There are only a handful of things that can instantly put a smile on almost anyone’s face: an old couple holding hands, a giggling baby, or a fluffy four-legged friend.
Our tail-wagging, dirt-digging, bird chasing canine companions are often our biggest protectors and best friends, and evidence shows that their ability to help us live healthier and happier lives is unmatched. Dogs are not only man’s best friend; they may be the key to living a longer life.
For starters, they can improve our emotional health tremendously. You probably know that dogs can learn to understand a number of the words we use, but did you know that they’re experts at deciphering our body language too? A loyal pup will look to your eyes to gauge your emotional state and respond to your silent signals as best as they can. This is what makes them such great companions – they’ll always be there for you after a tough week at the office. There’s no love like a dog’s love.
People who own dogs are four times more likely than non-owners to meet modern guidelines for physical activity. Nothing quite motivates you to get out the door and go for that morning walk like two puppy dog eyes staring at you from the foot of your bed. Living with a dog makes you healthier by forcing you to exercise regularly! It’s easy to find a number of reasons to skip the gym, but you can’t miss walking the dog!
Our furry friends have long been praised for their ability to help mental wellbeing and reducing anxiety and loneliness, but recent studies have found that they lead to better cardiovascular health too. This is because dog companionship has been found to be associated with lower blood pressure levels and reduced stress, meaning that dogs don’t just fill your heart; they actually make it stronger!
So, if these fur babies add so much good to our lives, why is it that so many of our dog rescue centres are constantly teetering on the verge of full capacity? Unfortunately, Cape Town has a severe stray dog problem. Many of these poor pups have fallen victim to unfair and unfortunate circumstances, leaving them in a desperate search of food, shelter and care.
This is when our local animal shelters swoop in to help, with very limited resources and little publicity, to try and give these animals the second chance that they deserve.
This Saturday, on the 17th of April, Century 21 City Bowl & Mdzananda Story are hosting a Dog Adoption Day at Gardens Rugby Club, where they hope to make the dreams of a home come true for a few special pups. So, come on down to enjoy a fun-filled day for the whole family and look forward to giveaways, food stands, dogs on show on the “catwalk”, and, of course, doggie adoptions.
We understand that, for many, adopting a furry friend just isn’t feasible, especially if you stay in an apartment that prohibits pets or you don’t currently have the time to commit to looking after one. Fortunately, there are a number of other ways to help local animal shelters. If you have the means, consider donating essential supplies like pet food, toys and blankets, now that it’s getting cooler.
We’ve put together a list of a few local dog shelters doing great work to help:
21297 Govan Mbeki Road, Khayelitsha, Cape Town, 7784 | 082 251 0554
128 Russell St, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001 | 081 347 0784
56 Koeberg Rd, Brooklyn, Cape Town, 7405 | 021 510 7360
1st Ave &, 1st Rd, Grassy Park, Cape Town, 8000 | 021 700 4140
Lekkerwater Rd, Sunnydale, Cape Town, 7975 | 021 785 4482