Anyone who has ever owned or loved a dog knows how hard it can be to live without one, which could be why there are 89.7 million dogs living in U.S. households. As much as dogs may like us because of the vast number of things we do for them, rest assured that it is a two-way street when you own a dog.
It is true that your dog depends on your care to survive, but what most people don’t realize is that dogs also take care of us. Many studies have shown the benefits linked to owning a dog, especially when it comes to a person’s mental and physical well-being. Here’s how:
Dogs Can Strengthen Bonds Between Human Beings
According to recent studies from Tufts University’s school of veterinary medicine, people that have excellent connections to dogs are more likely to have healthy social relationships. This is because, whenever you become attached to a dog, you naturally end up learning how to be more confident and empathetic. As a result, your relationship with your dog may translate into an improved ability to relate to and connect with the people around you.
Dogs Will Generally Make You Happier
Interacting with dogs comes with the extra benefit of evoking positive emotions. In fact, some of the hormones that are responsible for eliciting positive feelings—such as oxytocin—are significantly raised by continuous interaction with dogs. It even reaches a point where the only interaction you’ll need to “feel happy” is to stare into your dog’s eyes. Based on a study by Azabu University in Japan, people that look into a dog`s eyes for a long time usually get a more prominent oxytocin dose, which results in them feeling happier.
Dogs have a tendency of connecting with humans via eye contact, which is one of the main psychological differences between dogs and wolves. For this reason, you might want to consider crafting a dog-friendly house that allows you to be even closer to your dog and increase the happiness in your home.
A Dog's Face Can Craft a Caretaker Out of You
Have you ever wondered why you experience some “motherly feelings” when you look into your puppy’s face? You’re definitely not alone. A dog’s face possesses qualities known as “baby schema,” which refers to canine features that have evolved to be considered cute by the average person. Such features include big eyes, a high forehead, floppy ears, and short snouts. By focusing on these features, they end up acting as “social releasers” that can work to spark the human caregiver response that makes you work tirelessly to ensure that your dog is comfortable and healthy.
For Better or Worse, Dogs Will Propel You to Become More Social
Part of owning a dog means regularly engaging in necessary outdoor activities, such as walks. While performing these activities, you will likely end up interacting more with other people, especially if the areas you choose to walk your dog are highly populated. And of course, it can be difficult for people to refrain from saying hello when you have a chubby and cute puppy bouncing by your side. You may be surprised with how easily some of these simple-looking social interactions can end up changing your day or even your life for better.
You Learn How to Get Over Negative Situations Quickly
We all know not to dwell on negative emotions because of the unhealthy effects it can have on the mind and the body. Dogs are great at doing things that will test your patience, but you have to learn how to roll with the punches to be a good dog owner. Within a short time, those puppy eyes will help you learn how to forgive and forget.
Dogs Can Prevent Your Child from Developing Eczema
Children that have known allergies to dogs but have lived with at least one dog during the early years of life often develop immunity against chronic skin conditions such as eczema by the time they get to four years of age. This is one of the leading advantages of owning a dog instead of a cat while raising children. In fact, the opposite is true when it comes to cat ownership. Children that have cat allergies are 13 times more likely to develop skin conditions like eczema if they grow up around cats within the first year of life.
Dogs have a reputation as man’s best friend due to their undying loyalty to their loved ones, but that isn’t their only strong suit. There are myriads of other positive qualities linked to dog ownership, and for those who have experienced some of these benefits, it becomes difficult to live without them.
Do you own a dog? How has your dog changed your life? Tell us in the comments.
Bio: Jake Lester is essay writer that is fond of writing cause and effect paper topics about various spheres of life. The most recurring themes he covers are education, writing, and marketing. He has his own writing style and this is why he is appreciated by readers. You may look through Facebook, Twitter & Google+.