Dogs make us better, it’s a fact and one that even science supports. If you have a dog you already know what we’re talking about.
Humans have a very special relationship with dogs. We have a history that goes back more than 18,000 years and they were one of the first domesticated animals in history.
Scientists have proof that dogs make us laugh more than cats (sorry cat people - can’t argue with science), they reduce our chances of depression and keep you from morphing into a human sloth.
So what are some cold hard facts about owning a dog?
You’ll Laugh More
Dogs Are Loyal
With the origin of dogs reaching backbetween 18,800 and 32,100 years ago, dogs are seriously loyal creatures. If you’ve ever owned a dog this one hits home without even trying.
“A dog is the only thing on Earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” - Josh Billings
You Have A More Active Social Life
“I'm suspicious of people who don't like dogs, but I trust a dog when it doesn't like a person.”
― Bill Murray
Dogs can be the catalyst for new friendships as well as keeping your social life thriving. Onestudy showed that dog owners had closer/more supportive relationships with the people in their lives. In the UK, a study found that dog owners got out of their houses more (daily walks anyone?) and find common ground with new people (dog farts are hilarious guys).
You’ll Be More Active
From weightloss to general fitness, dogs are there to help once again. It'srecommendedthat adults get about 2 hours and 30 minutes worth of moderate exercise per week and dog owners are more likely to hit that goal! Keeping regularly active also helps us remain more mobile into our older age. Need more science??Research shows that elderly people who walk their dogs actually have a more regular exercise routine and are more physically fit than the elderly who walk with other people (you can’t say no to a dog, but you can take or leave Bob next door).
You’ll Have Better Heart Health
Just petting a dog lowers your heart rate and blood pressure. Everything about owning a dog lends itself to better heart health. There are plenty ofstudies that have found that dog owners are more likely to have a healthier heart and are even more likely to survive a heart attack compared to non-dog owners.
Dogs Keep Us Healthy
Dogs generally keep you healthy, whether it’s heart health, reducing allergies or boosting your immune system. Our germ riddled friends expose us to diverse bacteria which means you get sick less often and less severely than people with no dogs. Children who grow up with dogs are far less likely to develop allergies.Microbiome published a study that found expecting mothers who lived with dogs during pregnancy had children who tested for two bacterias: Ruminococcus and Oscillospira, that reduced the risk of common allergies, asthma, obesity and were less likely to develop eczema.
Bonus, dog owners tend to also have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
Is there nothing dogs don’t do????
Dogs Save Lives
We’ve all heard the stories of dogs alerting owners to cancer, cause it’s true, dogs can detect cancer. Thescience behind it has led to dogs now beingtrained to detect cancer. Dogs can even act as early warning systems for people who suffer from seizures and other medical conditions.
Dogs help fight stress and depression
Our mental health is no different. Dogs owners are less likely to be depressed and caring for a dog helps relieve symptoms of depression. There have also been plenty of studies that show how dogs decrease our overall stress.
Dogs Give Us Purpose
Dogs are great companions and this is especially important as we grow older. Dogs help give our day structure and meaning which can be particularly important for the elderly. In fact, dogs benefit the elderly in many ways. A study showed that Alzheimer’s patients that live with a dog have few outbursts and are less stressed.
Your Kids Will Be Better Humans
Studies show that barking dogs do in fact deter burglars. They’re basically an adorable home security system.
Dogs Make You Genuinely Happy
The list goes on and on, but owning a dog is just flat out amazing. They are a constant source of laughter, love and happiness. Just the simple act of making eye contact with your dog is enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy. Too touchy-feely? Well don’t worry, there’s astudy for that. The study measured oxytocin (the feel-good chemical) levels in two groups of dog owners and the group that was allowed to make eye contact had higher levels of oxytocin.
They’re like some magical hairy little creatures that we aren’t deserving of and simply put, dogs are the best.
While owning a dog is a wonderful experience, it’s also a big responsibility and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re thinking about getting your first dog, consider fostering for a few weeks to understand what it’s really like. Do your due diligence and get a dog that’s right for your lifestyle, then be prepared to fall deeply in love with something that licks its own butt.