As if there needs to be more reasons to call dogs “man’s best friend.”
Scientists have forever been trying to understand the uniquely strong bond between man and dog. Dogs have always been considered as valuable companions to humans, but as more millennials choose pet ownership over getting married and starting a family, there has been more attention to studying why and how dogs and humans mutually benefit each other. And while science isn’t necessary to confirm the fact that people love dogs, here are a few benefits of dog ownership for men.
Dogs Love Unconditionally
Dog owners can be passionate about their dogs. That’s because dogs and humans have co-evolved over thousands of years and dogs nowadays are not just pets, they’re family members. While a girlfriend or wife might leave you or be disloyal, the best thing about dogs is that they love you unconditionally — there are just no words to describe the feeling of your dog’s paw on your hand after a rough day at work or the way they wag their tails every single time you come home, even after 10 years of the same routine.
Sure, you may not always in against a cheeseburger, but it has been scientifically proven that positive interactions between you and your dog are beneficial for both of you. Not only does cuddling with your dog boost your immune system, it also releases oxytocin (the “cuddle hormone”) and dopamine (the “pleasure hormone”), the same neurochemicals released during positive parent-child interactions. A Japanese study revealed that dogs who shared a long mutual gaze with their owners had higher levels of oxytocin, a finding that the researchers termed “a manifestation of attachment behavior.”
Other health benefits of dog ownership include:
- Lower heart rate
- Lower blood pressure
- Improvement of heart rate variability
- Mood elevation
- Improves long-term memory
So the next time someone says cuddling with your pooch is “a woman thing,” tell him that you’re just looking after your health, and there’s no gender in wanting to be healthier.
Dogs Are Creatures of Routine
Thinking about staying home and watching Netflix instead of going for a run? That might work if you have a cat or a rabbit. But dogs are creatures of routine and need their daily exercise. You may think that’s too much of a hassle for you to deal with, but did you know that the best way to accomplish a goal is to create actionable habits? Whether you’re trying to train for a 5k or just trying to start exercising more regularly, a dog will help you stick to your regimen and will even motivate you to challenge yourself.
If the idea of finally achieving your fitness goals isn’t enough, think about this the next time you want to skip your dog’s walk: A bored dog will find a way to entertain itself, and that includes chewing on that brand new pair of Nikes you got last week.
Dogs Don’t Know When to Quit
Perhaps you’ve owned a dog who’d fetch a ball for you even after you’ve thrown it over a hundred times. Or perhaps you’ve seen a viral video of a former street dog who made a miraculous transformation into a family pet, all while having to learn to walk on his back legs after losing its front ones.
Dogs are resilient and persistent creatures. Despite injury, trauma, or even abuse, they learn from their past and seem to have just one predominant belief: To live life to the fullest. So whether you’re training for a 5k or going through a rough time of your own, having a dog as your loyal companion can help you develop a positive attitude so you can achieve your goals.
Dogs Can Help You Find a Date
Single? Here’s something interesting you can try this weekend. Take your dog to a local park (or better yet, a dog park) and see how many women gather around you.
Dog ownership can be a powerful mating signal. Since dog owners are often perceived as happier, more approachable people, women’s defenses go down when they see a man out with a dog. They’ll view you as a caring, nurturing, committed, and responsible — all of which indicate to women that a man would be a great parent one day.
A study conducted by Match.com in 2015 showed that pet ownership had a positive influence in the level of attraction someone felt for a date, and more than half of the 1,200 pet-owning subscribers responded that they would not date someone who did not like pets.
If you are invited to a woman’s house, you can score some big points by making an extra effort to get along with her pets. Approximately 67% of Match.com’s survey said that they would judge their date based on how well their pets got along with their date, and women are especially discerning when it comes to a potential partner.
So if you’re in the market, be sure to take your dog out for a walk daily. If you don’t have a dog yet, adopt one from your local humane society and you’ll be almost guaranteed to go home with at least one phone number.
Dogs Can Help You Live Longer
After the massive pet food recall of 2007, pet owners have been scrutinizing pet food labels to make sure that their furry family members are getting the best nutrition they can afford. The pet food industry has seen an explosion of natural and organic pet food and treats.
So how can better dog food help you eat better?
Like humans, when dogs eat better food, they are healthier. Their coats are shiny and soft, their eyes are bright and focused, and they have an endless amount of energy. By learning to read and understand ingredient and nutrition labels on dog food packages, you’ll develop the habit of looking at the ingredients of your own food. If you and your dog haven’t been eating the healthiest diet, make necessary changes to eat better, lose weight, and thrive.
The most beautiful thing about dogs is that they always live in the moment. They are quick to forgive and forget, and they seem to understand that life is too short to not chase that squirrel. While there are surely multiple benefits to having dogs as companions, there is no denying that the biggest benefit is one lesson they teach us so well: Live life to the fullest, one tennis ball at a time.