Understanding The Beautiful Relationship Between People and Dogs

Where pets once used to be not much more than a welcome distraction within a family setup, they are now a fundamental part of families all over the world. Dogs and humans have always had a strong and special bond, dating back countless centuries and it is no surprise that the humble canine is the most beloved pet in the world. There are a number of interesting statistics that prevail regarding global dog ownership.  In America, 36% of dog owners are said to give their pooches presents such as clothing and toys on their birthdays. While Brazil has the highest number of small dogs in the world per capita, 70% of all dogs in Saudi Arabia belong to a large breed.

The bond between man and dog is one of great benefit for both parties but, if we had to be completely honest, we probably need our dogs more than they need us, although they do seem to love having us around.  Our beloved pooches affect our lives in countless ways and, with everything they do for us, it really is no wonder that dogs have been labeled “man’s best friend. In order to understand the relationship between dog and human better, we have to look more closely at the impact both parties have on each other’s lives and how the benefits of these relationships are distributed.

How do humans benefit?

Companionship and safety are probably the two most obvious benefits dog owners get from their pets. This, however, does not even begin to touch on the true advantages that can result from a dedicated relationship between a human and their dog. Scientific research has proven that owning a dog can, in fact, have numerous health benefits as well. Dogs enable us to relax, thus lowering our stress levels and subsequently our blood pressure as well. By taking our canine companions for walks and playing with them outside we manage to stay active which further contributes to a healthier lifestyle. Dogs often perform vitally important jobs selflessly. Service dogs help people with physical and mental health conditions, search-and-rescue dogs aid emergency service personnel look for trapped and missing people and police dog risk their own lives in the line of duty every day to protect us. At home, our darling companion dogs are often trained to protect our families and homes from intruders, and they do it, nobly, because they love us unconditionally.

How do dogs benefit?

While dogs are still able to survive quite well in the wild, domestic breeds have become somewhat dependent on us. Dogs thrive on human interaction and want nothing more than to be loved and looked after. As pet owners, we are responsible for ensuring that all the needs of our dogs are met. This includes providing sufficient food and water, a safe and comfortable shelter, health care when needed and unwavering love and attention.  It is our jobs to ensure that our dogs are safe within our home environments. This includes preventing them from roaming the streets where they can be run over by cars, keeping hazardous household chemicals out of their reach and keeping them safe from people who may want to harm them in any way.

It is often said that there is rarely a stronger bond than the one we share with dogs. This statement rings very true, except that it applies to dog lovers in general with many proclaiming they love dogs more than people. If you can offer a good home filled with love and happiness to a dog, the dog will, in turn, supply you with a lifetime of loyalty and their own unconditional love, and who could want for anything more than that.

Original copy by Lucy Benson