A total of 3.2 million households in the UK have acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic, meaning the UK now has 17 million pet-owning homes. Dogs are the most commonly owned pet in UK households. The share of households reporting dog ownership stands at 33 percent. There is no denying the UK are a country of dog lovers, but why do we love our furry friends so much?
Dogs help people
We have all seen how Guide Dogs make life so much easier for the visually impaired but dogs help people in so many different ways, take our friends Support Dogs who train and support specialist assistance dogs to help children with autism, seizure alert dogs for people with epilepsy and disability assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities.
The epilepsy dogs are trained to provide a 100% reliable, up to 50 minute warning prior to the onset of an epileptic seizure. This enables the client to find safety and be in control over their seizure, allowing a much more independent life.
Dogs are the best therapists
To some extent, all dogs are therapy dogs: providing unconditional emotional support and companionship.
So it's no surprise that dogs are trained to be healing companions for people with health conditions such as cancer, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and dementia. ... Trained and certified by a variety of organisations, these dogs and their handlers go into hospitals and other facilities and interact with patients.
Dogs Save Lives
With the correct training dogs can detect weapons, bombs, gases and drugs more accurately than any available military equipment.
In the book “It's All About Treo: Life and War with the World's Bravest Dog” it tells the incredible true story of the unbreakable bond forged between Treo, the world's most highly decorated dog, and his handler Sgt. Dave Heyhoe, whilst doing the most dangerous job on earth - sniffing out bombs in Afghanistan. Dave, known to his fellow soldiers as 'the Dog Whisperer' and Treo were sent forwards, alone and unprotected, to detect the Taliban's murderous IEDs. Soon soldiers refused to patrol certain areas unless accompanied by Treo.
Dogs Teach Us To Be Better Humans
Dogs are kind, loving, and compassionate – they forgive everything and never hold a grudge. No matter what a dog is doing, they are always present in the moment. If you watch your dog throughout the day you’ll find that your dog is a better person than most humans.
Dogs contribute to our overall wellbeing
Dogs make us get out of the house and go for walks. Getting out in nature is great for our mental health, but getting out in nature with a dog is even better. Also, when we interact with dogs, our oxytocin levels shoot up. Since this is the hormone largely responsible for social bonding, this hormone boosts our psychological well-being.
Dogs are good for the economy
With the rise in dog ownership this is great news for local businesses, from vets to dog walkers, doggy day cares to obedience training the rise in dog ownership will hopefully see a rise in local businesses offering services to animals.
While this blog has been about dogs obviously all domesticated animals can be part of the family and loved just as much, that is why we want to celebrate all the amazing local businesses offering services for animals.
You can find out more about the “services for animals” awards here.