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Look, I’m a total animal lover. If you ask me to make a choice between animals and people, it’s going to be animals, 100 percent of the time. Wild, exotic, domestic—I love them all. But when it comes down to pets, there’s clear hierarchy in who makes the best companion. Like most of the country, I am totally team dog. While I love other pets (I’ve owned cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, chicken and a sheep in my time), there’s just something extra special about our canine sidekicks that simply can’t be matched by any other type of pet. If you’re not already team dog, I’m making it my mission to ensure that you are by the time you leave this article. Here are the ultimate inimitable reasons that man’s (and woman’s) best friend is just that.
1. They give the ultimate cuddles
Out of all the pet choices that we have available to us, dogs have to be ranked at number one due to the awesome cuddles that they give. Dogs have a natural desire to stay close to their human, due to their pack animal instincts, which means they’re always up for some affection. Unlike cats, who can be stand-offish and aloof, dogs constantly interact with us and seek approval from their owner, which helps us to feel valued and loved.
2. They’re flexible, and go with the flow
Dogs are the ultimate travel animals. Dogs that are well socialized and trained have little trouble adapting to new situations, making the super easy and breezy travel companions. This means that there’s less stress involved when we travel with a dog, compared with other animals that take more time to adapt. Their flexibility can also encourage us to bring them with us wherever we go, increasing our well-being just by being by our side.
3. They encourage us to exercise
One non-negotiable when having a dog as a pet is exercise. No matter what type of dog you have, large or small, all dogs need adequate exercise to keep them happy and healthy. This has amazing flow on health benefits as an owner, because as a side effect to ensuring that we’re meeting our dog’s exercise needs, this helps us to meet our own! Our sedentary modern lifestyles are a huge issue in many countries, and having a pet that needs regular walks is a great way to stay active. Other pets do not require scheduled exercise, so can encourage us to remain inside to the detriment of our health.
4. Dogs, socialising and new friends: A winning mix for those suffering mental illness
One of the greatest treatments for mental health issues doesn’t involve drugs or radical measures. Instead, it simply involves having man’s best friend by your side. A new wave of mental health treatment has been gaining popularity over the past years—we’re talking about the use of emotional support animals. Emotional support animals, or ESAs as they’re called, provide comfort to owners that are struggling with a mental illness. These animals are super important to those who qualify for them, providing an invaluable service and improving many lives. Of course, it’s pretty obvious which animals are the best for this job. Dogs are the ultimate ESAs, due to their outgoing and human-oriented personality. Dogs encourage those with a range of mental illness to live a healthier lifestyle, by encouraging their owners to get out of the house, exercise, and even make new friends at the dog park. Want to learn more about making your furry friend your ESA? Click here.
5. They’re the world’s cutest alarm system (and vacuum cleaner)
A great benefit of dogs is their multiple uses as part of your household. Not only will they be your best friend, but they will also be your security system, and even your Hoover. Many dog breeds were originally used as watchdogs, so many dogs are excellent at sounding the alarm should a stranger make their way onto your property. Another unexpected plus? If you’re someone who is constantly dropping food on the floor (me) then one of the bonuses of a dog is that they’ll do an excellent job of cleaning that up. Win win.
6. They’re outgoing and always ready for a game to take your mind off things
Dogs are the ultimate extroverts, so no matter what kind of mood you’re in, mad, sad or bad, they’re going to make you feel better. Who can resist a dog that is begging for a game of tug of war, or is patiently waiting with a ball, ready for a game of fetch? Not us.
7. They’re Co-Dependent…in a Good Way
Unlike other pets, who are perfectly fine without our company, thank you very much (I’m looking at you cats), dogs have the ability to totally and completely bond with their human. There are many stories, some heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure, that show how loyal and devoted our doggo pals can really be to us. Take the true story of Hachiko, the Japanese Shiba Inu for example. After his owner unexpectedly died, this famous dog waited for his owner at a Tokyo train station every day, until he eventually passed away too. If that doesn’t bring a tear to your eye and prove the canine-human connection, then okay, cool, you’ve got a heart of stone. Congratulations.
8. They Make Us Better People
Overall—the best thing about gorgeous dogs is that they can truly bring out the best in us. Our pooches always see the best in us, and there’s just something in that that motivates us to be the person that they think we are. Think of it as motivational admiration.
Dogs are the best pets that we’ve never deserved. Their good qualities are basically boundless—I literally had to stop listing them, otherwise, we’d be here for a very long time! Whether they’re helping us to overcome our mental health struggles, bringing joy to our lives, or simply making us laugh until our sides hurt with their antics, it’s pretty clear that dogs are the absolute best.
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