Benefits of Pet Ownership

Benefits of Pet Ownership

May is National Pet Month so we’d like to celebrate some of the most impactful ways that pets benefit our lives and how their lives are enriched by our presence. National Pet Month focuses on the positive effects of pet ownership and promotes pet adoption. We are passionate about our pets and (pre-Covid) often welcome Oscar to our office! Our Leaps & Bounds soft chews for dogs are specially formulated to reduce joint stiffness and discomfort that can come from everyday activities and exercise, while being very mindful of the sourcing of the ingredients.

Suzanne of Boxer Rescue in New Westminster, BC writes:

Before taking the Leaps & Bounds, Emma, an 8-year-old Boxer who has a partial cruciate tear, was restricted to 20-minute walks on flat surfaces and was not allowed to jump onto beds and couches, etc. She was taking high doses of CBD, another joint health product, and Cartrophen. Since taking 4 of your Leaps & Bounds a day, she is now walking for more than an hour without any signs of discomfort and we have even added in some easy 5km hikes. There is no more stiffness after walks or laying down for a long period of time. I would never have believed that just one supplement would make such a difference in how she feels.

At a time when we are spending long stretches at home, North Americans have been taking the opportunity to help those in need in a variety of ways. Many rescue and shelter animals have been fostered into households while they await their fur-ever homes. As humans, we are able to ensure that these pets get the protection, shelter, food, and safety that they deserve. We can also offer the training and mental stimulation that pets require to continue to be such an important part of our families. While we love to point out all of the wonderful things that we can do for our animals, it has become apparent that they end up benefiting us in more ways than we can benefit them.

In return for welcoming these animals into our lives, they provide us with a level of companionship and unconditional love that is seldom found elsewhere, and can be so important at times when connecting with others simply isn’t possible. Numerous studies have shown that the physical contact that a pet can provide may help combat loneliness and depression.

Often, our pets encourage (or force) us to increase our physical activity levels, even if that’s just an extra walk or two every day. In the case of dog ownership, requiring a more active lifestyle promotes personal social interactions, either on walks or at the dog park amongst other dog owners. They may also introduce us to new activities like hiking, and get us to explore new places, such as local parks and trails. The sense of community that exists among dog owners makes for a natural conversation-starter (at a safe distance!) when you run into other dogs throughout your day. 

For families with children, the potential benefits and drawbacks of pet ownership are frequently discussed. Introducing a pet into the family can help children learn about the responsibilities that accompany caring for another living being. These animals rely on us for food, attention and exercise, which also requires organization and planning to ensure that they are getting the care they need daily. Children who grow up with pets have an opportunity to discover empathy and compassion, as they learn at a young age that it is important to care for the needs of others, just as they would care for themselves.

In addition to making wonderful family pets, some animals have been known to perform valuable tasks and hold working roles in society. Even professional sports teams have started to get in on the action, training puppies to pick up pucks on the ice after hockey practices, or performing the job of a batboy and collecting the wooden bats dropped by hitters throughout the minor leagues in America. Most notably, domesticated canines are easily recognized around the world as man’s best friend - and greatest co-worker. While many of these jobs are now done by a variety of breeds, working dogs were first bred for specific jobs; famous working dog breeds include German shepherds, border collies, spaniels and retrievers. 

  • Herding dogs for livestock, including sheep and cattle. These dogs are selectively bred to help manage, protect or corral large groups or herds of animals.
  • Bird dogs have been used by hunters for decades and were bred initially to help fowl hunters find and retrieve their game. Many of these breeds will jump into the water any chance they get and are great with kids, which makes them great for both family life and therapy work.
  • Guard dogs are sometimes seen as aggressive or untrustworthy, but these large breeds were developed to protect their homes and livestock. They are known to develop a fierce loyalty to their owners. 
  • Tracking dogs are famous for their ability to help hunt with their noses. Tracking dogs may be used to detect, recognize and follow a number of different scents, including human scent and DNA. It has been reported that tracking dogs can trace a direct human scent for almost 500 metres!
  • Search and rescue dogs combine great agility with exceptional smell and hearing. They are a valuable resource for teams that are searching through the wilderness and snow, such as after an earthquake or avalanche.
  • Detection dogs have an exceptional sense of smell. They are often trained to sniff out one or more particular substances such as explosives, illegal substances or even endangered animal and plant species.
  • Military working dogs assist members of the military with various operations. This group encompasses many of the aforementioned skills, as they can be used as trackers, detectors, scouts, as well as search and rescue for the military. Dogs have a history with militaries that predate the ancient Roman and Greek armies.
  • Police forces worldwide utilize many of the same breeds that are used in the military, the most popular being German shepherds and Belgian malinoises. Police dogs can chase down and tackle suspects who try to run from officers, as well as protect their handlers. They are also used as tracking and detection dogs.
  • Therapy dogs are becoming increasingly prominent in society as we learn about the importance of mental health. Any breed can be used for animal-assisted therapy, provided they have the right temperament and training. These emotional-support dogs can visit hospitals, nursing homes and schools as part of a sick or injured patient’s therapeutic medical plan.
  • Service dogs, also known as assistance dogs, provide a number of services to their humans in need. Some examples include guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, plus mobility and medical assistance dogs who help their owners deal with a number of health-related difficulties. These service dogs are elaborately trained and are generally able to accompany their handler anywhere they go.

Whether you’re a dog lover or prefer another animal companion, there is little doubt that the addition of these domesticated animals to our lives is a mutually beneficial relationship. By welcoming them into our homes, we provide them with the safety they need and deserve and they show their appreciation with unconditional love and companionship. 

We developed our Leaps and Bounds dog chews because we are passionate about keeping our furry friends healthy and active with us for as long as possible. We get many wonderful testimonials, including recent ones from Angela of Cape Coral, Florida about her British Bulldog and Sloan in Vernon, BC about her Shih Tzu, who both reported results in just three days. If you feel yourself lagging behind your four legged-friend due to sore joints or discomfort, check out our Joint Formula 14 and start feeling better in 14 days or less! Don’t just take our word for it, our testimonials speak for themselves. As one happy Leaps & Bounds customer shared with us, “I’m so impressed I’m going to order some products for my husband!”