26 August is International Dog Day when all dogs are celebrated.
The dog-human bond goes back more than 30,000 years, with dogs being the first animal to undergo domestication. Today, dogs are one of the most popular companion animals.
Providing we care and treat them well, dogs love us. And we love them back. Canine companionship can be a lifeline for many people suffering from loneliness. Earlier this year, SCAS Trustee Dr. Helen Brookes wrote a blog about her research into the role of companion animals in supporting people to manage mental health difficulties. She also shared how her two dogs, Mylo and Buzz, help her ‘recharge, de-stress and keep active’ (read the article here).
Dogs need regular exercise to stay mentally and physically well. And while intensity and frequency needs will depend upon health and age status, all dogs require some fresh air daily. This can be motivation for their humans to get out and move and meet people.
Year round, Kris’ mum and her little dog Rudy meet their friends for a run around the village field, or a hike up the Malvern hills.
Many people also claim their dogs keep them young! And there is evidence to support the benefits of dog walking to human health. At the upcoming annual SCAS conference, Dr. Sandra McCune will deliver a keynote on the current research on the benefits of dog walking in relation to human health. Future research directions will be outlined to encourage the development of a stronger evidence base for the role of exercising with dogs in healthy aging of older adults.
To listen to Sandra’s keynote, join us on Sunday 17 September 2023 for the annual (online) SCAS conference. This year’s SCAS Conference, ‘Are pets really good for us? The role of pets in mental and physical health’, will focus on the evidence-based research demonstrating how human-animal interactions support our physical and mental health. International speakers at the forefront of research, policy, and education will help us learn about the latest advances in science as well as encouraging collaboration between researchers and practitioners working in health and social care, policymakers and in the third sector. Download the programme here and book a place online!
SCAS is the UK’s leading human-companion animal bond organisation through funding research, providing education, raising awareness, encouraging best practice, and influencing the development of policies and practices that support the human-companion animal bond. For more details check out our website at www.scas.org.uk