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OWNING A DOG IS GOOD FOR YOUR SOCIAL LIFE

Having a dog is good for your social life, a new study has suggested.
A poll of 2,000 dog owners found that nearly half of respondents have made new friends while taking their pet for a walk.
Those surveyed had met an average of four new people while out for walks with their pet or at puppy training classes, with a majority saying that owning a dog had boosted their confidence as they can more easily talk to strangers.
Health, stress levels and love-life were all reported to have been improved by dog ownership.
This has led to the dogs themselves having a vast social life too, with 60 per cent of those polled believing their pet has "dog friends".
Owners believed their dog to have an average of three friends, with more than a quarter having a consistent "walking buddy".
Eight in 10 of the pet owners polled said they believed it was important for dogs to have friends, which they regularly see.
“Similarly, dogs are the perfect ice-breaker to start conversations with people you might otherwise pass by and are proven to bring numerous health benefits along the way, such as improvements in mental and physical health, which this research has also shown.”

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Dogs join Middlesex University staff to help students with exam stress and homesickness

Dogs have joined Middlesex University to help students with exam-related stress and homesickness.Five Labradors have been trained as “canine teaching assistants” to reduce anxiety and prevent students from dropping out of university.The dogs have even been given their own ID badges to ensure they are seen as a fundamental part of the teaching and wellbeing team at the university.Fiona Suthers, head of clinical skills at the university, said: “It’s hard to describe the impact of just having a dog lying down in the corner of a class. You can literally feel stress levels reducing."It's amazing and we're very keen to continue and expand what we're doing.”It comes after the University of East Anglia recently offered students the chance to take a dog for a walk in a bid to tackle stress during the exam season.And last month, Sir Anthony Seldon, University of Buckingham’s vice-chancellor, said every school should have a dog or another pet to reduce stress in the classroom.Education secretary Damian Hinds added that more schools seem to have "wellbeing dogs" and "the pets can really help".

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10 Amazing Facts About Dogs You Probably Didn't Know
1. Dogs have a sense of time. It's been proven that they know the difference between a hour and five. If conditioned to, they can predict future events, such as regular walk times. 2. Your dog is as smart as a two-year old! Ever wonder why children around this age seem to have a special bond with the family dog? It could be because they speak the same language, roughly 250 words and gestures in fact. 3. A study at UCSD claims that your dog can genuinely get jealous when they see you display affection for another creature. 4. Man’s best friend? Petting a dog and gazing into their eyes releases oxytocin (i.e the “love hormone”) not only for you, but for them as well. 5. The Saluki is the world’s oldest dog breed. They appear in ancient Egyptian tombs dating back to 2100 B.C. 6. Your dog can smell your feelings. In fact, your dog’s sense of smell is approximately 100,000 times better than yours. So it shouldn’t be shocking that they can in fact, smell things such as fear. When a human is fearful, they perspire, and a dog is easily able to pick up on this change. 7. Your dog can smell your feelings. In fact, your dog’s sense of smell is approximately 100,000 times better than yours. So it shouldn’t be shocking that they can in fact, smell things such as fear. When a human is fearful, they perspire, and a dog is easily able to pick up on this change. 8. Dogs have wet noses because it helps to absorb scent chemicals. 9. Dogs can be trained to to detect cancer and other diseases in humans. Cancerous cells release different metabolic waste products than healthy cells in the human body. Dogs may even be able to sniff out cancer cells simply through smelling someone’s breath. 10. Have you ever wondered why your dog curls up in a ball when they sleep? It’s actually an age-old instinct to keep themselves warm and to protect vital organs while they sleep.
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