Today is National Pet’s Day and to celebrate we’re talking all things dogs! In this blog post, we’ll discuss the history of National Pet’s Day, the proven health benefits that a dog’s companionship can bring us and the amazing advantages of working dogs. Being a dog friendly winery with three dogs who live with us on the farm, we’re passionate about the joy that our four-legged friends bring to your lives, and we hope this blog post will remind you of how much they positively impact our lives.
History of National Pet’s Day
National Pet’s Day was started in 2005 by pet lifestyle expert and animal welfare advocate, Colleen Paige. She created the holiday to recognise all that our pets bring to our lives; from being loving companions in our homes to putting their lives on the line as working animals. Paige also wanted to draw attention to those animals who have been abused or neglected and now live in animal shelters, she has said, “Many people believe that humans are superior to animals, but is that really true? We're not able to come close to possessing the pure & perfect unconditional love that animals offer. If we could, we'd have no need for this day… because all the shelters would be empty.” Last year alone, the RSPCA received 132,657 animals with 36,838 of these animals having been euthanised due to an inability to care for them. The slogan for National Pet’s Day is “Life Upgraded”, hoping to increase people’s awareness about the animals that are in animal shelters who, just like our pets, want to have a home and family who love them.
Health Benefits of Dog Companionship
There are numerous physiological, psychological and social benefits of owning a dog. A study of 3,432,153 Americans found that those who owned a dog had a lower risk of heart disease and a lower risk of cardiovascular and all-cause death than those who didn’t own a dog. This is due to a lowering of blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol associated with pet ownership. The RSPCA also reports that those who own a dog have fewer visits to the GP, stronger immune systems (particularly if they’ve grown up with a dog) and that children who own a dog are less likely to have illness-related absences at school. Not only has it been found that dogs increase our physical health, but our psychological wellbeing is also improved when we own a dog. A 2018 study found that university students reported increased happiness levels and reduced stress levels after they spent a session with therapy dogs. Emeritus psychology professor at the University of British Columbia and co-author of the study, Stanley Coren, found the results to be “remarkable”, finding that “even 10 hours later, students still reported slightly less negative emotion, feeling more supported, and feeling less stressed, compared to students who did not take part in the therapy dog session.” Given the rise in evidence of the psychological benefits that dogs can have on stress and happiness levels, it’s no surprise that therapy dogs are becoming more and more popular.
Therapy and assistance dogs are being used by a more diverse range of people than ever before. They bring comfort, safety and happiness to vulnerable groups like the elderly, those with disabilities, those who are sick or in hospital and those suffering from psychological disorders like anxiety and depression. Autism Assistance Dogs, which are specially trained therapy dogs, have been found to be extremely helpful in keeping children with autism safe and happy. The Australian non-for-profit organisation, Smart Pups, notes the benefits of Autism Assistance Dogs to providing safety and support in public places by tethering to and tracking the child in case they become lost, nudging the child to disrupt destructive repetitive behaviour, generating positive social interactions and being a calming presence to the child. Access for All, an initiative aiming to improve the experiences of those with disabilities in consumer settings, is something that’s extremely important to us at Green Olive at Red Hill and being accessible to everyone who visits the farm is a part of our philosophy that we’re continually trying to improve. As a dog friendly winery, we welcome all dogs, but particularly those who work with our community’s most vulnerable groups to help improve their lives. Don’t hesitate to come and introduce your therapy or assistance dog to the staff at Green Olive at Red Hill - we’d love to meet them and hear about how they’ve influenced your life.
Pisa, our Maremma, featured in the 2015 Weekly Times calendar. As farmers, we would be lost without him; he guards our chooks to make sure they are safe from predators such as foxes and large birds like eagles and hawks. Photographer: Zoe Phillips
After seeing how much dogs and all animals positively impact our lives, we think it’s fair to say that we’ve got a lot to thank them for! A great way to thank our dogs is to simply spend time with them, and our dog friendly winery is a great place to do this. There’s lots of room to roam around, lots of interesting places to sniff - the vineyard, the olive grove, around the restaurant and most importantly, lots of other doggy friends to play with. Our friendly Kelpies, Indi and Rasa also roam around our grounds so feel free to give them a pat or wander down to the dam to say hello to our Maremma, Pisa who watches over our chooks, making sure they stay safe from predators. Not only will your dogs enjoy a trip to the farm, but our delicious farm-grown tapas and wine will ensure that you’ll also have a great experience visiting us! We are even planning on implementing a dog menu at our dog friendly winery so that your dog can enjoy a puppachino along with you!
Book a table at www.greenolive.com.au/kitchen or by calling us at (03) 5989 2992. We’re looking forward to see you and your dog at our dog friendly winery!
A reminder that all dogs must be on leads at all times when visiting Green Olive at Red Hill.