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Doctor Dogs – Mattress Dog Beds

Dogs make us feel better, that much is clear and obvious, but how exactly do they help with stress, our mental and physical health and even our immune systems? Research in the last 10 years has honed in on how dogs became our resident doctors. Good Boy.

Strengthened Immune Systems

Dogs have been proven to strengthen immune systems in humans, particularly if exposed early in life. Just patting a dog for 18 minutes increases saliva and raises immunoglobulin A (IgA) within the saliva. Both are known to make immune systems in humans stronger. Being around a dog as a child also lowers the risk of developing allergies, asthma and eczema. One study even proved that babies in the womb, who’s mothers spent time around dogs, were less likely to experience Eczema in their early years. Over the last two years we’ve become accustomed to preventing illness by sanitising and limiting contact with each other but it’s important to remember that out-with a global pandemic, gentle and gradual exposure to these diseases is actually a good thing.

Chow Chow in Sunglasses

Chow Chow in Sunglasses


Stress Detectives

Professor Hannah Fry was on Radio 6 Music last week talking about the ability of dogs to detect stress in humans. The poor subjects of the test were made to count backwards from 200 in blocks of 17 whilst the conducting scientists told them they were going too slow and responded to any wrong guesses with an abrupt “NO”. Even Carole Vorderman would find that stressful. The dogs were kept in the same room as the subjects and were measured for the primary stress hormone, cortisol. Remarkably the dogs’ spiked at the same pace as the humans, proving that they read, empathise, and reflect stress in humans.

Not only that but dogs in similar studies have been proven to actually smell the rise in cortisol in stressed humans and were able to detect these changes without any visual or verbal cues from the subjects. If dogs can literally smell when you get stressed, perhaps that’s why nervous owners are more likely to have nervous dogs. I’m speculating here but could this be an example of a perpetual cycle in stressed owners and nervous dogs;

  1. Human notices another dog during a walk and anticipates a reaction from their own dog.
  2. Dog notices a change in body language, feels a tighter lead, and smells the rise in cortisol of its owner and associates all of that with the approaching dog.
  3. Dog reacts
  4. Human reacts again

If that’s the case then owners need to not only temper how they look and act around their dog but also how they feel in those situations, not easy!


Dog Wearing Googly Eye Glasses

Dog Wearing Googly Eye Glasses


Dogs and Mental Health

Our love for dogs allows them to bring us another benefit, physical and mental health. It’s much easier to skip a walk and sit down after a hard day if you don’t have a dog, especially if they’re sitting by the door with Oscar-worthy puppy dog eyes. A study including 2000 adults found that dog owners who regularly walked their dog were less likely to be affected by depression, heart problems and obesity than those who didn’t own a dog.

By being forced to go out you’re also way more likely to socialise with others because dogs act as natural icebreakers. I’ve personally found that to be true with us; we know way more people than we used to in our neighbourhood simply because we’re out twice a day with the dog and he’s very good at making himself other people’s business!

We appreciate our canine companions too. 9 out of 10 people associate their dogs or cats as members of the family and owners are far more likely to administer medicine on time and correctly to their pets than they are themselves. In a survey by the American Animal Hospital Association, 40 percent of married women said they received more emotional support from their dog than their partner or kids (although I’m not sure if that stat says more about dog or human relationships!).

Pug Sticking His Tongue Out

Pug Sticking His Tongue Out


Dogs and Physical Health

The data also heavily suggests that the presence of a dog improves physical health in humans.

One study showed that dog owners who’d had joint replacement surgery need 28% less medication than those without a dog. Maybe that’s because dogs are a healthy distraction to pain or perhaps they just guilt trip their owners into getting on with their physio rehab so they can get back to regular walks sooner.

Cardiovascular health is dramatically better in dog owners too. They’re less likely to have heart attacks or strokes, have decreased blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and lower triglyceride levels.

Remarkably, dogs are even capable of sniffing out cancer by smelling the breath of patients. In the UK, an 8-year-old Labrador named Marnie famously detected cancer with a 91% success rate. She detected Colorectal Cancer 97% of the time by sniffing stools.

A Labrador retriever called Zeta was the first diabetic hypoglycemia alert dog in Britain. Angela was one of her owners throughout her working life and admits she was a little sceptical in the first few weeks, worried that her husbands blood sugar level changes would go undetected. However, the accuracy and timing of Zetas first alerts were so astounding that it brought her to tears. “I became very emotional and cried because I did not really believe that alerting was possible”.

Weimaraner Enjoying the Fresh Outdoors

Weimaraner Enjoying the Fresh Outdoors


Mattress Dog Beds

“But how can I repay my dog for all their hard work on my mental and physical health!?” I hear you scream. Well… a Tuffies Mattress Dog Bed is a great way to start. The hollow fibre inner keeps them extremely warm and the waterproof material stops any moisture from entering the inside and making it smell. Considering they don’t charge a penny, I’d say your resident doctor deserves to have a clean, warm place to sleep – not a smelly thin vet bed. Your Mattress Dog Bed will also last for ages, so you won’t be forking out for a new one every couple of years.