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10 reasons why you should be a dog lover

Bone Broth For Dogs

Do people who own dogs really understand what it means to have one?

I’m not talking about those cute little furballs we see in commercials, but rather real-life purebreds raised by owners with no intention other than to share their lives (and perhaps occasionally lick) with these magnificent creatures.

Here are 10 reasons why I think everyone — even the most ardent cat lovers out there — would benefit from owning one of God’s best friends.

1. Dogs don’t judge

If you’ve ever been called “whiny” or “too sensitive,” then chances are high that your pet has done something similar. This is likely because they feel judged every time they try to communicate their needs and feelings through vocalizations or gestures that often go ignored.

Pets may also seem more expressive than us since they lack the ability to speak verbally. But if you take the time to learn how to read your pooch’s body language, you might find yourself surprised at how much emotion hides beneath its exterior. As an example, my pug seems to want attention when he looks over my shoulder while I type away on my laptop.

When he does this, I know he wants me to pick him up so he can sit next to me. However, when he sits down near me without looking directly at me, he’s asking for another reason to cuddle as well. The same goes for my two cats who rarely come into the bedroom unless they hear me moving around. To help deciphering your pet’s messages, check out free training apps like DogRead.com or Pet Connected [Broken URL Removed] that translate your dog’s signals into words.

2. They’re good company

It doesn’t matter whether you choose to spend your days alone or surrounded by others, knowing that someone loves you unconditionally will provide comfort during times where loneliness sets in. In fact, studies show that relationships between human beings thrive significantly better when shared with a companion such as a dog.

Research published in 2014 found that women living with dogs were less depressed compared to women without pets, while a study published in 2017 showed that elderly individuals aged 65 years old reported higher levels of happiness after adopting a new puppy.

If you’re lucky enough to have a canine pal, treat yours accordingly! Take them for walks, play fetch and encourage them to participate in activities together. Just remember to keep treats handy to reward their efforts. And speaking of rewarding, consider putting together a doggie daycare schedule to ensure Fido gets regular exercise sessions throughout the week.

3. They’ll always love and protect you

Pets aren’t perfect and neither are we, but many of us tend to hold ourselves responsible for everything wrong that happens to our animals. After all, they depend on us for food, shelter and affection. But sometimes bad stuff comes along outside of our control, which is precisely where our pets’ unconditional love becomes essential.

Whether they’re puppies or seniors, both young and old dogs possess natural instincts to care for any members of their pack. So when disaster strikes, rely on them to step up and look out for your family. That includes being vigilant against potential threats such as fires or burglars.

Don’t forget to put safety gates in places where kids could accidentally knock items over. For instance, my pug was once startled by a baby walker falling off the shelf above her head, causing the device to crash onto the floor. Thankfully, she didn’t suffer any injuries, but it wouldn’t have happened had I placed a gate across the area. Also, invest in a smart collar that allows you to talk to your pup using voice commands. With a bit of practice, you’ll soon be able to tell them when to stop barking or return home.

4. You can teach them tricks

Dogs are eager learners, meaning they’re capable of learning certain behaviors simply by observing the actions of others. While teaching basic obedience skills isn’t difficult, mastering complex tasks requires patience and consistency. Start by picking up a book or video tutorial that teaches tricks specific to your breed. Some examples include shaking paws, coming when called, rolling over, jumping on command, walking backwards and sitting.

Once you become comfortable performing simple feats, move on to bigger challenges like playing hide-and-seek or chasing a ball. Remember to praise your dog whenever possible and avoid punishing them for mistakes. Over time, they’ll start noticing small improvements and eventually master larger ones.

5. They won’t give up on you when things get tough

Most pets require lots of work and dedication to properly raise them, including exercising them regularly and providing adequate nutrition. But unlike humans, pets won’t quit on you when life throws curve balls their way. Instead, they persevere until they figure out a solution.

A few months ago, my chihuahua went missing for several hours. Upon returning home, she immediately started sniffing areas where she used to hang out with me before going back inside. She looked confused, probably wondering why she wasn’t greeted with hugs upon arrival. Luckily, she quickly figured out what had gone wrong and resumed doing her job. Never underestimate the power of perseverance and determination.

6. They make for great pets that live longer than humans

While dogs certainly have shorter lifespans than humans, recent research shows they actually fare pretty darn well overall. Studies conducted by the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine indicate that owning a dog reduces the risk of dying prematurely by almost 50 percent.

Researchers believe this protective effect stems from the social connection formed with animals, especially when the relationship involves interaction beyond eating and sleeping. Not surprisingly, older adults enjoy greater health benefits when keeping a pet. One study found that children whose parents owned pets experienced lower instances of asthma attacks, hay fever symptoms, eczema and upper respiratory infections. Another study revealed that children exposed to household pets have fewer colds, ear infections and allergies. Overall, pets appear to improve mental health, reduce stress, increase physical activity among their owners and strengthen familial bonds.

7. It’s just nice having an animal around the house

The number of households with pets continues to rise steadily each year. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent $58 billion on their pets in 2015. Of that amount, 75 percent was attributed to expenditures related to pet healthcare, food and services.

Although these numbers represent only a portion of the total expenses incurred by families with animals, they still demonstrate that pets mean a lot to millions of Americans. Even though they cost money, people end up loving their pets regardless. Consider getting a companion that suits your lifestyle, personality and budget, whether it’s a tiny mouse, a large rabbit or anything in between. What’s important here is finding a pet that makes you smile every single day.

8. We all need some kind of furry friend to snuggle with at night

We all long for closeness and intimacy with loved ones. Unfortunately, human beings tend to sleep separately due to various factors such as distance, personal preferences and medical conditions. On top of that, we typically wake up naturally first thing in the morning, making mornings unpleasant for anyone else sharing a bed with us.

Yet, researchers say that having a pet nearby helps relieve anxiety, lowers blood pressure and prevents heart problems associated with insomnia. Having a critter curled up beside you can also lift spirits during stressful times. Plus, pets usually don’t mind spending the odd hour or two stretched across multiple beds.

9. Dogs are better listeners than Siri or Alexa

Like humans, pets listen intently to everything said within earshot, but they can also recognize subtle cues that allow them to understand nonverbal communications. Think of your dog as your very own genie in a bottle granting wishes and giving advice. Most importantly, never underestimate the impact of touch on communication. Humans use facial expressions, tone of voice and gestures to convey emotions, but pets interpret these signals differently. My pug likes to lick my face whenever he feels stressed or overwhelmed, signifying his desire for reassurance. Similarly, I’ve learned that my cats respond favorably to gentle strokes on their backs. These types of interactions remind them that nothing alarming has occurred and everything will turn out fine.

10. They deserve our kindness

Although pets undoubtedly contribute greatly to society, it’s easy to overlook the importance of treating them kindly. Often, we place too much emphasis on pleasing our dogs instead of taking advantage of opportunities to interact with them.

Since our pets cannot explain exactly what they miss or crave in order to receive our undivided attention, we must carefully plan outings and set aside extra time to bond with them. Whenever possible, prioritize their interests over ours and strive to create memorable experiences for them. Because they depend on us for survival, let’s not deny them the right to appreciate our hard work.

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