at some point in their life, begged their parents for a dog. Maybe as a birthday present or maybe as a graduation gift or even just because you always wanted one, we have all begged for a puppy. All this begging has led our parents to say, “Having a dog is a big responsibility. Are you ready for that?”
The 2017 Animal Conference tackled one of the most taboo topics in the animal world—a vegan dog diet. Some owners push for this practice either to address the health concerns of their pets or out of ethical concerns (avoiding animal abuse and factory farming for food production).
But whatever their reasons are, other people are still unaware and undecided whether they should go for the same diet. With this in mind, here are the best pros and cons of going Vegan for your dog.
- Addresses Allergies
If your dog is suffering from allergies, then a Vegan diet might be the best recourse. The number one cause of this condition for dogs is fleas, and behind this are food allergies. This condition is often associated with food such as chicken, beef, or lamb. If your dog strays away from this, then there is a significant possibility that it will relieve the discomfort they feel from this. Once you have solved the food allergies, it is most likely that your dog will also improve its coat quality.
- Solves Other Health Problems
Having a meat diet for your dog only leads to kidney stones and liver diseases. If you do not control the amount and kind of food they consume, they will suffer more and more from these conditions. Shifting to a Vegan diet will help relieve your dog with these, and will keep the liver and kidney stones disease controlled.
It will negate the effects of urogenital ailments, diabetes, offensive smells, obesity, and food intolerance. It will lead to a more healthy pet for you.
- Provides Fresh Ingredients
Dog food that is available in the market has been the go-to meal in the commercial world. It has been the norm for both owners or pets. Keep in mind, however, that these offerings are not the healthiest food for the dog since they contain high levels of preservatives, fillers, and byproducts, and the ingredients are also not fresh. This type of food might only lead to further health complications for your dog.
Changing your dog’s diet towards a Vegan one will let your dog experience fresh ingredients. Not only will it be more delicious for them, but it will also lead to a much healthier lifestyle.
- It Is Time Consuming
It’s not a surprise that for everyone that taking care of a dog is challenging and a huge responsibility. However, going for a Vegan diet will only be difficult and time consuming for you.
For one, you have to bring your dog to the vet continually. Your primary goal for those visits is to monitor whether your pet is not experiencing any side effects from his changed diet.
Another drawback is the time you spend preparing your food. When dealing with commercial feeds, all you have to do is open the packaging, get your dog’s bowl, and pour the contents there. With a Vegan diet, however, you have to ensure that what you’re preparing is as complete as possible and to achieve this, you will have to spend more time preparing for your dog’s diet.
- It Is More Expensive
Since there is a low demand for Vegan dog food, you won’t usually find it in stores. You will have to shell out some resources so that you can explore and buy from other shops. At the same time, you won’t be able to encounter this type of food going on sale or offered at a bargaining price—definitely a bummer.
As seen above, there are both pros and cons for transitioning to a Vegan diet. The best way to go about this is to weigh what’s best for both you and your dog.
It was a no brainer. If you like a companion who would listen without question, a pet is for you. Research from the ’80s and ’90s suggested that a myriad of benefits came from pet ownership. Reduced asthma risks, allergy risks, cardiovascular risks were among the listed benefits. “Scientific studies have shown having a pet results in lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, decreased anxiety and depression, decreased levels of stress in post-traumatic stress disorders, in personality disorders, phobias and results in overall improvement in mental health,” says Howard Chusid, Ed.D., LHMC, NCC. However, as time went on, the previously stated benefits disappeared.
There are indeed costs to maintain a pet, which not only entails financial matters. There’s also the chore of restraining a noisy dog or a warmongering cat, which may depend on the personality of the animal in question. Ultimately, the question that should be asked before getting one is whether a pet indeed can bring happiness.
Can They Improve Your Mental Wellbeing?
“We observed evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions,” said lead researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD. Having a pet around to go home to sure does help with your need for companionship. But studies had shown that among 928 adolescents, 77.6% reported that they didn’t spend any time at all with their pets, averaging 0 minutes per day. It’s not too hard to know why, as electronics take more of the time. Also, risks of being overweight weren’t so different between kids with pets and kids without them.
