Man's Best Friend
By Raymond Shipley
Man's best friend has been with us for tens of thousands of years, and for good reason. Once domesticated, man and dog were an unbeatable team that worked together to survive and thrive, each playing a role benefitting the other. Through these thousands of years the two species have become so interconnected a household without a dog just seems to be missing something. Here are a few reasons every family should have a dog.
Less Getting Sick
Among the various benefits of having a family dog is the amount of germs and bacteria our canine friends carry. With the new craze of disinfecting everything around us, family members are more likely to get sick. Our bodies need to build immunities to germs by being exposed to them and, of course, fighting them off. Studies conclude having a dog in the home leads to fewer illnesses than having a cat or no pet at all. Children that grow up with a dog are also less likely to develop allergies as they grow up.
People with dogs are happier. There are always exceptions to the rule, but by-and-large having a dog leads to a happier life. The routine of caring for, feeding and cleaning after a dog forces one to get up and move about. In addition, even the act of looking at your dog raises Oxytocin in the body, causing a "feel-good" sensation. The stereotype of the "grumpy cat lady" is counterbalanced by the stereotype of the happy family with a dog.
Healthy Body, Healthy Heart
Having a dog in the family has been proven to improve heart health and force one to exercise more. Simply petting the family dog lowers heart rate and blood pressure. Moreover, unlike other pets, dogs need to be walked, which means someone has to walk them. The positive effects a dog has on health cannot be understated.
Good For Children
Studies have found that children who grow up with a dog in the family have greater self-esteem, cognitive development, empathy and are more adept at taking on new responsibilities. Many dogs are natural protectors of their home and family as well. Another layer of defense added to the home and hearth is reason alone to include a dog in the family. The dog as a member of the family is invaluable for everyone.
It is no wonder man and dog have developed such an inseparable relationship over the years. Other pets may have their place in and around the home, but no animal could ever replace the dog. Truly man's best friend.