According to Dave Barry, “You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!’” A dog is the best gift you can give yourself.
Dogs are known as the best companion and very close friend of humans. Their certain attributes, such as pleasing disposition, cooperative nature and natural instinct for closeness to human being make them the man’s best companions. Numerous studies have shown that owning a dog benefits a person’s physical and mental well-being. Let’s see how.
1. It’s only love. What your dog wants is your ‘love’; lend him your heart and he will lend back his first.
2. Your four-legged friend makes you socially active. When you go for a morning walk with your dog, you come in contact with group of people who either take their dogs for a walk or early morning walkers who watch the dog and make several queries, later developing into closeness. This keeps you active physically and socially.
3. Just looking at your dog makes you happy: According to an old English proverb, “The eyes are the window to the soul” and dogs do talk to us with their eyes. A study by Miho Nagasawa of Azabu University in Japan (2009) found that one’s level of oxytocin (the neuro-hormone that elicits feelings of happiness) rose intensely after interacting with their dogs. Those who looked longer into their dog’s eyes had the bigger dose of oxytocin. Another reason is the eye contact with a dog who loves you has a way of melting into your heart, and it never leaves. So, what are you waiting for?
4. Your pooch makes you more empathetic: The bond between humans and canines is unmistakable. Recent studies discover that people who have strong connection to their pets also have social and relationship benefits. The studies also reveal that any person who as a teenager or a young adult attached to an animal is likely to be more empathetic and confident individual.
5. A best friend in your loneliness: Dogs are born with a natural affinity. You look to your dog when you are ready to play and laugh, and they instinctively know when you need their support. They are with us constantly, and the nurturing is a two way exchange. They are our confidants and our companions. Their devotion to us is unconditional.
6. They protect you from many diseases: Dogs can be a best health guard for us. Grooming or a gentle touch of their fur results in lowering stress and feeling relaxed. Prolonged exposure to stress or depression can cause critical health problems. In this connection, many research findings show that pets protect their pet parents from feeling low or depressed. Pet parents have a lower frequency of the following diseases compared to before they had a dog: heart attack, coronary artery disease, dizziness and headaches.
7. A dog can make you a best caretaker: Their endearing and charming way, love and amusing activities…always melt you. When he is young, you care for him as a child and protect him from threats. When he becomes an adult, you go on walks with him, play with him and spend time with him. During old age, you make every possible measure to make him comfortable. Thus, you become a best caretaker and know how to deal with different stages of life.
8. Health detectives too: Dogs are being trained at medical research centers. Because of their strong olfactory sense, they can sniff out seizures, cancers and others in patients.
9. Never give up: They teach you perseverance. Ask any pet parent about the never-ending soulful looks when their pet wants a treat.
10. Your extraordinary protectors: Dogs can sense unwanted elements and keep you safe. Also done by our stray friends who protect their respective areas.
11. Your four-legged friend teaches you to live life to the fullest: Among the life’s valuable lessons you learn from your dog, living every single day with unbridled exuberance and joy, seizing the moment and following your heart is a big one. You even learn to appreciate simple thing in life from your dog. As time rolls on your dog grows older and he teaches you to be optimistic against all odds in life. Special friendship, selflessness, and of course, firm loyalty, are all what your dog teaches you.
These are just a few what we learn daily; but there are so much more… Happy Bonding!
(Dr Kumar Manglam Yadav and Dr Ashwani Kumar Singh are interns at Government Veterinary Hospital, Bharatpur, Rajasthan).