Category Archives: health benefits of dogs

The Many Benefits of Pets for the Elderly


By Suzanne Alicie

We all know that pets benefit from being adopted and becoming part of a loving home. We also know that when children are exposed to pets they tend to be more responsible and caring, but when it comes to the elderly the benefits of having a pet are much more than those for younger folks. In comparison with other seniors without pets, elderly pet owners show these results:

• Overall lower blood pressure and pulse rate. Animals have a calming effect as well as causing the senior to walk and move more to improve circulation and health.

• Improved mood and less depression. Pets generate good feelings and lift the mood.

• More social interaction. By making visits to the park to walk a dog or taking a cat to the vet, the elderly are exposed to other people more often.

• More physical activity. Walking dogs and playing with pets are good ways for the elderly to get more exercise, which is beneficial for their overall health.

• Unconditional love and affection. These are things that many elderly people are missing in their lives, since younger family members are often busy with their own lives and don’t have time to visit and spend time with seniors.

• Less loneliness. Again, pets take the place of people in the life of the elderly and many of them spend a great deal of time interacting and talking to their pets.

Besides these benefits it has been shown that seniors who have pets tend to take better care of themselves and show improved health after obtaining a pet. The elderly are exceedingly responsible pet owners too. Interestingly, it has been found that when an elderly family member has a pet, more relatives with young children will visit them because the pet provides a distraction for the children while the adults visit. This provides not only more attention for the pet, and interaction with adults for the senior, but also a chance for the senior to interact with the youngsters using the pet as a common ground of interest.

Young dogs and cats that are energetic and need to run and play more are not the best choice for an elderly person. Instead, a mature pet that has been well trained will make a more suitable companion. These are animals that will soak up all the attention that the elderly person will give them, they will nap often and just be a constant presence.

When it comes to the benefits of pets for the elderly, there are many suitable pets. Every sort of animal, from cats and dogs to fish, can provide the companionship and entertainment that improves the quality of life for the elderly. Many physicians and therapists recommend that their elderly patients obtain a pet for companionship, for exercise, and for therapy.

Just as companionship, understanding and devotion are beneficial to teenagers, the same is true for the elderly. The simple act of having a cat to cuddle on their lap, or a dog to curl up at their feet can make a world of difference in the life of an elderly person.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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San Jose Bark in the Park Recap


By Lexiann Grant

Everyone wants to have fun with their dog. But when you can play and serve a good cause at the same time, that’s even better. The people who attended the San Jose Bark in the Park on September 19th, along with their dogs, must have agreed – about 14,000 humans and 3,500 canines made this year’s event the largest dog festival in the country.

As part of their commitment to give back to the dog community, CANIDAE All Natural Pet Food provides primary sponsorship of this annual event which raises funds for the Naglee Park neighborhood’s Campus Community Association, the Humane Society Silicon Valley and the San Jose Animal Care Center. Admission was free, but attendees were asked to donate $5 per dog to enjoy the day’s activities.

Although the day was planned to raise funds, it provided dogs and their humans with plenty of fun, including a Pet/Owner Look Alike Contest, Dog Costume Contest and Silly Tricks Contest. Agility, flyball, herding, and dancing with dog demonstrations were held throughout the day. A water park was set up for dogs that wanted to get their paws wet, and visitors enjoyed live music.

Nearly 100 pet-related services, vendors and food placed around the spacious, landscaped grounds of the park provided information, shopping and dining. As a service to those in need of assistance, grooming, training help, vaccinations and microchipping clinics were available for owners to utilize. Multiple rescue groups were on hand to answer questions about adopting homeless dogs or cats.

Manning the CANIDAE booth this year were Kim Trudelle and Jim Dempsey. This pet food company participates in sponsorship of the event because, “CANIDAE has a history of helping animals in need when we are able to through events and fundraisers like Bark in the Park,” said CANIDAE Sales Manager Kim Trudelle who helped organize the CANIDAE presence at the event and arrange for the prize donations. “Often times we sponsor events where the local Humane Society benefits. Other times we show up to help raise funds for the AKC Canine Health Foundation. We always have a lot of fun at these events and we get to help animals at the same time.”