Adult dog owners did report a 19-minute advantage on walking habits over non-dog owners. Cat owners, on the other hand, have similar habits to non-pet owners. However, a couch potato would still be a couch potato, regardless of the presence of a pet.
What Are Good Things In Having A Pet?
A recent research paper evaluated the positives of having a pet to one’s mental health. They concluded that pets could indeed be a source for social support, providing many a psychological benefit to the owner. “Dogs can help people learn about the inconsistencies in how we treat animals,” according to Marc Bekoff Ph.D.
However, the same study reported a meager 2.7% rise in mood and life satisfaction and had said no growths whatsoever in other studies. It may seem a bit crazy, as pets come to you without asking anything in return, and are down for you whenever. However, the reality is that our world has a lot to take care of work, finances, friends, a spouse, and many more. The last thing you’ll want to deal with is your dog throwing a fit at the neighbors.
Can Pets Put Meaning In Our Lives?
Often, studies found that having children takes a toll on one’s mood and life satisfaction, which is true, as you’d have to sacrifice your goals for theirs. Adding to that, couples with children have more likelihood of getting divorced, a worse mood, and lower life satisfaction. Those facts, however, don’t stop population growth around the world, as children are still being born all over, in varying backgrounds too.
In life, we strive to be meaningful, which comes with a connection to the right links. A human is defined by the relationships they keep. Hence why the famous saying “birds of the same feather, flock together.” You do need feathers to make a bird, after all, and humans need other humans to make them whole.
Can we say the same of animals? They do take less of a job, but cannot provide the same benefits as an actual human does. In the end, the question of whether a pet can bring happiness is still a very much debatable topic.
March 21 is World Happiness Day, and as man’s best friend, you can count on dogs as a perennial source of happiness, all year round, free of charge.
Below are ten ways a dog can make a person happy.
- Dogs are the best comedians. And they don’t need a comedy bar, either! Sometimes, even their simplest misconceptions are enough to make us laugh, which is very particularly useful after a stressful day of work. Best of all, a dog’s humor is for all kinds of people, and you need not worry about having an offensive taste!
- They know when to cheer you up. It’s sad to know that dogs can sometimes beat even humans in the empathy department. They can sense when we’re happy, sad, angry, or depressed even. They are always ready to rush beside you at the first whiff.
- They eliminate loneliness. Sure, they still don’t count as a human company, but any company is better than none. Loneliness can strike at any time, without warning, and a dog around disposes of that.
- Cuddle machines. This isn’t a debatable topic, as dogs naturally like being cuddled by a human, which in turn secretes all kinds of endorphins. Endorphins make a human happy. That’s pretty much everything there.
The effects of the pet therapy are measurable, as seen by an increase in the release of endorphins in the person interacting with the animal. — Elena Blanco-Suarez Ph.D.
- They make us get out of the house. You do need to stroll with your pet, and that brings you up for some fresh air with exercise. In turn, walking your dog helps with having a good mood, instead of a grumpy shut-in.
- It’s impossible to stay mad. Sure, they tore through your homework which you needed to submit to that grumpy teacher, they ripped your favorite shoes up, but can you stay that mad and be human still? However insane you are, a snuggle can quickly solve everything.
- They’re a reminder to enjoy the little things. As you get older, there are less and fewer things that can make you excited, to the point of jumping up and down in joy. On the other hand, dogs do just that almost every time: when you pull out their bag of treats, when they play with you, when they walk with you, and the list goes on. Dogs are a reminder that sometimes, we need to celebrate the little things.
- They’re a conduit to other people. When people walk dogs, and two fellow owners meet, it’s almost sure that they’ll exchange notes about the dogs they have in tow. Humans need interaction in their lives, no matter how small. Dogs help us to that end, and for that, everyone’s happy. Almost.
In addition, many experimental studies have found that presence of pets reduce blood pressure and heart rate when experimental participants are exposed to stressors such as mental arithmetic, putting one’s hand in ice water, or making a speech. — Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.
