Is coming home to your four-legged friend a highlight of your everyday?
If so, it’s safe to say that you’re certainly not alone. In fact, over 97 percent of owners consider their dog as a member of their family. In many households, the dog eats, sleeps and maintains their health just as well as their human companions!
After all, any dog-owner knows firsthand just how strong the bond between human and dog really is. It’s safe to say that there’s a reason that a dog is known to be a man’s best friend.
But, if you want to learn more about the science and history behind the bond with your dog, this one’s for you. Read on to discover the ten ways that dogs make our lives happier and healthier. From boosting our immune system to having the ability to read our physical emotions, it’s easy to conclude that dogs are incredible creatures.
1. Dogs Depend on Us
It’s safe to say that there are many differences between cats and dogs.
The most apparent difference is that contact with their owners is fundamental to a dog’s well-being. This is as compared to cats who are happy to exist mostly on their own within a domesticated setting.
The reason that humans and dogs can find such a strong bond is this mutual dependence. Just as we depend on our dog for company, affection and safety, they depend on us for love and attention that goes well beyond mere survival.
2. Dogs Can Provide Therapy
Dogs are unique in that they have the specialized ability to provide therapy.
This is both in terms of physical therapy such as guiding the blind as well as emotional therapy such as reducing stress and anxiety. Service dogs even have the ability to detect anything from anxiety attacks and seizures to retrieving their owner’s medication.
3. Dogs Understand Us
When you say sit and your dog follows this command, this isn’t just an instance of luck.
This is because dogs actually have the ability to understand certain words that we are saying. In fact, some studies have found that dogs have the ability to understand approximately 250 unique words.
When dogs and humans are able to connect through spoken word, the connection becomes even more sacred.
4. Dogs Miss Us
For anyone that has a dog, you know firsthand just how excited your furry friend becomes when you first walk through the door.
This is because our dogs genuinely miss us when we are absent. In fact, some dogs even develop such strong separation anxiety from their owners that medication is required.
Just as your dog knows when it’s time for dinner or a morning walk, they also know how long you’ve been gone. When the hours begin to pile on, their longing for human contact begins to become more and more intense. Once reunited, your dog is over-the-top happy and relieved to be back in your presence.
5. Dogs Help to Improve Immunity
Who knew that having a furry companion could actually boost our immunity?
Studies have found that living with dogs helps to decrease the risk of asthma and allergies in children. In fact, this can even begin to develop early as when a child is in the womb.
While the reason for this decreased risk has not been entirely proven, scientists do have a general idea. Many believe that the bacteria carried by dogs helps to boost the immune system during the developmental years.
6. Dogs Provide Support
Have you ever felt that your dog makes you feel better in a way that no human could?
While humans have the ability to communicate via words and language, dogs have a different ability. When you’re feeling under the weather, a dog has the unique ability to sense this sadness.
When negative feelings are traced, many dogs seek comfort and closeness with the owners. This is their way of providing comfort and support in moments of sadness or pain.
7. Dogs Love Mutual Exercise
Just as you love to socialize with friends and family, dogs love to socialize with their owners.
This is often done through exercise and simple activities with your beloved fur baby. A dog and the owner connect through participating in physical activities together.
The fact of the matter is that your dog needs to stay healthy and so do you. So, why not work together and combine this mutual desire for health?
8. Dogs Help to Reduce Stress
Have you ever felt the stress melt away from your shoulders after interacting with your dog?
If you’re nodding your head, science is acting in your favor. In fact, studies have proven that interactions with dogs can help to reduce stress levels. Even just playing with a dog or petting a dog has been known to increase the production of stress-reducing hormones.
9. Dogs Comprehend Our Physical Emotions
There’s a reason that when we smile our dogs smile back at us.
This is because dogs have the ability to read and react to human emotions. When a human is sad, a dog is able to pick up on this expression even without sound. When a human is smiling, a dog is able to understand this is a positive thing.
Our dogs can also connect our smell to our current emotions and current state. For example, if a dog picks up on perspiration, they may connect this smell to their owner feeling nervous or fearful.
10. Dogs Crave Our Smell
Did you know that your dog is able to differentiate your smell for anyone else?
The intensity of a dog’s sense of smell plays into their affection toward their owners. Having that sense of smell present allows a dog to feel more relaxed and more at home. This is especially true when the owner is absent both short-term or long-term.
The connection between these senses allows a dog to feel more relaxed and develop a more intense connection with their owner.
Bond with Your Dog
Today, over 68 percent of American households have a pet dog.
While having a dog is surely a fun addition to many families, the perks of dog ownership go well beyond family fun. Not only can dogs help to boost our overall happiness and benefit our physical health, but they also demonstrate the incredible bond between human and dog.
Studies have found that the earliest remains of humans and dogs found together were over 14,000 years ago. This means that humans have chosen to be buried with their dogs for all of these years. When we consider the longevity of this relationship, it’ll come as no surprise to you that your bond with your dog is so strong.
If you love reading about the benefits of dogs, be sure to bookmark our favorite dog stories.