In today’s modern plugged-in world that unfolds on so many screens rather than in real life, many people feel increasingly isolated. Pressures at work seem to have no end, and we are increasingly encouraged to stay plugged into so many social media outlets. Friendships with people seem to be based on clicks rather than genuine connections.
With so much noise around us, how can we find an authentic companion who loves us simply for who we are?
For so many the answer is obvious. Our dogs are our best friends. They explode into wiggles when we come home. They are thrilled to get in the car with us. They do not care about petty squabbles or unsubstantial gossip. They just want to be a part of our lives. In return for us providing them with food and shelter (and probably more than a few toys, and maybe even a spot on the bed) we get a fantastic best friend, in more ways than one.
Dogs Keep Us Physically Healthy
Let’s be honest. When we get that 6am phone call from a chipper friend reminding us to meet them at the gym for a workout, we more often than not want to let the call go straight to voice mail. But something about an early morning dog walk is much more inviting. Not that 6am is really anybody’s cup of tea, but your dog is just thrilled to go outside with you. And he will never yell at you to do more push-ups or burpees, or shout at you to do ten more reps.
Dog walkers experience better cardiovascular health, stronger bones, lower blood pressure, and decreased stress. (BetterHealth) And since most dogs want to check out the sights and smells of nearly everything on the walk, you will also develop an eye for the things you might normally just walk past. You and your best friend are literally stopping to smell the roses.
Dogs Keep Us Psychologically Healthy
Studies have shown that within five to twenty minutes of positively interacting with a dog, stress hormones in a person’s blood can decrease dramatically. This is far quicker than any anti-depressant or mood-stabilizer can work. (PsychologyToday) Dogs just make people happier due to the affectionate bond and consistent support a dog can offer a person. Even looking at a dog can make people smile, and the mere act of smiling can improve our moods immediately. (PsychologyToday)
Many people turn to pets in times of loss and grief. Criminal court systems will often offer emotional support dogs to witnesses. As early as the eighteenth century saw The Society of Friends, an organization that allowed mentally ill persons to care for animals as a means of emotional rehabilitation. (AmericanBarAssc)
As beneficial as it is to own a dog, their loss can be as devastating to us as losing a person. Studies have shown that the grief we feel when we lose a dog is very close to that of losing a family member. (PsychCentral) That’s because to so many of us, our dogs are indeed family members.
There is unconditional love followed by financial and/or social sacrifices we have made for our dogs. We have made vacations into trips for the dog as well. We have turned down invitations because our dogs were not invited as well. And unlike complicated human-human relationships, bonds with dogs are non-judgmental. We may not like it if they poop on the carpet, and they may not love it when dinner is an hour or two late. But once everything is taken care of – cleaned and fed – judgments are over and life goes on very simply.
Suggesting a dog is “just a dog” is at once inaccurate and true. A dog is not diminished by being a just a dog, as non-dog lovers might suggest. But for dog-people, being “just a dog” is the best thing their best friend can ever be.
We believe in this bond between people and dogs, and want to enhance it as best we can. Please contact us at Clearly Loved Pets to learn about our products that allow for dogs to be your best friend.