- Their happiness is infectious! There’s no better mood to be infected by other than joy. You will have a plentiful supply of smiles, thanks to your dog. Smiles may be a potent weapon to take on anything the cruel world can throw at you.
- Unconditional love. And they only ever need in return shelter and basic food and water. They never demand us to do something we may not want to do, nor give up our friend nor who we are. They’ll never make us feel invalid, unappreciated, or useless, as they’re more than ready to give it.
Canine pet owners are aware that it is difficult to go without a canine’s love and dedication. Several research reports have indicated that having a canine pet enhances an individual’s mental and physical health.
Strolling With Your Dog Is Exercise.
There might be times when you feel it’s a bother to take your canine out for a stroll, especially when it’s freezing outside or if it’s raining. However, taking your dog for a stroll outside provides you with much-needed exercise. A research report released in 2006 indicated that canine pet owners have a greater tendency to take part in moderate exercise compare to individuals who do not have canine pets. Canine pet owners tend to walk 5 hours each week while individuals who do not have canine pets tend to walk only 2.8 hours each week.
They Create A Loving Bond.
A research report studying five hundred individuals between the ages of 17 and 27 determined that the individuals who are firmly attached to their pets are more in touch with society and with the people they have relationships with. The research report also determined that a greater bond between an individual and his pet will enhance the empathy and confidence of the individual.
…it has been shown that the positive effects of playing and petting an animal are also measurable in people without underlying clinical conditions. In general, the interaction with a pet decreases distress and improves mood. — Elena Blanco-Suarez Ph.D.
Some Dogs Can Smell Cancer.
A Labrador was trained to discover cancer with an accuracy of ninety-one percent simply by smelling an individual’s breath. The accuracy rate increases to ninety-seven percent if the Labrador sniffs an individual’s stool.
They Also Sense Allergens In Food.
A canine’s ability to smell is more enhanced than a human being’s by a factor of one million. Canines can be trained to detect ingredients in the food that people are allergic to such as peanuts.
A Dog Can Make A Person Happy.
A research report released in 2009 reveals that the level of oxytocin in an individual’s body increases when the individual spends time with a canine. Oxytocin is a hormone that causes blissfulness in an individual.
You Will Just Feel Motherly Towards Your Pet.
A zoologist from Austria proposes that a canine’s features are similar to a baby’s. These features include a high forehead, big eyes, a snout that is short and ears that are floppy. Such features elicit a response in human beings, making them want to take care of canines.
Animal assisted therapy has been studied and proven to work with children who have experienced abuse or neglect and for people recovering from cancer and other diseases. It’s been shown to be effective with veterans and their families. —
Canines Can Relieve Stress And Alleviate PTSD.
A professor of psychology conducted a research study that concluded canines relieved people’s daily stress merely by their presence. A research report from Japan also indicated that senior citizens who frequently take their dogs for a stroll have less stress. Canines have been used in assisting soldiers who have PTSD.
They Also Decrease The Likelihood Of Eczema From Developing.
A study made in 2010 concluded that youngsters exposed to canines are less likely to acquire eczema.
Dogs Can Help You Fight Lonesomeness.
Senior citizens often feel very lonely. Research reports indicated that among individuals who are sixty years old or more, those who own a pet tend to be less depressed by a factor of four compared to those who do not own a pet.
Canines Can Make You Interact With The Society More.
Having a canine requires you to take the canine out for a stroll. During that stroll, people tend to talk to you because of your beautiful and playful canine.
Having A Pet Makes You More Captivating To Others.
A research report in the UK surveyed seven hundred individuals. Sixty percent of those surveyed stated that they are more attracted to individuals with canines. Eighty-five percent of those surveyed reported that they consider individuals with canines to be easier to approach.
Your Dog Is Simple And Sociable.
Canines allow us to enjoy simple ways of interacting. You do not need technology, such as sending an email or a text message when you interact with your canine.
If you’re not up for owning a pet, visit your local dog park and watch a little canine interaction. A trip to the local shelter to view the latest puppy litter is a natural mood enhancer. — Jessica Loftus, Ph.D. & Jack Murray
Dogs are often referred to as a man’s best friend, and because of this, they have been the subject of several research studies on how they enhance your health. This article will explain how your amiable puppy can improve your well-being.
