National Dog Day – August 26

Happy National Dog Day!

According to the ‘Canadian National Day Calendar,’ the ultimate goal of National Dog Day is for “all dogs to live a happy, safe and abuse-free life.”

But, what do dogs do for us?

According to research – plenty! Scientists have repeatedly concluded that owning a dog can reduce blood pressure in stressful situations and that pet owners tend to have lower heart rates than their non-pet-owning counterparts. In one of a myriad of examples, heart patients who left the hospital after treatment were much more likely to survive if they owned a pet. (Animals & Your Health, p 20)

More and more, dogs have been used to help comfort survivors of terrible tragedies, revive long-forgotten memories for Alzheimer’s patients, sniff out cancer, and detect harmful bacteria in water. They have also been found to lower the incidence of cardiovascular disease, help combat post-traumatic stress disorder, reduce loneliness, provide overall emotional support, and ease the ageing process…to list only some proven benefits of human interaction with their pets. (Animals & Your Health, p. 6)

In fact, “simply petting a dog generally decreases both blood pressure and heart rate and appears to raise levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and well-being.” (Animals & Your Health, p. 10) In addition to this, ‘Emotional Support Animals’ are now common alternatives to traditional medicines. (Animals & Your Health, p. 8)

In the US and Canada, more households have pets than have children. (Animals & Your Health, p. 6) While the figures of what many people spend on their animals can be staggering, the benefits of pet ownership may be incalculable. (Source)

In addition to the research, most dogs owners will tell you that canines have a magical way of intricately weaving themselves into the fabric of a family’s pack. Dogs can provide countless adventures, endless stories, and unparalleled laughter. Daily, they ensure that you get off of the couch, out of the house and into the fresh air. They are also very likely to introduce you to more neighbours than you might meet on your own.

What about you? If you have one of these furry friends in your home, what has your dog done for you lately? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Sources:

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. https://www.alberta.ca/agriculture-and-forestry.aspx

Animals & Your Health: The Power of Pets to Heal Our Pain, Help Us Cope, and Improve our Well-Being. Time Magazine Special Edition. Bjerklie, David (Ed.). July 2016.

National Day Calendar. https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-dog-day-august-26.

NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/americans-will-spend-more-60-billion-their-pets-year-n390181

 

 

Tyson, Rocky, Jake, Jill, Lucky, and their friends, are currently available for adoption at various BC SPCA locations. https://adopt.spca.bc.ca

 

 

 

 

66 Replies to “National Dog Day – August 26”

  1. When we moved to Spain 4 years ago, I became very homesick and even physically ill. Hubby suggested we get a dog but I didn´t think that was a good idea. Well, we found Dot, a Spanish rescue dog in need of a home. I don´t need to tell you she rescued me! She has been the best thing that ever happened to me and we love her to bits. She goes everywhere with us, even to France last year. She keeps us entertained and fit and yes, we have met so many lovely people since we got her. Happy dog day, every day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lot of great information on what dogs can do for us. Heart patients surviving if they own a dog is new information for me. My husband has been doing a lot of puppy sitting for our neighbours and I can see the change in him (my husband and in the puppy:) Another friend and a family member have adopted new dogs. This past year, they have each lost about 10 pounds due to the additional walking. A great post, Donna!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautiful reminder of what today is, and how much dogs can benefit the lives of human beings, Donna.
    Since getting our first dog, Toby, in 2011, I’ve been amazed by how it attracts other people to come and talk to us. We’ve made some great new friends while out dog walking. I also know that dogs can take away the feeling of loneliness to most of those who are on their own and who may otherwise not come into contact with another person for days/weeks at a time.
    I agree wholeheartedly, too, that having a dog makes you fitter (providing you do walk it). For me, that beats going to the gym.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my goodness. I posted a picture of my dog as my blog picture this week, not even knowing it was National Dog Day! How weird is that coincidence. I was playing on the dog-days-of-summer theme.

    We’ve always been dog people. When I met Tim, it was “love me, love my dog”. Our current dog (number 4 as a couple) is amazing – smart, friendly, amazingly well-behaved. Not sure another dog will ever top her.

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  5. While we don’t have a dog (we had four at one point), I evaluate dogs for our local animal shelter once a week for four to six hours. Doing that gives me my dog fix, but relieves me of the responsibility of having a dog, which keeps my husband happy. I do miss that unconditional love and how no matter how long you’d been gone, they’d greet you so excitedly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Sheila – I think that you and I are currently very similar in terms of our dog ownership. My husband and I had dogs for 18 years straight. When our last dog (pictured above) died in 2016, we have not had another pet in our home. Both my husband and I volunteer weekly at our local animal shelter. It is a great organization to volunteer with…and gives us a wonderful dog fix!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This post is spot on.

    My 88 yr old Mother has benefitted tremendously from interaction with dogs. She doesn’t want the responsibility of owning one but she walks to a park near her condo every single day and talks to dog owners and gets to know their family pets intimately. It has given my Mom a new lease on life. My Mom called me the other day crying when one of her friend’s pets had passed away. That is the effect that dogs have on us!

    Susan Grace

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      1. OMG what a great quote! Totally applies to my Mom’s situation. The park dogs have given her reasons to live since my Dad died 10 years ago! The dogs did that!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy National Dog Day to any doggies out there! Dogs enrich our lives, for sure. More pleasure is to be had on walks and in about every aspect of our current lifestyle. Although, having a dog aboard comes with its challenges, the rewards are always greater! 🙂

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  8. We got a rescue from the Peninsula Humane Society on Mother’s Day this year. He is my first dog and I couldn’t ask for a better one. To see him get so excited when I come home is so cute. Not even the family is that happy to see me!