Besides fundraising and recreation, festivals such as Bark in the Park serve another purpose. People who play with their dogs, bond with their dogs. Having fun together is one of the best methods for strengthening the tie between you and your dog. And the benefits of this relationship are numerous: improved physical and emotional health, a deeper commitment to the welfare of your pet, and assistance for other companion animals in need.

What better way to raise money, have fun and do good, than a huge, day-long dog party? Next year’s San Jose Bark in the Park, also supported by CANIDAE, is slated for September 18th. For more information on this and the upcoming years’ events, visit www.barksanjose.org.

Read more articles by Lexiann Grant

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

The Health Benefits of Dog Ownership


By Anna Lee

We love our dogs and they love us. As responsible pet owners we do the best we can for our furry friends and they repay us in kind. We also know that laughter is the best medicine and dogs are very funny. Therefore, it makes sense that owning a dog is healthy for us! I am extremely lucky because Abby is a funny dog. She also knows how to melt my heart.

We know that pets enrich our lives. Recent scientific studies have begun to pin-point the ways that companion animals improve our minds and our bodies. Beyond walks and games of fetch, eager faces at the end of the day and many kisses, pets provide documented health benefits.

A 1993 report in the Harvard Health Letter explains that companion animals have more consistent behavior compared to our human companions and that they offer unconditional affection. The effect is lower blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety levels for pet owners. We repay our pets with love and attention. More than 60 percent of pets receive “as much attention as children,” according to the 1994 American Animal Hospital Association pet owner survey. In my house Abby receives 100% since we have no children.

Laughter has been proven to reduce stress, increase muscle flexion, lower blood pressure and boost immune function by raising T-cell levels. Laughter also releases the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins, and increases emotional well being while decreasing feelings of depression. Dogs are natural born comedians; mine is and your dog mostly like is also. Abby makes my husband I laugh on a continual basis. With recent studies suggesting that depression is more deadly than many other chronic diseases, spending some time with a canine goof-ball might be the best health insurance available. If I am in a bad mood and Abby does something typically Abby, the bad mood lifts away!

Exercise – In a Columbia University Study participants lost an average of fourteen pounds when they started walking the dog for just 20 minutes a day five times a week. Dog owners are more likely than non-dog owners to walk regularly and longer. Taking responsibility for someone else’s well being is more compelling than looking out for your own health. I agree with that totally. I put off going to the doctor myself, but if Abby looks a little ‘off’ I call the vet instantly for an appointment.

Socializing – When we walk our dogs in the park or around the block people are more apt to speak to us. Dog lovers will naturally start up conversations. When we socialize with others we feel good about ourselves. We were on vacation a few years back in Chattanooga and visited Rock City. This is a huge mountain with all kinds of fun and interesting things to look at and squeeze through on the climb to the top. At the summit is a fantastic view of several states. That day there were many families with kids who had no desire to look at a view.

We sat down to relax and within seconds were surrounded by kids all wanting to pet Abby. Just watching their little faces made us feel better and Abby certainly didn’t pass up one kiss or pat on the head! Finally, parents realized the kids were having a better time with our dog because they were all on vacation and they missed their dogs back home. Rock City is pet friendly – check their website for more information on a great attraction! (www.seerockcity.com)

Sleep – I don’t know about other dog owners, but I know feel confident at night knowing my dog is in the same room snoozing – with one ear and one eye open! Our quality of sleep has a big effect on health. Lack of sleep has been linked to some cancers, heart disease, diabetes, etc. Now if I could just get Abby to sleep later than 6 AM I would be very happy.

All of the health benefits of canine companionship are good for us. Better brain chemistry equals better sleep. More exercise makes for less depression. Better sleep eases mood problems. And wet sloppy kisses can mend a broken heart!

Dogs are good for our health! Since they provide us such a beneficial service we need to make sure we take care of them in return. What better way to take care of your best friend than to feed your pet a premium food like CANIDAE?

Read more articles by Anna Lee

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.