The ASPCA reports that there are approximately seventy-eight million canine pets in the USA.
It is uncertain when the domestication of canines started. A research report released in 2017 stated that in Europe, the taming of canines occurred sometime between two hundred and four hundred centuries ago. Men and canines have probably had this unique connection, companionship and bilateral assistance starting from the Neolithic era. However, why did such a bond exist for an extended perio d?
Naturally, throughout human history, these relatives of Canis lupus (or wolves) have been very good at keeping people and their residences safe from danger, protecting their houses, livestock and other properties. Viewing the past of man’s relationship with canines, you will see men training canines to help them while they hunt for food. You will also see canines being bred for unique physical characteristics, usually for beautiful or enchanting features.
But, canines are additionally, perhaps since time immemorial, genuinely treasured friends. They are well-known for their faithfulness and their frequent ability to make their human buddies smile.
This article lays out the scientific inquiries that indicate the ways canines make people more blissful, better able to deal with stress, and more flourishing physically.
Giving and getting a little love, even if you have to say “off the couch” 270 times a day, can take your mind off your troubles and help you to see what’s really real. — Barton Goldsmith Ph.D.
How Canines Can Enhance Your Wellbeing
Several research reports have indicated that keeping canine pets is closely related to having improved well being.
In 2017, there was a research report that indicated that people with canine pets are approximately thirty-three percent less likely to die prema turely.
Additionally, scientists at Harvard University propose that individuals who own canines are less likely to have heart diseases.
It is not easy to determine precisely how owning a canine leads to improvements in your wellbeing.
Nevertheless, it seems that the improvements to your wellbeing are due to changes you make to your mode of living when you acquire a dog.
The most noticeable change to your mode of living is exercise. Having a canine pet means having to walk your dog at least two times per day.
A research report involving more than forty-one thousand individuals living in California has shown that people with canine pets tend to walk more, compared to people with feline pets, and those people who have no pets. Additionally, several research reports indicate that people who are sixty years old and above have improved wellbeing due to the physical activity they obtain fromdog walking.
Canines can also improve the wellbeing of children before they are born. A 2017 scientific report indicates that pregnant women who are around canines tend to give birth to children who are less likely to have eczema. Additionally, scientists state that youngsters exposed to canines tend to have fewer sympto ms of asthma.
Perhaps the most powerful bad-mood busting effect of dogs is their uncanny ability to make their owners smile or laugh – even when they are naughty. — Jessica Loftus, Ph.D. & Jack Murray
Canines Provide Happiness
The presence of canines provides greater blissfulness. Scientists state that this is because of oxytocin which is also known as the hormone of love. The amount of oxytocin in your body increases when you spend time with canines. This, in turn, improves your emotional health.
Also, canines lessen depression and make people better able to cope with stress. Canines are usually used for therapy. Canines can enhance the emotional health of youngsters undergoing cancer treatment. Canines can assist people suffering from PTSD and can stop episodes of PTSD from starting.
Information Gained From Scientific Investigations On Canines
Scientific investigations of canines can also provide information regarding human wellbeing. A report in 2018 shows that canines can have the same metabolic circumstances as human individuals like obesity. The information gained from studying the microbiota in a canine’s digestive system and how their diet affects them can be useful to humans.
Canines can have certain types of cancer, as people. This can aid in the research of the disease in humans.
Also, canines may exhibit dementia. Studying dementia in canines can aid in the understanding of dementia in human beings.
So, you see, everything about our dogs can be so useful and helpful.
When things get tough, and you do not feel like letting your family know about your ordeals just yet, chances are, the first person that you may think of confiding in is a therapist. For one, this individual is a total stranger, so you do not have to worry about him or her having an idea about your past or current situation. He or she has spent years learning and training to become a mental health professional as well. Hence, a therapist is more likely to share tips and tricks on how to overcome different psychological issues than anyone from your circle.
