Dogs Deserve the Hype


When you think of a dog, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Chances are you think of an adorable, fun puppy and overall enjoyable feelings. You probably think of coming home from a long day and having your dog cheer you up. Maybe you think of going for walks on a sunny day. You could be thinking of snuggling on the couch while you watch TV. You could even think of a service dog that you know or own.

Whatever it is you’re thinking about, it probably makes you happy. From a little dachshund to a large Saint Bernard, dogs are simply the best. You are guaranteed to find your new best friend regardless of whether you are adopting or buying a dog.

While dogs are wonderful, they also offer significant health benefits.

A study conducted by Aaron Katcher from the University of Pennsylvania and Alan Beck from Purdue found that playing with a dog or even just petting a familiar dog lowers blood pressure and heart rate. It was also shown that petting a familiar dog slows breathing and relaxes muscle tension almost immediately, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Dogs also reduce stress. A separate study by the American Journal of Cardiology followed 369 heart attack patients one year after they were released from the hospital. Those who had pets — especially dogs — had a much higher survival rate than those without pets.

Researchers found that this higher survival rate was due to lowered stress levels in the patients, which is a main cause of heart attacks and other health issues.

Let us not forget that dogs also provide essential services. These include guide dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired, diabetic alert dogs, seizure response dogs, psychiatric service dogs and many others. Plus, the military uses dogs as scouts, trackers and bomb detectors. They also work in many airports to find illegal substances and as search and rescue dogs for park rangers.

Whether it be the overall joy a dog brings or the important services they provide, dogs are undoubtedly amazing.