You don’t have to be a scientist to know that dogs and people have a special, symbiotic relationship. They need us for food and belly scratches, we need them (and all pets—we’re equal opportunity) to stoke our deep, ingrained connection to the wild. Plus, they’re damn cute. From office health to emotional health to physical health, our canine companions really are the top dogs.
They get you moving
This might seem obvious, but there’s actually a pretty big difference between dog owners and non-owners when it comes to how active they are. In one large study, researchers from University of East Anglia (UEA) and University of Cambridge found that the people who didn’t own a dog were sedentary for an average of 30 more minutes a day than dog owners—and even during days with bad weather, dog walkers were more active than non-dog walkers were on the nicest days!
They’re great for bad days
Not exclusive to dogs, people who have pets tend to have lower blood pressure, heart rate and heart-disease risk than those who don’t. It might be the aforementioned exercise, but research suggests that when children who struggle with reading can read aloud to a trained dog, they show fewer anxiety symptoms. Every dog is a therapy dog (some just have more training than others).
They’re excellent wingmen
You know how vintage car people will always strike up conversations with each other to talk shop? Same goes with dogs. In the most precious survey of all time, British researchers found that 4 in 5 dog owners speak with other dog owners during walks (shocking), and about 40% of them reported they made meaningful friendships more easily. Coincidence, or corgi?
They’re like having a doctor with you at all times
This is kind of nuts, but when you think of those Law & Order K-9 units, it starts to make sense: dogs are very good at detecting, treating, and managing a variety of health issues. According to one study, some dogs have been trained to sniff out skin, kidney, bladder, and prostate cancer. Of course, service dogs benefit people with everything from brain injury to autism to rheumatoid arthritis, increasing mobility and promoting independence. And in the category of “Best news we’ve heard all week,” Alzheimer’s patients are reportedly so soothed by therapy dogs, their companionship seems to mitigate emotional flare-ups and aggression.
They reduce stress and improve office productivity.
Coworkers come in all shapes and forms. In a study published by by Virginia Commonwealth University that looked at cortisol (stress hormone) levels in saliva, people experience less stress when a dog is around. Less stress = clearer decision making and more productivity. And we can speak from experience—taking a few minutes to play tug-of-war or go on a walk around the block puts any stressful day into perspective.
So give your pup a squeeze today or stop by a local shelter. You know someone there will be very happy to see you.
And because dogs deserve to be nice and comfy too, shop our eco-friendly dog beds.