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That a dog is a man’s best friend is considered totally true for many people. Undoubtedly, as pets, dogs make great companions and are capable of supplying unconditional love – as long as they’re well treated, of course. They can beg for food or a walk in the most delightful ways, as well as the most irritating ones, and they always welcome their owners back home with outstanding enthusiasm and appreciation. It’s worth remembering that a dog is also a woman’s best friend, and some of their qualities as pets fit particularly well with the needs and preferences of their female owners. Here are a few examples of ways in which a dog can bring extra happiness and comfort to make a house a home.

Dogs are family

When a dog is part of the household, even for someone who lives alone, it’s impossible to be without company. That noisy, rousing welcome on their owner’s return more than makes up for the demands of an energetic hound to go for regular walks and to loudly signal when ‘feed me’ time comes around. Canine companions have the knack of making a genuine connection with their owners and due to their excellent long-term memories, they don’t forget those who look after them – ever.

As pets, dogs are also both courageous and consistent in that their defence reflexes automatically kick in should their beloved owner be in a threatening situation. Of course, sometimes a ‘threatening’ situation depends on the dog’s point of view.

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Inspiring confidence

Coming to the defence of their owner can be a useful trait in dogs because it inspires confidence in their owners and promotes an increased sense of security, particularly when walking a dog alone. Dogs are also empathic and can sense emotions, such as joy, sadness and anger. As a result, they adapt their behaviour accordingly, providing reactions that mirror their owners’ expressions and manner. These may be celebratory (and most probably very loud), much subdued or highly alert, respectively.

Relieving stress

So many of us find solace in our pets. Here at IDEAL, we just love to curl up on the sofa with our furry friend after a stressful day at work – even more so than taking a long, hot bath or indulging in a glass of wine. This goes to show that spending time with your canine friend can actively decrease your stress reactions.

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Also, when the question arises about going on holiday, it’s now possible to rethink what used to be the only option – having to put a canine companion into kennels for the duration. For example, in July 2015, a report on the top five dog-friendly beaches in the UK recommended excellent dog-friendly facilities in Sefton, Kent, West Sussex, Dorset and Pembrokeshire.

Similarly, dog-friendly hotels were mentioned in an article from October 2015, including Gleneagles in Perthshire, Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire, Cliveden House in Berkshire, Belmond le Manoir au Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire and Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa in Dorchester.

Caring for a dog

Generally, pet owners are pretty diligent about looking after their animals. They know that this includes ensuring they are well fed and exercised, as well as beautifully groomed and healthy. In particular, flea and tick protection is vital and regular vet appointments help to safeguard the dog’s welfare. Dog owners can also make good use of extra supplements, such as vitamins and other medicines to address disorders of the eyes, ears or teeth. There are medications to aid digestion, strengthen joints and improve mobility. A variety of drops, oils and tablets can be used to promote a glossy coat and healthy skin for dogs of every breed.

Intelligent and friendly animals

Many dogs are smarter than people think, although to a certain extent this depends on the breed. In the UK, among the most popular breeds with families is the loyal Labrador. Known to be patient, affectionate and tolerant, these dogs can be easily trained and are good with children. Other popular breeds include mixed breeds such as Border collies, German shepherds and Jack Russell terriers. The golden retriever, cocker and springer spaniels and Yorkshire terriers are also in the top 10 list of favourite pet dogs.

A note of caution

Finally, even if there are no children in the household, remember that some breeds, such as the illegal pit bull terrier, Dogo Argentino, Fila Braziliero and Japanese Tosa, are not inherently friendly. Steer well clear if anyone offers to supply one of these breeds, no matter how reasonable the price may seem.