Dogs, often hailed as humans’ best
friends, have been the topic of many scientific studies looking into how they
might boost our well-being. According to the American Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), an estimated 78 million dogs are
owned as pets in the United States. It is unclear when dogs were first
domesticated, but a study Trusted Source published last year claims that, at
least in Europe, dogs were tamed 20,000–40,000 years ago.

It is likely that humans and dogs have
shared a special bond of friendship and mutual support ever since at least the
Neolithic period — but why has this bond been so long-lasting? Of course, these
cousins of the wolves have historically been great at keeping us and our dwellings
safe, guarding our houses, our cattle, and our various material goods.
Throughout history, humans have also trained dogs to assist them with hunting,
or they have bred numerous quirky-looking species for their cuteness or

Also, researchers at the University of
Harvard in Cambridge, MA, suggest that dog owners have a lower risk of heart

Why is that? It is difficult to establish
a causal relationship between owning a dog and enjoying better health. However,
the benefits may appear thanks to a series of factors related to lifestyle
adjustments that people tend to make after they decide to adopt a canine
friend. The most prominent such lifestyle factor is physical activity. There is
no way around it: if you own a dog, you have to commit to twice daily walks and
sometimes even more.

The Benefits of Having a Dog are Numerous

Firstly, dogs promote health. They help
people cope with anxiety and improve an overall mental health, not to mention a
number of other health benefits. In addition, dogs are widely used to help
people recover from very serious illnesses including cerebral palsy and insult.

Secondly, dogs provide social benefits as
they influence their owner’s well-being. The pets make people happier, provide
greater self-esteem and prevent depression. Dog owners are better socialized
and are closer to important people in their lives than those who have no dogs.

Thirdly, dogs prevent stress and decrease
it. These animals are considered masters at helping people feel calm and
relieve stress. Dogs are the best listeners and they do not care about human
actions and thoughts. When a person is upset or sad, a dog can give a stress
outlet helping to cheer up.

Fourthly, dogs improve mood. Stroking a
dog may reduce blood pressure and bring balance to our emotional state. The
eyes of a favourite dog help people who are in a bad mood.

Fifthly, dogs ensure home security and
safety. Dogs are extremely protective when a stranger comes to the door. In
addition, a barking dog may put off many potential burglars and intruders.

Sixthly, dogs have a favourable influence
on children. Children who own dogs perform better at school and are more
successful. Moreover, bringing up, feeding and regular walks create a sense of