Dogs have evolved from being a man’s best friend to being a proud member of the family. They are loyal, protective, and love greeting you when you come home, said Jessica Orwig of Business Insider, a business website. Dogs have been domesticated for over 18,000 years so it’s no surprise that they enjoy human companionship. Pooches make us healthy— physically or mentally— and feel loved more than other animals. Not convinced? There are valid reasons why dogs are the best pet for you.
Dogs Are Man’s Best Friends and Members of the Family
Merrick Pet Care and The Harris Poll surveyed more than 1,000 owners, revealing that 62% of pet owners had bought their dogs holiday gifts whereas 54% celebrated their dog’s birthdays, cited Dog Time, a source of dog breeds, pet adoption, and expert pet advice. 43% took their pets on vacation with them and 73% allowed their dogs on the furniture. Likewise, 66% allowed their pooches to sleep on the bed. 25% of owners bought cars or homes with their dogs in mind while 17% had carried or pushed their dogs in strollers even if they could walk by themselves.
A survey by SpotOn Virtual Smart Fence, a dog containment and tracking system, found that 98% of dog owners consider their dogs as members of the family. They are a part of the family because the dogs slept in a family member’s bed (50%) and in a family member’s bedroom (32%). Some owners are taking pet parenting to the next level, as 82% of owners were worried about their dog’s safety when out of sight and 56% said they expected caregiver to send texts, photos, and/or emails about their dog when they are away from home.
This is helicopter parenting since owners express their worries about their pet’s safety and doing everything they can to keep in touch with the caregivers. 71% of owners said they are generally nervous about the safety of their pet, with the biggest concerns stemming from nearby cars and traffic, the potential for another canine to hurt their dog, and their pet running away or getting off leash. 60% of respondents said they are not comfortable letting their dog off leash in unfenced areas. It’s a great move since only 39% of dogs always come when called. Further, only 19% perceived their pet as excellently trained. New Yorkers were the most confident, as 63% of New York dog owners rated their dog’s training as good or excellent along with 62% of Chicagoans and 58% of Philadelphians.
48% of dog owners relied on parks and recreation for outdoor activities with their pet canine. The New York metropolitan area has an edge when it comes to dog-friendly amenities, with 71% of respondents having access to dog parks, outdoor areas, and dog-friendly stores and eateries. 86% of dog parents felt welcomed at their friends and family’s homes, but 37% reported the inconvenience of traveling with their pet and skipping the trip due to difficulty. 59% said they have never stayed overnight in a hotel compared to 13% of those who always travel with their dogs for overnight stays.
Why Dogs Make the Best Pets
1. Life-Changing Bond
Can dogs help people keep away from vices? Yes! Recovering addict Stephen Knight explained, “The bond between man and dog is something that can really cure a lot of emptiness,” quoted Dana McMahan of NBC Better, a website that helps readers transform their life. For Knight, getting a dog eight months into recovery was life-changing, as it taught him how to trust and forge a relationship. He added that drinking and drugs fill a void in him, but dogs can replace that void and his vices with love.
This can be attributed to the strong animal-human bond that helps people feel good and loved whenever they touch, hear, or talk to their companion animals, said Rebecca A. Johnson, Ph.D., director of the Research Center for Human Animal Interaction at University of Missouri. Beneficial neurohormones are produced, trigger a person’s sense of joy, nurturing, happiness, and good will. The bond between dogs and humans also helps suppress cortisol or the stress hormone and reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. This helps people feel more relaxed and manage stress in a way that does not jeopardize one’s health.
2. More Social and Active
Carri Westgarth and colleagues of BMC Veterinary Research, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal focusing on veterinary science and medicine, found that UK residents with dogs were more likely to meet other dogs and dog owners than those who did not own one. This is because dog owners are more likely to go for outdoor doors, increasing their chances of meeting other owners during their strolls. Not only do they help people socializes, but dogs also make wonderful exercise buddies. For example, Pamela R. Cangelosi and Jeanne M. Sorrel of Pub Med, a repository of scientific literature, found that seniors who walk their dogs have a more regular exercise routine and are more physically fit than those who walk with other people.
3. Life Savers
In Florida, a cat named Buttercup was saved thanks to a blood transfusion from a dog, reported Chelsea Harvey of Business Insider. Some canines have a universal blood donor type. The veterinarian used the dog’s blood to save Buttercup. Did you know that dogs can act as an early warning system for patients suffering from seizures? These canines are trained to sense the onset of a seizure up to 15 minutes before it happens. When a seizure occurs, the dogs will bark to prompt the patient to sit to prevent injury from collapsing. However, no one knows how a dog knows when a seizure is about to come.
4. Easier to Train
Cats can be trained, but it’s not easy to train one unlike a dog, said Jenna Stregowski, RVT, of The Spruce Pets, a pet website. Cats get tired of training sessions and walk away, even if they are food-motivated. But it’s a different story with dogs— they love to be trained. Training gives dogs a sense of purpose and is motivated with food and attention.
Both dogs and cats are awesome. Choosing to get either one depends on your lifestyle and preferences.