Most of us consider dogs a member of our families, and we even get them to pose with us for Christmas card pictures and other special events. Pups just make life better. They comfort us when we need it, snuggle with us when we’re sad, and get so excited to see us after we’re gone all day at work.
Some people say dogs are angels sent to Earth to remind us how to love, and perhaps that’s true. Dogs give unconditional love; they don’t care how much money we make or what kind of car we drive.
In these uncertain times, dogs have become an even more excellent source of comfort. Many people are enjoying their time off work or working from home because they get to see their beloved dogs more! And, we’re sure the dogs love all the extra attention, too.
If you’re struggling during the COVID-19 outbreak, animals provide an excellent way to deal with stress naturally. Just a few minutes of cuddling with your dogs on the couch can relieve depression and anxiety. With that said, we’ll go over some more ways our pets can help us get through these tough times.
Here are ten reasons dogs really are our best friend:
They give us comfort and support
When you cuddle up on the couch or bed with your pooch, you can just feel the tension and stress in your body melt away. Animals have very healing energy about them, perhaps because they don’t require anything from us except primary care. They love us unconditionally, even in our worst moments. Just simply listening to our dog’s breathing or caressing their fur can bring about immense feelings of comfort.
We all have to deal with the uncertainty of these times in different ways, but if you have a dog, make sure to give him or her some extra love! It will surely make both of you feel more at ease and better able to handle any curve balls life throws your way.
They help us sleep better
Science shows that people sleep better when their pet joins them. Especially during the virus outbreak, many of us have been losing sleep and having more nightmares, but our pets can get us through it.
According to a survey of pet owners by the American Pet Products Association, almost 50% of dogs sleep in their parent’s beds. The study found that 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs, and 32% of large dogs sleep alongside their owners most nights. Of course, some people don’t like their dogs sleeping with them in bed because they take up so much room, but if you have a smaller dog, you likely won’t notice a difference.
While people have differing opinions about sleeping with their dogs, science provides evidence that it can benefit people. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes that sleeping with our dogs can keep us calm and lower stress levels.
If you’ve been feeling more stressed lately, invite your furry friend to sleep beside you. You’ll likely wake up feeling more refreshed and emotionally at ease.
They benefit us emotionally
Most dogs can sense when their owners don’t feel right, either physically or emotionally. Dogs are one of the smartest animals on Earth and pick up on people’s emotions quite easily. There’s a reason why dogs are used as therapy animals in a variety of settings, from nursing homes to mental health clinics. Dogs help calm people down and give us emotional support without saying a word.
Dogs simply understand us and want nothing more than to give us comfort. When you feel stressed, turn off the news for a while and enjoy some cuddle sessions with your dogs. Or, bring them outside for a walk – the fresh air and bonding time with your pets will immediately ease your mind and heart during this difficult time.
They provide warmth.
Both physically and mentally, a pup can bring some much-needed warmth into our hearts. Cuddling with humans is excellent too, but there’s just something about snuggling up to our pets on a cold winter night. As warm-blooded creatures, dogs give off a lot of heat, and along with their need to cuddle up with us at all times, it’s hard not to smile at them. The sense of comfort dogs bring us might have something to do with the warmth we feel when cuddling with them.
Dogs make us healthier.
Numerous studies have shown that dogs help keep our health in check. Some health benefits touted by scientists include a lower risk of heart and cardiovascular disease, increased longevity, and decreased risk of allergies and asthma in kids.
One study conducted by researchers at the International Clinical Research Center at St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno found that people who owned dogs got more exercise and, therefore, had better health. The study looked at the health of three groups of people: those who owned canines, those who had other types of pets, and people who didn’t own any pets.
“In general, people who owned any pet were more likely to report more physical activity, better diet, and blood sugar at an ideal level. The greatest benefits from having a pet were for those who owned a dog, independent of their age, sex and education level,” said Andrea Maugeri, Ph.D., a researcher with the International Clinical Research Center at St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno.
While health is a top concern for most people during this time, only going for a jog around the block with your pooch can help boost your immunity and health.
Dogs make us feel safer.
Especially if you live alone, dogs can ease your mind about intruders and health concerns. Most dogs have a sixth sense when something is wrong with their owner and will come to your aid when you feel sick. If you live with others, dogs can get the attention of other members of the household if something is wrong. Also, dogs can alert us about trespassers on our property, especially when we’re at our most vulnerable at night while we’re asleep.
They never turn down an invitation to hang out.
How many times have you asked your friends to hang out, and they say they’re “too busy” or “too tired?” Probably more than you can count. However, if you find yourself bored out of your mind during the lockdown, your pup will always be there to play with you! Whether it’s a simple game of fetch or chasing after each other in the yard, your pup will cherish every moment of playtime they get with you. With many of us home from work during this time, this is the perfect opportunity to bond with our pups and create new memories together.
Dogs give companionship and greatly benefit the elderly.
If you know an older person or couple struggling to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak, why not offer to bring your dog over for a bit? You can always stand outside while they pet the dog for a bit, and this makes a great way to help out during the crisis.
Dogs help to reduce anxiety and depression and especially help the elderly with feelings of loneliness and confusion. They provide companionship for the elderly dealing with conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, a study found.
The study involved 56 residents from two suburban Maryland nursing homes. It found that the duration and frequency of positive body language and communication (smiles, leaning in, verbalization, looking forward, etc.) increased, and negative feelings decreased in Alzheimer’s patients who also owned dogs. They also had fewer mood swings and less aggression than patients who did not own a pet.
Dogs consider us their family, too.
Yes, dogs consider us family just as much as we do them. A group of scientists at Emory University put dogs in an MRI machine. Before scanning their brains, the canines had to smell different scents. Some aromas came from other animals, some from food, and others from their owners.
The scan showed that reward centers in the dog’s brains lit up most when they smelled familiar scents from their owners, showing that dogs consider their human relationships a top priority.
They just make us smile.
There’s a reason why we can watch hours of funny pet videos on Facebook and never get bored. Dogs just have a way of melting our hearts because of their unconditional love and adorable personalities. Dogs just make life so much better.
Final thoughts about why dogs are our best friends
Dogs give us support mentally, physically, and emotionally. They keep our beds warm at night, help us get outdoors and keep us healthy, and lower our stress during difficult times. What’s not to love about our favorite furry friends?