September 14th, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I think I had maybe two phrases that carried me from about age 2 to age maybe 16 (when I promptly added the obligatory third phrase involving driving):

ONE: if my sister can do it why can’t I do it too [because she’s older than me]


I’ve never gotten over either one of them, quite frankly.

But this study would have made me even more preposterous on that second issue.  (The dog issue.)  Every time my parents wanted me to go out and stop irritating them or otherwise entertain myself I could have shown them the results of this study, and explained to them how important exercise is for kids.

It would have been AWESOME.

Researchers studied 618 pairs of adolescents (12.5-17.5 years old) and parents for about 18 months to get the data.  They looked at how active the kids were on a daily and weekly basis.

The families with dogs in their homes and lives were much more active, and correspondingly I presume healthy, than those without a pet in their home.  (The study mentions dogs in particular and pets in general so I do too.)


It wasn’t necessarily that the kids were in charge of walking the dog (I mean for real how often does THAT happen).  It was the fact that the dog was around that got people off the couch to feed, water, clean up, open the door, close the door, find the ball in the backyard, throw the ball, hide the leash, bend down to pet, bend down to scoop and bag, kneel to hug, crouch to defend against love attacks, dry off with a towel after the sprinklers went on at the new time, and on and on and on.

I’m telling you:  We all, every single one of us living with and those living without diabetes need to be as active every single moment of every single day as we can manage.

If we get a bunch of CRAZY FUZZY LOVE at the same time, we score bigger than a rock star.  No joke.

So who’s going to adopt a new fitness friend?!  Let’s go, Mom and Dad!!  I’m ready!!

She doesn't look like she would make me more active... but she does!! (on one of her white mats!)

(I also must be completely fair and say that my cats get me off the couch just as much as I think a dog would.

They chase each other and crash into things and I need to go check what broke.  They want dinner.  They want breakfast.  They want to see who is doing something outside and they look so curious that makes ME curious too.  Gracie will see us coming and race to a white mat and expect to be petted on that mat.
George will jump onto the bed and want to be brushed.  Yes, we cater to them.  Yes, they have us convinced we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We are so lucky!)

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  1. Becky says:

    We are cat people too… but our 7 year old (who also is Type 1) has absolutely become dog crazy. My husband gets so crazy about her (and our other kids) that he’s been extensively researching the best kind of dog for our family. How do you personally feel about the value of sugar-sniffing dogs (professionally trained or not)? Have you heard of many that have been helpful in preventing night-time lows? Thanks! This post helps push me a step closer to wanting a dog as well :)

  2. I personally think dogs for diabetics, when professionally trained, are incredible. I have been hesitant to get one for myself because I live in a small place with 2 cats and I go on average 6.5 places every day and work in other people’s homes, etc. not to mention the fact I run such long distances and the dog wouldn’t be able to work with me then–I don’t think it would be necessarily safe for a dog to go everywhere with me.
    BUT I have known a few and have been with them at a graduation from training, and have been low at that event, and had about 7 dogs alerting their owners for MY low. ;) Awesome. I have a friend with one and she feels the dog has opened more doors for her than she ever thought; she has someone completely nonjudgmental on her side to help her with her (severe) lows.
    If night time lows are something you are aware of and if your 7 year old could handle having a service dog that goes everywhere all the time, maybe it’s worth a conversation with a professional! I’ve blogged about the subject in the past as well and invite you to check it out: http://blog.diabetesoutside.com/?p=353

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