Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

November 8, 2016 5 ways dogs are more than furry friends
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

(BPT) - Did you know that approximately 37 to 47 percent of households in the United States have a dog? Chances are you have a pet dog living in your household, or you know someone who is a pet owner. Unconditional love is one of the many benefits of man’s best friend; however, dogs can also play an important role in the lives of those coping with an illness or a health condition. Learn these five key facts you may not know about dogs.

1. Dogs and humans have a long history of working with each other.

Dogs and humans have helped each other for more than 12,000 years as loving friends, faithful companions and working partners. In modern times, animals have been used in a range of health care settings to provide health benefits for people coping with a variety of disabilities and illnesses.

2. Dogs can provide emotional and physiological health benefits.

Dogs provide emotional support that can improve their owner’s well-being. Interaction with dogs has been found to help improve blood pressure, heart rate, stress, depression, anxiety, pain and fatigue.

3. Service dogs are trained to help people living with a number of different health conditions.

Service dogs are rigorously trained, starting as puppies, to perform tasks and provide support for people living with a number of different health conditions. In addition to guide dogs for the blind or hearing dogs for the deaf, service dogs can also help people living with seizure disorders, autism or diabetes. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the rights of people with disabilities to be accompanied by their service dog in public places.

4. One type of service dog, seizure assistance dogs, can respond to a seizure in someone with epilepsy.

Seizure assistance dogs undergo intensive training (typically 12-18 months long) to respond to a seizure in someone who has epilepsy or a seizure condition. Some dogs have been trained to bark or alert an individual’s family when they are having a seizure. Others may learn to lie next to the person having a seizure to minimize the risk of injury. Being alerted when a seizure occurs may help provide comfort and peace of mind to families and caregivers as well as those living with a seizure condition.

5. Therapy dogs can help people living with chronic diseases.

Therapy dogs are specifically trained to provide psychological or physiological therapy to individuals; however, their training is not as extensive as that for service dogs. These dogs have friendly temperaments, and they often visit institutions like hospitals, schools and nursing homes. Many people can benefit from interaction with therapy dogs, including people living with cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease and psychiatric disorders, as well as those who are hospitalized.

For more information about the one-of-a-kind support animals can provide to those coping with illness, please visit www.MagnoliaPawsforCompassion.com.

Provided by Magnolia Paws for Compassion(R) – sponsored by Eisai Inc. in collaboration with 4 Paws for Ability and Epilepsy Foundation.

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