Dogs are actually a woman’s best friend

Dogs are man’s best friend, right? Wrong! New research from Washington State University (WSU) dispels this long-held theory.

In a cross-cultural anthropologic study, WSU researchers analysed 8000 descriptions of dogs interacting with humans in 144 societies globally. They examined writings across various centuries, starting as far back as Imperial Rome in 79 CE.

“The research found that dogs’ relationships with women may have had a greater impact on the dog-human bond than relationships with men,” says Seugnette van Wyngaard, Head of 1st for Women Insurance.

According to Jaime Chambers, who has a PhD in Anthropology at WSU, dogs are usually treated with more affection when there is a female owner. Jaime added that humans were more likely to regard dogs as a type of a person if the dogs had a special relationship with women. “They were more likely to be included in family life, treated as subjects of affection and generally, people had greater regard for them.”

The relationship between dogs and their female owners is mutually beneficial. In another study, it was found that simply petting a dog lowers the stress hormone cortisol and owning a pet can decrease the likelihood of allergies in children by up to 33 per cent. 

“Before taking advantage of this win-win relationship, it’s important to be realistic about whether you can afford to look after your pet’s medical needs, ensuring that they have access to quality care when they need it most,” says van Seugnette who recently launched 1st for Women pet insurance.

She points out that even new puppies or kittens could incur substantial medical costs in the first year alone through initial vaccinations, deworming, neutering, tick and flea treatment, microchipping and vet consultations, which typically cost around R600 to R700 per consultation.

“Not to mention the soaring costs related to other health problems and emergencies, where something like cruciate ligament surgery could potentially cost as much as R30 000. This makes pet insurance something that pet moms and dads simply can’t be without.”

1st for Women shares a few questions that you should ask when you buy pet insurance:  

  • Is one of the conditions that my pet must have a microchip?
  • Are there any age exclusions?
  • What is the waiting period on the policy?
  • Am I restricted to using a particular vet or can I use any vet of my choice?
  • What is the excess payable when I make a claim?
  • Do you cover common breed conditions?
  • Do you apply sub-limits within your annual maximum cover? Sub-limits could be applied to things such as consultation fees, hospitalisation, procedures (x-rays, surgery), and blood tests.
  • Do you have a maximum limit per claim?
  • Do you offer chronic support care for ongoing conditions?

• Must dental care claims come off your routine care benefit?

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