We know dogs are the cherries to our cake and having them around us is an instant mood lifter. But most of us aren’t able to put our finger on why exactly they make us feel that way. Compared to our partner, who might be a constant nag or skeptic, these furkids seem to make our day more enjoyable. They wag their tails welcoming us home while our partner remains glued to Netflix, ignoring our presence.
We scour the Internet for credible researches and findings to back us up on why dogs make better companions than humans. Unsurprisingly, this idea has a basis in science. Now we know who to cuddle more when times get rough.
Dogs make you live longer
The likelihood of you living a longer life all thanks to your partner is realistically low. With divorce rates at an all time high now, we might end up being alone at the end of the day. On the other hand, not only do dogs stay faithful to you, they may even make you live longer. Based on a research conducted by Scientific Reports, dogs may be beneficial in reducing cardiovascular risk in their owners by providing social support and motivation for physical activity. The 12 year long research indicated that dog ownership is likely associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in single households and this reduced risk also has a results in lower all-cause death in the general population. So it’s time to spend more time with your furkid!
Dogs are better listeners
How many times have a comment from your partner sparked an unnecessary argument? All we need is a listening ear but not an earful of snarky remarks or criticism. If your partner can’t be a good listener, it may be a better idea to turn to your dogs. An article from Harvard Health Publishing suggests that one of the greatest psychological benefits of interacting with a dog is the opportunity to be more mindful — to purposely focus your attention on the present moment. Even if it’s a quiet sit-together with you pouring your woes, it may get you to think and analyse problem on a deeper level. Who needs that partner who is always cynical and critical?
Dogs inspire mindfulness
As what the Harvard article has suggested, dogs are a great catalyst of mindfulness. This is further supported by a New Yorker article. The writer says “You’re doing nothing when you walk, nothing but walking. But having nothing to do but walk makes it possible to recover the pure sensation of being, to rediscover the simple joy of existing, the joy that permeates the whole of childhood.”
Dogs reduces your stress
A study by Emerald Insights shows the psychological benefits of having a dog at work helps to reduce stress among employees. University of British Columbia also brought in therapy dogs to allow students to pet and cuddle during drop-in sessions. This resulted in a significant decrease in their stress level, along with increased happiness and a higher energy level following the session. Now our partner really needs to learn a trick or two from our friend here.
Dogs understand your mood
Dogs are not simple animals that only respond when we have their favourite treats in our hands. Our friends from Science Daily proved that dogs are able to understand the emotions behind an expression on a human face. In this study, two adults’ faces (a man and a woman) were presented to 26 feeding dogs. The photos showed a human face expressing one of the six basic human emotions: anger, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, disgust or being neutral.
The dogs showed greater response and cardiac activity when shown photographs that expressed arousing emotional states such as anger, fear and happiness. They also took longer to resume feeding after seeing these images.