"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself." –Josh Billings
It is said that dogs are a man’s best friend. The logic behind this sentiment is obvious to most dog owners: They are loyal, devoted, loving, dependable, and typically cuddly. Who wouldn’t want a best friend with those qualities?
But according to research, dogs can be much more than simply a trusting buddy. The evidence proving the physical benefits of living with a canine companion has been well documented, and varies from improved cardiovascular health and increased physical activity to lower cholesterol and decreased blood pressure.
There’s no question that my dogs get me out to do more walking and hiking than I would otherwise, even on the days when I’d prefer to lounge in my pajamas or sip my coffee and read. But physical exercise aside, dogs add much more to our daily lives, and science is catching on.
Adding to the plus side of the canine cause, emerging research is showing an array of ways in which dogs can provide support and a sense of calm for our daily emotional and psychological stresses, as well as traumatic events.
Here are few of the findings concerning dogs and the benefits they can offer.
Dogs teach us mindfulness.
When your dog lies on the floor, bathing in the sun as it streams through the window, it is doing just that — experiencing the sense of warmth tand enjoyment IN THAT MOMENT. Spending time with dogs, who have a natural capacity to open up to each moment as it unfolds — the sights, sounds, and smells — can motivate us to follow their example.