We have all heard the expression “Dogs are a Man’s Best Friend”, and this expression carries a different meaning from one person to the next. This is what the expression means to me, and how our four-legged friends help me stay healthy.
Great listeners – Unlike humans, dogs will listen to you talk without interrupting or judgment. This makes it very easy to unload your stress, happiness, sadness, or general problems you are trying to solve. Similar to a personal journal, but you have an audience of one (or many – depending on your dog setup), which for me, makes it more engaging. Does my dog provide advice back? No, not necessarily but somewhere in between his curious and perplexed expression, and me being able to express my thoughts openly, I find sharing my feelings with my dog is better than with a human.
Explore hidden talents – Piggy backing off the “no judgement” mentioned above, your furry friend will allow you to: dance like nobody's watching, pursue your hidden acting bug, practice speaking a different language, or rehearse for your next important speech or presentation. Point is, you can be yourself without holding back the way people often do when they try to do the same thing in front of their fellow human beings.
Unconditional Love – If you are like me, the first thing that runs towards you when you open the front door of your home, is your dog! Doesn’t matter if he was scolded the night before, mad because he did not get that extra treat, or disappointed because you didn’t have time to take him out for a walk. There is no resentment, your dog will not behave differently towards you because of your actions from the previous day. At any time you need a hug, your dog will be there. Looking for a slobbery kiss? Your dog will provide you one. Don’t want to sleep alone? Invite your dog on the bed. For our benefit, dogs were designed with the “unconditional love” gene that can’t be replicated.
Health – People usually associate heath with eating the right foods, exercise, and low stress. My dog won’t be able to force me to eat the right foods, but he can certainly help with exercise and stress. Like me, my dog does not like to be couped up in a house all day so I take him on daily walks, and those walks are good for him, and for me! It helps our cardiovascular fitness, while burning a few calories too.
Lastly, the fact that dogs are good listeners, helps me explore hidden talents, and always show unconditional love is probably the most beneficial to my health because it reduces stress and anxiety.
Fortunately for us humans, dogs are here to stay. So, if you don’t own one I strongly encourage you to do so. It should have a positive impact on your health, and you’ll find out why everyone loves dogs!