“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
― Josh Billings
Are you a dog lover? If yes, then this article is for you. There are some of us who simple love dogs. And by that I mean we love dogs more than human beings! It’s rightly said – A dog is a man’s best friend. No matter whom you are, what you do or how you look like, a dog will never judge you. Instead, you can de-stress with your pet whenever you are going through a tough time. Research studies have shown that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression as compared to people without pets. It has been found that chemicals such as Oxytocin are released when we play or cuddle with dogs. Whenever you’re having a bad day, try to hug a dog or play with him. Within a minute, you’ll forget all about your anxiety and stress. It’s almost as if they have a magic wand! No matter how your day went, a dog will always welcome you home with a wagging tale, waiting to be cuddled by you.
Not only do they relieve the stress, they also contribute to your social life. A meet and greet with a person walking a dog is preferred than talking to a random stranger. You don’t have to think for topics to talk about; you can simply start the conversation by petting the dog. There are many organizations which help to build a social circuit with other fellow dog owners. They organize hiking adventures with dogs, which not only helps in the development of the dogs, but also benefits the owner, physically as well as socially. Dogs are also known to provide companionship to those who are living alone. It’s not easy if you shift to another city away from your family where you do not know anyone. In such times, keeping a pet is a great idea as you not only are able to pass time easily, but they also prove as a great buddy to you!
Dogs are also known to be helpful to the old and elderly. Studies have suggested that dogs help the old to combat major life changes, such as illness, death, failed relationships etc. They encourage an active physical as well as social life for them. A lot of rehabilitation centers keep pets as they are known to improve the mental state of the patients. For example, Research at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine concluded that Alzheimer’s patients suffer less stress and have fewer anxious outbursts if there is a pet in the home. Many of such incidences have also been documented where children who have autism or learning disabilities are seen to have a much better interaction with pets as compared to human beings. However, if someone is not able to keep a pet, there is also the option of animal-assisted therapy where the patient doesn’t necessarily need to own a pet; instead they can simply interact with them on frequent basis. Patients suffering from schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, autism etc have responded positively to such treatment.
One of the most important reason a majority of people own dogs is because of security. A dog can probably provide better security than a watchman! Dogs have a very powerful sense of smell; they can easily recognize a person they have met in the past. That’s why whenever there is something suspicious about someone, a dog usually growls or barks at them. It acts as a warning to the dog owner as he is now aware that there is something wrong. We all know how Labradors and German Shepherds are employed in large numbers in the security forces. Whenever you are at the airport you see a large number of these dogs walking with the security personnel. They are easily able to identify anything of suspicious nature and are known to detect bombs. They play a very important role in providing security to countries.
However, keeping a dog is not as easy as it seems. Many people fear dogs; not everyone is comfortable around them. It requires a lot of time and patience as it is not easy to train a dog. It may take up to weeks, or even months to properly train a dog. There is also a lot of responsibility that you have to take while keeping a pet dog. Puppies due to their teething issues, chew up everything in sight, from shoes to toys. This can become very difficult to tackle if they aren’t trained at the right time. Also, keeping a dog costs a lot of money. Food, grooming, regular check-ups etc, are the major reasons why keeping a dog is nowhere near affordable.
Despite all these reasons, I believe a dog provides a lot more to you than what you expect. The simple joys of getting up every morning and cuddling him, the constant wagging of the tail, and the very real (as well as effective) puppy eyes when you’re eating food! Now who wouldn’t want to love a dog after this?
“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.” - Milan Kundera