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Why Dog's Are Man’s Best Friend

By Allan Tompkins

Photo by Oscar Sutton on Unsplash

Since the dawn of man, humans have always relied on animals to facilitate their common needs such as food, water, or shelter, yet dogs have evolved to serve a greater purpose. Domesticated over 30,000 years ago, dogs are the earliest known animal to be domesticated by humans. They originally served as hunters that aided humans in their search for food yet soon, after animals such as sheep and goats were tamed, they evolved into protectors of the prey.

Regardless of their roles tens of thousands of years ago, dogs have always had a loving bond with their human companions. The phrase they’ve earned themselves of being ‘man’s best friend’ isn’t said lightly, and as dogs adapt to today’s lifestyles, they continue to show that unbreakable friendship with people from all walks of life.

As pets, dogs have proven to positively affect the mental health of their owners. Studies show that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression as well as have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those who don’t own dogs. Most of all though, dogs offer humans a nonjudgmental form of interaction that, combined with their unconditional love, proves as a way to calm their owners during difficult moments in their lives.

People could be crying their hearts out over getting fired or having a breakup while their dogs patiently sit with their tongues hanging out of their mouths waiting for the ball to be thrown again. Even the sight of a dog always brings smiles to people’s faces due to their constant joy and eagerness for adventure. Sometimes though, this qualifies them as a pillow to cry on because of the sheer happiness that they express. Dogs’ ability to remain cheerful in any given moment is what has earned them to be a friend that people always wanna be around. In high or low moments, dogs promise to be that extra support that people might be searching for in their lives.

Along with being mentally beneficial to humans, dogs can provide humans with a healthy physical lifestyle as well. No matter the breed of dog, all dogs love to play outdoors. Having a dog causes owners to take up the responsibility of taking strolls around the neighborhood or going to the park to play fetch with their furry partners. This has shown to increase dog owners’ physical activity by about 200 minutes more than the average person. An improved cardiovascular routine results in lower blood pressure, a stronger body, and reduced stress levels overall.

Dogs have also been shown to be some of the most loyal animals in the world. Dogs don’t have complex emotions of hate, guilt, or shame like humans do and are therefore compared to that of a toddler with a much simpler range of emotions. Like a toddler, dogs attach to humans very easily and can be just as loyal as they can be affectionate to their caretakers. They perceive their owners as part of one big family pack that they are a part of which is why they are loyal to humans as they would be to a pack of dogs.

That being said, it’s important to realize dogs as not just pets, but a part of a family that requires responsibility that, although might not be as demanding as a child, should be valued like that of a family member. It shouldn’t be thought of as a burden to emotionally invest a bit of one’s time to train a dog with even simple ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ gestures. Instead, people should take joy in the upbringing of their pet since, after all, it’s going to be part of their lives for some time.

Personally, I have had a dog for 10 years and he has been my closest friend. Having someone sprint to me the minute I open the door to my house always brings a smile to my face. I can always be with my dog and simply talk without fear of being judged or ridiculed and more a feeling of being accepted and comforted despite not a word coming out of his mouth. He has never failed to bring me joy and has, and always will be, one of the greatest friends I could ask for.

People have different personalities and behaviors and find similarities with others who are then classified as their friends. Similarly, dogs have different character traits that can cause them to be more fit to one person than another. Say you’re an outdoorsy person who loves to travel, a husky or labrador would fit your traits. On the other hand, if you’re more of an introverted person who likes to stay indoors, you might like a poodle or Yorkshire terrier to match your lifestyle. Dogs are called man’s best friend for a reason; they adapt to you. Different breeds can be best friends to different types of people.

It’s clear to see that dogs are more than just pets— they’re compassionate companions that never fail to be by your side when you need them most. They don’t judge or resent, but simply offer comfort by their presence. The loving and enduring spirit that dogs have enrich humans’ lives with a best friend. Since their domestication thousands of years ago to today, dogs have developed an ever-growing bond with their human partners. Providing constant love and comfort in exchange for a few belly scratches, dogs truly are man’s best friend. People will come and go, but a dog— a dog will always be your best friend.

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