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How pets impact our health
Wellness Wire
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IN a nutshell
TGIF—you made it through another week! Today also happens to be International Dog Day, and we're celebrating with a deep dive into the wonderful health benefits that pets bring to our lives. To kick things off, we chatted with the one and only Doug The Pug (and his owner, Leslie). We wanted to know how the dog-fluencer lives his best, healthiest life – and how you can, too.
So find a cozy sunbeam to lounge in. Here's what's comin' at ya this morning:
Doug The Pug tells all
a pup-friendly water bottle
the future is now, and it involves robotic pets
Be well,
Morgan Mandriota
Newsletter Editor, Healthline
  Written by Morgan Mandriota
August 24, 2022 • 5:30 min read
Doug and Leslie
With 3.7 million Instagram followers, an acting career, several published books, and a host of runway appearances (in designer digs, of course), Doug The Pug isn't just any dog influencer—he's the dog influencer. But there's more to this fluffball than a curly tail and snorty pug noises. Doug and his mom-ager Leslie take health and wellness very seriously. From visiting sick kids in children's hospitals to raising awareness for conditions like endometriosis, the pair know just how valuable your wellbeing is. Here's what they had to say about living well.
Q: It's clear from Doug's Instagram that living well is an art form. What are Doug's top tips for living a healthy life?
A: Always try to get a good night's sleep. Rest when you need to. Be kind to everyone. Drink lots of good quality water. Spend time in nature. Do what makes you happy.
Q: Leslie, research proves time and again how beneficial pets are to our health. How has Doug impacted your wellbeing?
A: Doug has impacted [me] in major ways. I've struggled for years with endometriosis, and Doug has helped me through two surgeries and many days of chronic pain. Dogs help regulate our nervous systems so much, and he always seems to know when I need his love the most. Even on days when I feel amazing, he makes me feel THAT much better!
Q: What's your go-to healthy snack and/or favorite healthy food?
A: Doug's favorite go-to healthy snacks are organic blueberries, organic baby carrots, and the occasional freeze-dried minnow.

My favorite snacks are sliced cucumbers with almond cream cheese and everything bagel seasoning on top, organic fruit, and guac with sliced veggies.
Pizza Doug
Q: Studies show that our health habits are mirrored by our pets (for example, a couch potato pet parent will have a couch potato dog). How do you and Doug work together to keep each other healthy?
A: We definitely have our resting on the couch moments, as we all do! But I make sure that each day we get Doug on a good walk and a chance for him to lay on the Earth and do some grounding. He absolutely loves our backyard.

We also work hard to make sure his diet is as fresh and healthy for him as possible. He sees an amazing vet, has an herbalist, and even gets acupuncture on occasion!

One of our favorite things to do with Doug is each morning when we wake up, we have some happy snuggle time with him. Starting our day off laughing and playing with Doug in bed always guarantees a happy start to the day.
Q: Leslie, what advice would you give to people who are on the fence about getting a dog because they think it's going to be too much work or too much responsibility?
A: I think it's important to be realistic about what having a dog will entail to make sure you can give them the best quality of life possible. But, if you have a lot of love to give and have a safe and healthy home for a pet to be in, I promise you it's worth it. Having a dog makes you feel the type of love and bond you didn't know to be possible, gets you outside more, and is just such a gift!
Q: Doug, what advice would you give to dogs about choosing a human?
A: When you know, you will know! And just like that, you've found your very best friend.
great finds
Products we love
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Robot Pets
Weird Science
Pets are great for your health — even robotic ones
Our fuzzy best friends make us happy, that's a given, but the long-lasting effects of pet ownership are more impressive than we expected—even for mechanical pets.

Research shows that dog owners typically live longer, pets can help you manage conditions like psoriatic arthritis, and they can even save your life! And now, a new study conducted among older adults with dementia suggests that robotic (yes, robotic) cats and dogs can benefit your memory and well-being, too.

More research is needed, but the results so far seem promising: When used in therapy, people living with dementia love holding, petting, and communicating with these fake furry friends. And they enjoy therapy sessions with robotic pets way more than sessions without them.

Service animals have been used in therapy settings and among people with mental and physical health conditions for ages. But with robotic animals becoming way more affordable and accessible, therapy with animals – either real or robotic – might just revolutionize mental healthcare.
health stories you need
What we're reading next
Are you ready to be a puppy parent? If our Doug the Pug interview inspired you to adopt a dog, you're not alone. Take Greatist's new quiz to find out if you're prepared to be a pet parent.
Cow hugging for mental health. OK, so maybe dogs aren't your thing. What about cows? If bovines are more your vibe, learn about how cow hugging can boost your mental health.
Eating Across America. The Healthline team has been cooking up some amazing food content. If you want meal ideas or entertaining expert interviews, check it out!
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*Based on results from 2021 & 2022 studies with MoreBetter. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Thanks for reading! We'd love to hear what you think of this new experience. Email us at to let us know your thoughts. See you next week!
Did you enjoy this interview?
Until next time,
Take care of yourself, and we'll see
you again soon!
This edition was powered by
animal lovers who are super
excited that it's finally
the weekend. TGIF!
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