Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Adventures in Pure Health Element #2 Sunshine

Woof, woof, it's your resident Earth Doggy Miyuki here, back after a long hiatus. I've been spending less time in front of the computer, and more time outside in the fresh air and SUNSHINE! I feel so much better when I am outside in nature on a sunshiney day. A walk at sunrise and sunset is essential for doggy health and happiness. We are crepuscular creatures, which means we are naturally most active at dawn and dusk.

Most of you wouldn't know that I used to share my home turf with a sunshine afficionado. Chevi the Princess Pittie LOVED the sun. She could lie out on our back deck in the hot sun for hours, soaking up its rays.

We all know that sunshine is essential for life. But what is it about the sun that makes us so happy? Chevi was always at her most calm, relaxed and happy when she had had a good run chasing rabbits in our local sand dunes, then cooled off in some fresh pure ocean water, before lazing about in the sunshine for hours afterward.

The sun has been given a bad rap over the last few decades with all the skin cancer press. Certainly many pets do suffer with skin cancers, with animals that sunbake for hours, or animals with pale skin and fur, being higher risk. My coat is nice and thick so my skin is well-protected, and I moderate my sun exposure naturally very well as I get too hot if I lie about in it for long.

But I have noticed many benefits from the sun that are essential for pure health:
1. Sunshine makes us more playful
I always feel up for a romp on a sunny day, and less inclined to go outside when the weather is gloomy and grey. Even though I don't need to worry about packing a raincoat or umbrella like you humans do, it's still easier to be active when the sun is shining! Having said that, a dance in the rain is always good fun too!

2. Sunshine makes for more restful sleep
Time spent in the sunshine promotes a natural circadian rhythmn and increases melatonin levels, promoting deep, restful sleep.

3. Sunshine makes us happy
Sunshine boosts endorphins and serotonin levels, which are mood-altering hormones that help make us happy and improve our sense of well-being.

4. Sunshine actually helps prevent many cancers!
Sunshine promotes Vitamin D production in the body, which is necessary for bone health, immune system function, and has protective functions in the body. Nasty cancers like bowel cancer are less likely when sunshine exposure is adequate.

5. Sunshine makes it easier to go camping!
My family loves to go camping, but hates packing up camp in the rain, so a sunny weather forecast means we can go off on an adventure. We are discovering more campgrounds that are dog-friendly. We recently stayed at Scotts Head Caravan Park, which borders on a beautiful beach that is also dog-friendly from the last entrance point north.

If your human family want to learn more about travelling with dogs in tow, the 'Travel Dogs Australia' blog has lots of helpful info.

And don't forget to pack some nice eco-friendly toys to play with, like an Orbee Ball (one of our guest blogger Jet's favourite toys) or Zoom Flyer, available from Roar Kingdom.

So get out there and enjoy the sunshine before winter is upon us!