Experiencing a true bond with a dog can be uplifting and wonderful and unique. However, the more you look into it, the more extraordinary it becomes. Here are a few facts about our bond with our canine companions that will blow your mind.
They de-stress us
Plenty of anecdotal evidence supports that dogs help improve mood. However, researchers have found they even decrease the blood pressure response to stress, meaning that they do effectively cut down the impact of stress on our body. This is even more true in highly stressful situations
They help our immune system
Though some people are allergic to dogs, living with them actually decreases your risk of developing an allergy. This also goes for other immune conditions like hay fever and asthma. Of course, that won’t help someone who is allergic to dogs but being around dogs doesn’t mean you’re more likely to develop that allergy, it’s just the opposite.
They reduce our risk of obesity
From playing to walking to simply getting us to take care of their needs throughout the day, dog owners live a more active lifestyle than those without. This has a wide range of health benefits, but reducing the risk of obesity is a key one.
They’re good for the heart
In part thanks to better stress management and more physical activity, dog owners tend to have healthier hearts. Less risk of heart disease and heart attacks, and better post-heart attack outcomes are all more common in dog owners.
They make us more health conscious
A lot of pet owners are getting more conscious of how they look after the health of their pets. Including ensuring they get the physical activity they need and choosing healthier foods, which you can find more info on here, we take their health seriously. However, the adoption of healthy habits for a pet’s sake can also translate to greater awareness of our own health habits.
They may be disease radars
We’ve all heard the stories of dogs catching cancerous tumours and other life-threatening illnesses, which are easy to chalk up as a fanciful story. However, at least one study has found that dogs can reliably sniff out organic compounds that are signs of disease, which means that their diagnosing ability could be legit.
They can dull our pain
Dogs have been used as therapy animals specifically for highly painful chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. In such situations, they’ve been noted to actually decrease the feeling of pain in patients.
They feed off your love
Some studies have shown that dogs prioritise praise over almost everything, including choosing it when they also have the option of getting a treat!
They recognise a lot more communication than you might expect
Sure, say “treats” and your canine companion will immediately stand to attention. But they can actually be much smarter than we give them credit for, with an ability to understand up to 250 gestures and words. That’s not even covering the breadth of their emotional understanding.
They’re designed to be our companions
Humans bred dogs into domestication, so much so that sociable pet dogs have actual genetic mutations in their DNA that make them more interested in people. Our history with dogs might all be down to a lucky genetic quirk we managed to cultivate.