It’s the Chinese Year of the Dog in 2018 and about 35% of households in Canada include a dog. Many dog owners know that pets can influence mood and improve health. In her book Paws & Effect: the Healing Power of Dogs, Sharon Sakson explores the relationships between humans and their dogs.
With so much emphasis on what pets can do for us, it’s no wonder we spend an enormous amount of time and money on making their lives the best we can. Special food, clothes, toys and even pet insurance are available for purchase. Ask any two dog owners what they feed their pet and you are sure to stir up a controversy. Some people prefer canned, some dry, some use the raw food method or make home cooked meals. In Cooking the Three Dog Bakery Way, by Mark Beckloff, you can choose from over 50 recipes using common ingredients found in an everyday kitchen. Or try Lew Olson’s Raw & Natural: the Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals.
To find out if your dog enjoys his new treats, toys or even clothes, go to OverDrive for Dr. Stanley Coren’s e-book, How Dogs Think: Understanding the Canine Mind. By interpreting a dog’s behaviour or body language you can determine whether your canine pal is happy, sad, anxious, fearful or angry. Can dogs see colour? Do dogs dream? Can a dog sense an oncoming earthquake or detect cancer? This book has the answers!
And what to call that new addition to your family? It seems that people are moving towards more human-like names for their pets. Gone are the Rovers, Spots, and Fluffys of the past. A Google search of the top picks in 2017 of names for dogs at rover.com shows such human names as Charlie, Jack, Lucy, and Lola. Or sign out The Giant Book of Dog Names. It’s divided into two parts: Part One, which is an alphabetical listing full of descriptions, and Part Two, which offers names organized in a variety of categories—literature, film, music and art, ancient and modern history, mythology and legend, sports, names by color, by breed, and more.
Dogs can make us laugh and cry. If you haven’t already read the book or seen the movie, check out Marley & Me and A Dog’s Purpose. Then there’s Erin Stanton’s book Susie’s Senior Dogs: Heartwarming, Tail-wagging Stories from the Social Media Sensation – Susie’s Senior Dogs on both Facebook and Instagram.
Just a daily walk with a dog can help to reduce cholesterol and keep your weight down (for both you and the dog!). And I think it’s almost common knowledge now that petting a dog or a cat can reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure. It’s hard not to smile when being greeted by a wagging tail. Take two pets and call me in the morning!
Sylvia Renaud – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!