If you have a dog, then you will no doubt know first hand what a delightful addition they are to the household. Not only are they great companions however, studies show that they help to reduce stress by releasing endorphins when you pet them. That reduces your heart rate, and apparently reduces your blood pressure as well if you’re lucky.
There are programs whereby animals (mostly dogs) are taken to visit people in hospitals and nursing homes, and prove to have a rejuvenating impact on the people they come across. Well, when a dog greets you as if they’re meeting a rock star, it can’t help but make you smile. Of course, smiling in itself is good for your wellbeing. It releases all the good hormones and things that promote healing, improve your immune system and basically just make everything better.
Animal expert Arden Moore told Today Health and Wellness that animals can also be good for your relationships. “An animal doesn’t care who you are or what outfit you’re wearing; they want to play and be around you,” says Moore. This carefree, playful attitude, she says, has made many animal-lovers more prone to living in the moment. According to a 1997 study at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, observing animals in nature can teach valuable characteristics like patience, and help restore mental energy.
Now I am not sure, based on personal experience, that when you first get a dog, particularly if it’s a puppy, that it reduces your stress levels; but I will leave you to discover the joys of training yourself if you haven’t already. Nonetheless, they definitely bring a whole new layer to your life that, once you have it, you couldn’t possibly be without.
In the States they have trialled a programme that’s been lauded on social media. Dogs are introduced to prison inmates with the rather beautiful result of improving the prisoners’ wellbeing and subsequently their behaviour.
All in all, there’s more truth than one might realise to the idea that dogs are our best friends. They make us happier, healthier, and much like a human best friend, they make excellent company as well.
At Spabreaks.com we know that all too well. While our in-house animal of choice is a spa bear, one of our favourite spa destinations Ellenborough Park not only welcomes canine guests, but is also home to their own dog Zeffie. She can tell you more about her spa life in her own words.
Other spa venues that welcome dogs include the spectacular Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire, Spread Eagle Hotel and Spa in Sussex, Fairmont St Andrews in Scotland and Fowey Hall in Cornwall.
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