Nonetheless, if you ask someone who loves dogs so much, they may not be able to relate to people who need to hire a counselor to feel better, emotionally, and mentally speaking. It is not because they are insensitive or they have never had to deal with such problems ever. Everyone tends to go through depressive periods in which all you want to do is mope around the house and stay away even from the people who have always stayed by your side. Their only edge over others is that they have a pet at home that can support them during such trying times.
This makes us think, therefore, that it may be better to invest in an emotional support animal (ESA) than a real therapist. Here are the perks of doing so.
1. You Can Save More Money
Let’s get this straight from the get-go: you cannot be granted an emotional support animal without the recommendation of your counselor. The latter has to assess your mental health condition first and observe how you respond to different coping mechanisms before they can decide that you need the help of an animal more than a human. Thus, you may have to pay for consultations and several therapy sessions in the beginning.
In the long run, however, the cost of getting an ESA and looking after the animal can be lower than the fees that most therapists ask for. That is especially true if the dog that you already own gets certified for this job. Their expenses are ideally a part of your budget already, unlike the therapy fees. So, you will be able to budget your money and avoid spending too much before getting over your issues.
2. The Animal Can Accompany You Anywhere
Having a therapist can be useful when you want to have a conversation with someone who has background information about the things that you are dealing with in general. This person can talk you through the symptoms that you may see in yourself as well. However, it is beyond a mental health professional’s list of duties to come to your place whenever your condition flares up in the middle of the night or answer your call even if they are attending to another patient. That is why it seems better to have an emotional support dog during the dark phase of your life.
In several studies, over time frames from 1 to 20 years, pet ownership was associated with reduced risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease or event. — Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.
When you have an ESA, after all, it can accompany you anywhere you want to go – even in locations that do not normally accept animals. Apartment managers or owners, for instance, cannot turn you away if you show them your therapist’s letter. Airlines usually allow the emotional support dogs to sit next to their handlers, especially when the latter is either scared of flying or prone to having a full-on panic attack all the time. Restaurants, coffee shops, and other public establishments have no choice but to let the ESA in as well. So, you can always turn to the animal whenever you need emotional support.
3. You Can Stay Away From Electronic Devices
Gadgets are seriously not the best companions for people with troubled minds. The internet connectivity gives you access to online news and social media channels, for one. These are the surefire sources of gossip, bad news, and other depressing information. Aside from that, being with your electronic device for hours every day makes you lose the time that you should be spending to face your issues and build relationships.
The thing is, depending on a therapist alone does not allow you to let go of your gadgets. You may turn it off while you are in session, but that will not take more than a couple of hours. After therapy, you may switch it back on and continue using the device as usual. Furthermore, when something bothers you, you may not be able to keep yourself from messaging or emailing the therapist – two tasks that require you to use an electronic gadget.
Pet therapy is not new. It has been around for over a century, and first popularized by Florence Nightingale, a nurse who noticed that patients with chronic illness felt better when they had the chance of interacting with animals. — Elena Blanco-Suarez Ph.D.
Meeting a therapist is inevitable if you want to become eligible for an emotional support animal. Despite that, if you have a choice to get one and ditch therapy, you should grab the opportunity in a heartbeat. Not only is it more budget-friendly, but you will also have a constant companion and be able to stay away from gadgets that bring bad vibes. What more can you ask for?
Dog owners are very serious with their pets. Psychologists will tell you how dog owners (with their mental state) treat their dogs as their babies. They take the time and effort to care for their pooch and can be protective of them. The commitment they give to raise their pets are remarkable, and you can’t blame them if they are safe. Here are the ten things dog owners want you, non-dog people, to know.
Dogs have a hard time showing us how they feel, and sometimes we miss the small signs of discomfort that our dogs show. They suffer from anxiety, too. It can affect all kinds of breeds and can lead to serious behavioral problems. We have to help them and get them treated for their canine anxiety. Luckily, dog owners can now take preventive actions and treatments for their dogs.
Dogs, like people, also experience behavioral changes and mood swings. However, these changes are often short-term and can be linked to recent happenings in the dog’s life (or his human family). Hence, it is difficult to conclude if your dog is suffering from depression, but they certainly do.