National Pet Day – 6 Things Dogs Can Do You Won’t Believe!

Dogs Are Amazing
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From keeping their human’s company to saving lives, pets can do endearing, funny, helpful, surprising, and simply heroic things. As a prelude to April 11 (AKA National Pet Day), we’re here at Pet Ponderosa with some beautiful facts and stories that illustrate just how incredible dogs really are.

Dogs have long been dubbed ‘man’s best friend’, and there is a good reason behind that. Dogs are amazing!

6 Amazing Things Dogs Can Do

You’ll be blown away by just how talented dogs are with these six awesome facts.

1. Seizure Detecting Dogs

With over 65 million people across the globe suffering from epilepsy, epileptic patients need help and protection. Thankfully, some very special dogs are on the job!

According to Canine Partners for Life, a Seizure Alert Dog is trained to alert his human partner that a seizure is coming up to one hour ahead of time. This allows his partner time to go to a safe, non-crowded area, and perhaps lay down before the seizure begins, so as not to fall and injure himself.

Get this:

A seizure alert dogs can even fetch a phone, medication, or alert device to help his epileptic partner in times of need! If a trained dog senses that his human is in danger, he will sound a warning through relentless behaviors, such as close eye contact, pacing, pawing, nudging, or licking to ensure that his partner is aware of what is coming and can protect himself.

2. Dogs Can Detect Cancer

While further investigation is necessary to understand the science behind it, dogs have been proven to be able to detect some forms of cancer with their ultra-sensitive sense of smell.

By smelling bodily fluids, breath, and even skin, some dogs have been able to alert humans to major medical problems, including melanoma, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer. Some dogs have been trained specifically to detect cancer, since it is a non-invasive alternative to other cancer-detecting procedures.

According to one BMJ Case Report, a 75-year-old man who went to the doctor puzzled after his female German shepherd persistently licked a lesion he didn’t even know he had behind his ear. Turns out, the man was diagnosed with melanoma.

With more research on the topic, who knows how helpful this special skill could be to cancer patients in the future?

3. Having a Dog can Decrease Allergies

Seems backwards right? Many people don’t have pets because of pet allergies, which is, of course, wise. However, a study conducted by the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin revealed that if newborns are exposed to dogs, it can actually have an impact on their immune development and work to lower the infant’s likelihood of developing some allergic diseases.

The results explain, “Children who had a dog at home as newborns were much less likely to have AD (12% versus 27%) and wheezing (19% versus 36%) by their third birthday. Early exposure, it seems, is the key. In fact, children who got a dog after birth did not seem to have the same health benefits.”

4. Dogs Lower Stress & Depression

Online mental health and wellness source HelpGuide.org discusses how “Dogs and cats in particular can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health.”

The article further explains how pet owners tend to maintain lower blood pressure through high-stress circumstances, have lower cholesterol, are able to be more relaxed and calm after playing with their pet, and are less likely to suffer from clinical depression than non-pet owners. Dog owners are also typically more active, since dog walking can be a consistent source of exercise.

5. Dogs Help Diabetes Patients

Due to their hypersensitive noses and willingness to work, some special dogs have been trained to help humans with Type I Diabetes. Each Diabetes Assist Dog is trained to detect when his human is experiencing a rapid drop in low blood sugar through his powerful sense of smell.

Once low blood sugar is sensed, he will nudge his human or alert him in some other meaningful way to the need to check their blood sugar level and eat something.

According to Can do Canines, “The canine partner can also be trained to retrieve juice or glucose tabs, get an emergency phone, or get help from another person in the house.” These lifesaving dogs wear a special backpack to identify themselves as service dogs. “This backpack has pockets where medical information, a sugar source, and emergency contact information can be stored.” True heroes!

6. Dogs Guide the Blind

It is no secret that select heroic dogs can be given rigorous training to become loyal, reliable guides for blind and visually impaired humans. This special relationship is truly amazing, especially if you have the chance to watch a guide dog and his partner interact.

Strangely enough, this method for helping the blind dates back to ancient times. According to Perkins School for the Blind, “A first-century mural dating from the Roman ruins of Herculaneum and a 13th century Chinese scroll are believed to be among the earliest depictions of dogs leading people who are blind.”

Guide dogs are trained to bring their partner safely around obstacles, avoid hazards, and even help perform important tasks such as finding a chair or a drinking fountain.

Don’t forget:

When a guide dog is on duty, it is best not to try to pet them or interact with them. No matter how sweet and adorable they are, needless interaction could distract a guide dog and put his human in danger.

Impressively, a guide dog can even choose to disobey a command from his human if he discerns that obeying the command would put his human in danger. For example, a guide dog will refuse to cross a street when a car is coming. Critical thinkers, indeed!

National Pet Day – Give Back to Dogs

Of course, dogs can do much more than just six amazing things! Whether they own a service dog or not, any doting dog owner could go on for hours about funny, cute, and plain incredible things their dog has done.

Since dogs work hard to help humans, why not give back?  Here at Pet Ponderosa, we are running a National Pet Day Special on April 11. Our Resort and Spa is offering 15% off all Premium Services, including our luxury pet grooming.  Make reservations now while bookings are available!

Do you prefer cats to dogs? Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on cool cat facts in our series on Preparing for National Pet Day! Don’t forget to keep sharing paw-tastic photos of your pet via social media using the hashtag #NationalPetDay, #PetPonderosa, and #PNWpets.

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