Josh Billings said, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
We all, of course, know the saying that a dog is a man’s best friend.
This can also be confirmed by any dog owner:
– they are loyal,
– full of love,
– we can rely on them
– and always ready to mollycoddle.
Who wouldn’t want a friend with such traits?
What does scientific research say
However, scientific research has shown that dogs are much more than our loyal furry friends.
We recommend this book to get to know the relation dog man – Good Owners, Great Dogs
Living with a dog, science says, has the effect of improving cardiovascular health as well as increasing physical activity, leading to a decrease in blood cholesterol as well as lowering blood pressure.
However, in addition to getting us out of the house when we would rather be watching TV, dogs contribute to our health in numerous other ways.
Specifically, dogs make us more relaxed and give us a sense of security and support, which is one of the best allies in our daily battle against stress. In this way, dogs also help us overcome traumatic events.
What can we learn from dogs?
Dogs teach us to live in the present moment.
When a dog lies on the floor and sunbathes, he does just that – he enjoys a nice, warm day.
Lots of nice and true stories about dogs, their loyalty, affection, and love for people – Good Dog: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Loyalty
This teaches us that when, for example, we go for a walk, all we have to do is walk, without looking at the phone, typing messages, or thinking about problems at work.
Thus, these animals encourage us to rediscover the charms of life and existence, the charms we knew even in our childhood while being overwhelmed by work, we have not forgotten them.
Spending time with a dog, who by nature takes advantage of every opportunity given to him to engage his sense of sight, hearing or smell, can motivate us to do the same.
Try to follow your dog and focus on the sensations you feel in your body. Take a deep breath a few times and think about how you feel after this.
Engage your senses and enjoy what’s happening around you. And if you want to meditate with your dog, look for Petitations, a website founded by Elisabeth Paige, who also wrote a book on how to meditate with your pet.
We recommend the book – How to Meditate with Your Dog Improve the mental health of yourself and your dog by practicing this type of meditation
Dogs and stress reduction
Dogs also help us deal with stress. Specifically, recent research suggests that dogs will have a positive effect on our mental health if we bring them with us to work.
Accordingly, many companies provide pet-friendly environments to reduce the stress level on their employees.
Relieve your pets of stress, or at least reduce stress with the help of tips from the book – Low-Stress Handling Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs & Cats
Another social group that is constantly under stress is the students.
After the University of British Columbia brought in therapy dogs and gave students the opportunity to interact with them, the results were amazing.
Specifically, 246 students interviewed before and after the session were found to have lower levels of stress, as well as increased levels of satisfaction and energy, and this feeling persisted after 10 hours.
Dogs and compassion
When we talk about dogs, we should not forget their compassion.
Whenever war veteran Benjamin Stepp felt pain or nervous, his service dog would try to distract him by placing his paw on his foot.
If he did not respond, the dog would try to put his head in his lap. And if that didn’t work, the dog would put his paws on his shoulders.
This ability, called “emotional contagion”, has been increasingly the focus of various studies in recent years.
The latest findings from the University of Vienna reveal that dogs can sense emotions as well as differentiate between good and bad feelings. Sometimes perhaps more successful than humans, dogs give us comfort.
Mostly it is during traumatic experiences. An article in The Los Angeles Times discusses how young victims of sexual assault find solace in dog therapy provided by the Orange County prosecutor’s office.
The program, implemented in collaboration with a group called PANDA, aims to help children who have been victims of sexual assault when meeting with prosecutors to discuss a case.
Dogs and a sense of purpose
Another important role dogs play in our lives is that they give us a sense of purpose.
In Being Mortal Surgeon Atul Gawanda’s book, which talks about aging and medicine, the author reveals that people are happiest when they feel they have some purpose in life.
One chapter discusses how patients in a nursing home suffering from depression immediately noticed an improvement when they brought animals, plants, and children to the home.
The need to care for another being is often reason enough to get out of bed in the morning.
For many people, it is this feeling that someone needs and that some of them depend on, which helps in the difficult fight with depression.
Dogs and socialization
Dogs also encourage socialization. Just remember how many times you stopped and talked to other dog owners while your pets were getting to know each other.
We recommend a great book in which you will learn how to socialize your rocks in the right way – Puppy Socialization: An Insider’s Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness
So, simply walking your pet can help you meet other people in the neighborhood and beyond. Research shows that people in strollers who walk dogs talk much more than those who do not have dogs.
This is very important because people with disabilities often encounter unpleasant reactions such as avoiding glances, distancing, and brief interactions with other people.
These studies prove that guide dogs, in addition to other important roles, increase opportunities for socializing.
Dogs reduce feelings of loneliness and depression
And finally, dogs reduce the feeling of loneliness and depression.
Although we are connected to everyone through social networks, loneliness, caused by physical separation, is spreading like an epidemic, and dogs are the only creatures that support us at times like this.
Also, research shows that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression.
Gary Christenson, chief medical officer at the University of Minnesota, says that the soothing presence, as well as the connection between us and our pets, is very important. He adds that pets successfully deflect depressed people.
So, in this long list of things to thank our dogs for, there is certainly at least one reason to (if you haven’t already) find yourself a new pal for your summer walks, to be cared for, and to be cared for with the greatest pleasure about you. What are you waiting for? Get the dog!