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  9. Happy National Dog Day! We plan on getting a dog when properly settled in our ‘new’ home. We’ve had many before 🙂 And again we’ll adopt one from an SPCA, a dog that needs a home. Dogs have also been used in hospitals and old age homes – they’re taken to visit the elderly and incapacitated and invariably bring joy. Thanks Donna, lovely reminder of dogs being man’s best friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Donna I love the feature image of Richard and his dog. At my mother-in-law’s aged care home, Bella the Golden Retriever visits the residents weekly and even gives them a birthday and Christmas card. I’ve read the research on the benefits of using dogs in healthcare and I know my daughter’s dog certainly brings joy to the family. She really thinks she is a human and big sister to Ethan and Elliot. Happy National Dog Day! xx

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    1. Hi, Sue – I love when Care Homes, and other organizations and facilities, incorporate dogs in their programs. I agree that this simple step makes a world of difference. Who wouldn’t want to receive a card lovingly brought to them by an adorable dog?

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      1. Yes Bella is lovely. My husband also had a stray dog who just loved him and when Mike was called up for National Service and went to Vietnam for a year, the dog pined for him and actually became quite aggressive. He used to go and lay on Mike’s bed waiting for him to come home. I’m visiting again from #MLSTL so thanks for linking up. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I always had a dog, until my last one passed last year. I miss having one around, but decided to adopt a couple of cats since I’m travelling so much now. My boxers kept me in great shape, haha! At least my cats let me pet them.

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    1. Hi, Tracey – Like you, my husband and I have not (yet) taken a new dog into our home. While this does give us more flexibility in terms of travel and last-minute decisions, we do miss the furry companionship… and the daily antics! A cat (or two) just might be the answer for us. 🙂

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  12. I have had more cats than dogs over the years but our family had a beautiful Australian Shepard when I was still living at home. He was such a wonderful addition to our household. I do see a furry friend sometime in my future but right now we want the freedom to travel when we choose to. I love that picture of Richard and… is that Cody?

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    1. Hi,Jo – I get that completely. We had Cody, a Siberian Husky, for 11 years. Each day, Richard woke up, smiled lovingly and said “Good Morning, Sweetheart. How are you today?” Yup, he was totally talking to Cody. To me he asked, “Is there coffee?” 🙂

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  13. Hi Donna – I’ve always loved them … but now don’t have one. They always provide comfort and don’t answer back! It’s great being able to walk them … Happy Dog week – seeing as I missed yesterday … cheers Hilary

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  14. Aww, what a wonderful post, Donna! My mom raised show collies that were like pets but they stayed in the backyard. We had to walk them every day for allowance and my mom bred several champions, probably because the dogs were in good shape! Once we got our own house years later we’ve always had pets. My cats are all at the Rainbow Bridge, but my two pooches are the light of our lives. They go almost everywhere we go and I believe dogs help keep us fit! We plan our travel to include our dogs when possible, so road trips are our first choice, otherwise we get a house/dog sitter to stay with them. I also read that one dog costs owners $30k in the dog’s lifespan. Well worth it for what they give back to us.

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  15. Dogs are amazing and give so much value. I used to visit nursing homes with my old girl for a couple of years with an organisation. They also use dogs to help kids learn to read (by ‘listening’!) and to keep people calm in courts. I have to point out though that it was actually International Dog Day, with celebrations all over the world. 🙂

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  16. Hi Donna,
    I wasn’t aware of such a day. We don’t have one here in India.
    But surely, dogs do deserve a day dedicated to them.
    The way they connect with us is amazing.
    Though I like them, I don’t have one. We had cats at home though.
    (#MLSTL participant. I have shared the post on my social media.)

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    1. Hi, Pradeep – According to Holidayscalendar.com, “National Dog Day” (which I believe takes place in many different countries) “was founded by author and animal behaviourist, Colleen Paige in 2004. Paige created this observational holiday to not only show appreciation for dogs, but to bring attention to the plight of abused dogs, to end puppy mills and to bring an end to breed-specific legislation that regulates, or outright bans, certain breeds in the hope of minimizing dog attacks”. Any inter/national day that stops and makes us think, and leads to positive changes, is a good day to me!

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  17. We are currently cat people. I never knew I would like cats so much and my husband thought he hated them but now we really love our cats. We had a dog for many years, but now are content to have my daughter’s dogs to love. We travel often and dogs require much more care and attention. Everyone I know has dogs!

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  18. Dogs definitely are man’s best friend – and I think every child should have one when they’re growing up. That being said, we’ve moved onto cats – much easier and less upkeep – but nothing beats the love of a good dog!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

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  19. I absolutely abhor cats but dogs are another story. I guess that’s why they say dogs are man’s best friend! I had a dog when I first became ill. He was so loyal and loving, so great with the grandbabies when they were toddlers. He even knew when I was hurting with arthritis or fibromyalgia pain. He’d come to me and lick the the exact spot on my body ((hand,arm, leg, or foot) where I was hurting. Of course it didn’t help the pain but it amazed me that he could detect such!!

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  20. My dog certainly does all these things for me, Donna. It’s funny because I never wanted the responsibility of a pet, but my husband worked from home and wanted some daytime companionship, so Christmas of 2005 I got him a dog. I expected to tolerate an animal in the house for my husband. What actually happened was I fell in love with Charlie. Now 14 years later, Charlie is such an important part of our family, I can’t bear to think of what will happen when he’s no longer with us. He’s slowing down, and we spoil him rotten! #MLSTL

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