Dogs are what makes the world go round. If you have a pet, you probably know that statement to be absolutely true in your life. It’s hard to imagine what everyday would be like without your dog, and you’ve probably found yourself wondering on multiple occasions, “I wonder what my dog is thinking?” While there is no magical button to help you translate all of your dogs precious thoughts, there are ways that you can learn more about what you’re dog is thinking. More than that, there are ways to increase their brain functioning and help to discover their thoughts.
It may seem like a lot, but more than 54 million households in America have a dog. Obviously many of those people consider their dog a coveted member of their family or best friend,there is a new survey that shows that dog owners have a lot to learn about their pets when it comes to healthy aging, the human/dog bond, canine brain health and nutrition. Yep, no matter how much you love Mr. Chuckles, there is still much to be known about what is going on in his little doggie head.
Purina Pro Plan and Dognition, leaders in canine nutrition and cognitive development, have teamed up to educate dog owners about brain health and give them tools to help support physical, cognitive and emotional health in their dogs. There is so much more that you could be doing to help improve your dogs mental functioning, and understanding healthy ways to increase their happiness and joy. It’s possible!
Dr. Brian Hare is an associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University and a member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience.He also founded the Duke Canine Cognition Center. Dr. Hare is a New York Times Bestselling author and his research has consistently received national and international media coverage over the last decade in such outlets as National Geographic, The New York Times, Wired and many more. Dr. Hare, Founder of Dognition, discussed this new survey with Quirky Daily.
Quirky Daily: What exactly is Canine Cognition?
Dr. Hare: Canine cognition is just a fancy way to talk about how your dog thinks. How it makes decisions, how it feels — whether it’s about its toys or the people that it loves. Purina Pro Plan just created a massive survey, and what we see there is that people really are thirsty to learn more about how your dog thinks and their mental life, and now there is science to talk about it.
Quirky Daily: What were some of the findings from that survey
Dr. Hare: I think the big surprise is that people recognize that the mental health of their dog, or brain health, is super important because that’s what makes the dog that we love. At the same time, people aren’t recognizing or realizing that dogs are considered senior after seven years. So a seven year old dog is already having changes in its glucose metabolism. That can affect memory, attention, really any type of decision making that you think is important for who your dog is. SO that’s one of the things that’s really important to get out there and communicate.
Quirky Daily: What are some things that consumers know about canine cognition, their dogs’ personalities and the amazing jobs dogs have that help humans?
Dr. Hare: Over 90 percent of people are reporting that they have a strong emotional connection with their dog. Dogs are family members, and one of the questions we asked them was “Does your dog stare at you?” 80 percent of the people asked said yes. We now know that stare is actually empathy. That’s one of these cognitive behaviors that makes the human dog bond so strong… Essentially your dog is hugging you with their eyes.
Quirky Daily: Is there a correlations between nutrition and a dogs mental health?
Dr. Hare: Now there is a breakthrough. Purina Pro Plan bright mind is a dog food designed to promote the brain health of your dog. Along with your dogs body of course. We have tools now, where we can maintain that personality we love, where we couldn’t just a few years ago.
For more information, you can head over to dognition.com/brightmind.
Feature Image: A_Peach