No. 5 Dogs Can Save Lives!

Service Dogs can do many things to help people with

Hearing Dogs

Hearing or Signal dogs serve as the ears of a person who is deaf or hearing
impaired. They alert their owners to sounds such as their name, the microwave
or oven timers, smoke alarms, the telephone, the doorbell, and many other
everyday sounds that play important parts in our lives. Hearing dogs may use a
paw touch or nose bump to get their handler’s attention, and then will take the
handler to the source of the sound, or in the case of a fire alarm, will take their
partner outside. Many Hearing Dogs wear bright, blaze orange collars, leashes,
and vests. These orange accessories signal that the dog is a Hearing Dog.

Mobility Assistants

Mobility Assistant Service Dogs help people with physical disabilties. They may
pull their partner’s wheelchair, walk in harness and function as a mobile cane for
balance assistance, or perform any number of other tasks that the disabled
partner has difficulty doing. They are trained to retrieve dropped items, pull
clothing on and off of their partners, bring medication or a telephone in an
emergency, and many other amazing things. Some are even trained to help their
partner into and out of their wheelchair, and to help their partner rise from the
floor if he or she may fall. These weight-bearing tasks are of course dependant on
the Service Dog being large enough and strong enough to do them safely.

Phychiatric Service Dogs

Psychiatric Service Dogs are trained to help people with psychiatric disabilities.
These disabilities include anxiety/panic disorders, depression, agoraphobia, post
traumatic stress disorder, manic depression, and many other psychiatric
conditions. These Service Dogs can bring their partner’s medications or a
telephone in a crisis, provide a grounding effect by sitting with their partners and
allowing petting to calm the partner, and provide a focus based in reality. These
dogs can break dissociation spells by nuzzling or touching the partner repeatedly,
and calm hypervigilance by providing a “reality check,” eg, if the partner
hallucinates smells such as smoke, the dog can check to see if there really is
such an odor, or if the partner fears attack from a person when entering a house
or darkened room, the dog can check to see if there is anyone there. The dogs
also aid in getting people out of the house if they are afraid to leave or are in
deep depression, as the dog has regular toileting needs as well as exercise needs,
and often the person who is unable to do something for their own benefit will have
no problem doing it for the dog, eg  a depressive who doesn’t want to get out of
bed for anything will still get up and get dressed to take the dog out to potty, and
is then far more likely to continue to remain up and functioning.

Seizure Alert/ Response Service Dogs

Seizure Alert and Seizure Response Service Dogs are trained to help people with
epilepsy or other seizure disorders. Seizure Alert dogs are very special, as they
have learned how to recognize the signs that their partner is going to have a
seizure, and provide them with advance warning, allowing the partner to get to a
safe place or take medication to prevent the seizure or lessen its severity. It is
unknown just how these dogs sense that a seizure is coming, but it is speculated
that they may be able to smell chemical changes in their partner’s bodies.

Seizure Response Service Dogs are trained to respond to a seizure while it is
happening. This may include placing their bodies over their partners, so as to pin
the partner to the ground and prevent injury. They may also be taught to sit with
the partner afterwards so as to help reorient them to their environment and quell
fears; some may use a persistant paw touch, nuzzle, or bump to bring the partner
back to “reality” and reassure them that they are all right.

Guide Dogs

Guide Dogs are the type of Service Dog that everyone is already familiar with,
as they are the oldest type of Service Dog, so I won’t go into much detail here.
Suffice to say, Guide Dogs help those with visual impairments and blindness find
their way around, as well as locate items that they may drop and not be able to
see to pick up, and many other tasks. There are numerous other websites that
deal with Guide Dogs in detail. See the Links section for some.

Medical Assistantce Service Dogs

Medical Assistance Service Dogs help with all kinds of medical conditions, from
asthma to cancer, ataxia to Alzheimers. There are many disabling medical
conditions that can be managed more easily with the aid of a trained Service
Animal. A serious medical disability doesn’t have to mean the end of
independence; Service Animals help people with every kind of disability. live happier, healthier, and more independent.


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No. 4 Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Pets are an awesome way to beat the blues. Not only are they known to offer unconditional love. They may also give their loving owners a sense of purpose, which can be extremely crucial for those feeling down in the dumps. Pets also fight off feelings of loneliness by providing companionship, which can brighten your overall mood and even bring you feelings of joy and happiness. This study has been used on the sick and elderly, who may be on the receiving end of Animal-assisted Therapy (AAT) or Pet-facilitated Therapy (PFT). Many hospitals and nursing homes use these types of programs on a regular basis.

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No. 3 Fun Ways to Stay Fit With Fido

If you are a dog owner who needs more of a workout than walking can provide, here are a few ideas:

Jogging or running (With your dog of course)

Biking (With your dog by your side)

Hiking (With your dog)

Doga, (i.e. Yoga for Dogs)

Agility training (obstacle course-based dog sport)

Need a little motivation in the exercise department? Your dog can act as the perfect personal trainer, only because most of them need to be walked several times a day. According to studies like those conducted by the Wellness Institute at Northwest Memorial Hospital, as long as you’re the one holding the leash, you’ll claim the rewards, which can include losing — or at least maintaining — weight. Research conducted by the National Institute of Health also supports this claim — including one study of more than 2,000 adults, which found that dog owners responsible for walking their pups are less likely to be obese than dog owners who pass the duty off to someone else or those who don’t own dogs at all.

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No. 2 Stay Heart Healthy

A lot pet owners would agree that a furry friend can fill your heart with hope and love. So it’s only fitting that the presence of a pet can help improve the overall health of that organ, too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have both created heart-related studies on people who have pets. Their findings showed that pet owners exhibit decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels — all of which can ultimately minimize their risk for having a heart attack down in the future. For those who have already experienced a heart attack, research also indicates that patients with a dog or a cat tend to have better recovery rates. These benefits are thought to be connected with pets’ tendency to help reduce or at least control their owners’ overall stress levels.

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No. 1 The Icebreaker

         One of the nice benefits of taking on the responsibility of pet ownership is that animals can be an instant icebreaker, whether they’re with you or you’re just using them as a topic of conversation. Of course, very few people would suggest getting a pet only for this purpose, but it’s hard to overlook the fact that pets give a great means for improving your socialization skills across the board, especially in terms of meeting and interacting with other pet owners. Though some people sometimes may have a hard time getting to know each other, pets can be the common subject that helps them connect — even among people who don’t seem to be very much the same.

Places to Mix and Mingle with your Pet-

There are plenty of ways a pet could help begin your social circle. You just need to know where to go:

Training classes: Many instructors offer group classes such as puppy kindergarten, where you’ll find others trying to master the same pet parenting skills.

Dog parks: A great opportunity for both you and your dog to play and interact with other dogs and owners alike. Just be sure your dog is properly socialized and up to date on all shots before introducing it into the mix.

Outdoor cafes: Many restaurants with outdoor seating options are also pet-friendly, and some even offer dog-specific items on the menu as well.

Online: Dogster.com, Catster.com and Petpop.com are just a few examples of popular pet-focused social networking sites that provide an instant, fun way to trade tips, trends and more.

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Hello world!

Dogs. They are one of the many furry critters in our food chain. Dogs help us emotionally and physicly, but they also help us keep healthy as well! Do you wanna know how? Browse the site, and find out all the ways dogs sustain our health.

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