Celebrate National Dog Week
Discover four fun dog facts and four ways to get your fill of man’s best friend!

Leisure Pursuits

29185437_mThe last week in September is National Dog Week!

To celebrate, here are four fun dog facts as well as four ways to enjoy more of your furry friends.

Did You Know?

1) Dogs are good for your health. They can reduce stress, help reduce blood pressure, keep cholesterol and triglycerides in check, keep you active and much more.

2) Dogs have evolved as true companions. New studies continue to point to dogs’ ability to show empathy for their masters. Dogs are also especially attuned to our ways of communicating. In fact, they can understand pointing, whereas chimpanzees cannot.

3) Dogs were born to walk. Dogs’ ancestors spent most of their day walking as they looked for food, played with the pack and cared for offspring. Even if you have a big backyard, dogs need to go for walks and experience new sights, sounds and smells. While it can be easy to take the same route every day, mix it up to make it more interesting for Fido.

4) Dogs are capable of many things. Chaser, a border collie, knows more than 1,000 words. Dogs of all breeds are capable of doing many things, and learning new things helps keep their minds stimulated. DogsPlay.com offers a list of dozens of sports and activities to try with your dogs. Find one that matches your dog’s skills and interests. In addition, read this training blog for tips and step-by-step instructions.

Animal Assistance11702380_m

Here are four ways to help not only dogs, but other animals as well:

1) Volunteer. Volunteering at a local shelter or rescue group is a great way to get your fix of dogs, cats or other animals. Shelters and rescue groups are always looking for volunteers. You can pet the cats, walk the dogs and more.

2) Adopt. Every year approximately 2.7 million healthy dogs and cats are euthanized for lack of homes. Adopting from a shelter or rescue group is a great way to add a companion to your home. Pets in need of adoption come in all shapes and sizes – all breeds and ages. Search for your next companion on Petfinder.com or AdoptAPet.com.

3) Foster. If you can have a dog, cat or other animal in your home but aren’t up for a lifetime commitment or can’t afford the expense, then consider fostering. Foster homes provide the animal a home until it’s adopted, and the shelter or rescue group usually covers all expenses.

4) Borrow a dog. Helping friends and relatives with their dogs – whether it’s taking them for a walk or offering to babysit – is another way to get involved with pets and help someone out at the same time.

Enjoy dogs year-round, and use this week as a special excuse to celebrate men and women’s best friend!

AARP Pet page – AARP.org

Fun Things to Do With Your Dog – BestFriends.org