I gave my dogs a huge hug after writing this. They are truly amazing animals.
1. They empathize With Human Pain
Goldsmiths College released a study that showed more dogs will approach someone who’s crying or in distress than someone who is not. This shows that dogs are empathetic and are eager to help comfort humans in pain.
2. They can detect cancer
Due to their incredible sense of smell, dogs have shown anywhere from 70 to 99% accuracy (depending on the study) when tasked with detecting lung cancer in a nearby patient.
3. They reduce work stress
The International Journal of Workplace Health Management has discovered that workers who bring their dog to their office have less stress and are happier with their job, simply because the dog is hanging around.
4. Detect Seizures Before They Happen
Recent research has shown certain dogs are able to warn seizure patients that they’re going to experience an attack, sometimes hours before it happens. Nobody yet knows how they do it, or why only certain dogs can do it. They also can’t be trained to do it, so if you feel you need a seizure-sniffing dog, you need to make sure you have yourself a natural.
5. Help Babies Stay Healthy By Being Dirty
A recent study has shown that babies with dogs are actually healthier than those without dogs, reporting fewer coughs, runny noses, and ear infections. The reason, researchers believe, is because dogs will track dirt, mud, and other germ-infested bits of earth, thereby boosting the child’s immune system.
6. Help You Stay In Shape
A study from the University Of London has determined that kids with dogs are more active, and exercise more often, than kids without dogs. After all, it’s a lot more fun and interesting to go jogging with your dog than alone
7. Detect Low Blood Sugar
That sense of smell can do even more; dogs can also detect low blood sugar in their master. They will either alert the person that the sugar has dropped or, if a diabetic attack has already occurred, will bark and bark and bark in an attempt to alert somebody to come help, thus working to save the diabetic’s life.
8. Help You Stay Away From Allergens
Food allergies are nothing to sneeze at; luckily, dogs have been shown they can be trained to detect certain allergens. So if you’re allergic to peanut butter, the dog will alert you if it detects anything with the scent of peanut in the room. Same with any other thing that may harm you or a loved one.
9. Help You Be More Social
The British Medical Journal has concluded that dogs act as “social catalysts,” who help people get out more, approach others more easily, and overall reduce isolation. This is actually more important than the basic companionship that dogs provide, as human social support is more beneficial to human health.
10. Help Veterans Overcome PTSD
Simply by being themselves, dogs have been shown to help reduce PTSD among soldiers. In addition to providing the usual doggie companionship, they have been shown to help sufferers come out of their shells, be less numb and angry, and improve their social life as well.
11. Help Prevent Eczema In Kids
In a surprising twist, it might actually be beneficial to get a dog for your baby, even if they’re allergic. Studies have shown that children under the age of one who lives with a dog are much less likely to develop the chronic, and annoying, skin condition called eczema.
12. Heal Wounds Simply By Kissing You
A dog kissing you obviously feels wonderful, but it might actually have physical benefits too. Studies have shown that saliva, both the human and doggie variety, can help stimulate nerves and muscles, and get oxygen moving again, which is the secret ingredient in helping wounds to heal. In short, “licking your wounds” is not just a cliche after all.
13. Make Their Elderly Owners Go To The Doctor Less
Almost certainly due to the positive vibes and good feelings that dogs bring out of their masters, even in the worst of times, studies have found that older people who own dogs average at least one less doctor appointment per year than those who do not.
14. Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Problems
Preliminary studies by the American Heart Association are revealing that dog owners have less risk of heart disease than those without dogs. The reasons given are the exercise that owners get when walking their dogs, plus the presence of the dog helps the owner deal with stress better. The evidence is mostly anecdotal right now, but dog owners know that it’s all true.
15. Aid With Depression
Day-to-day depression, or even more serious chronic depression, is easier to handle with the love of a dog, studies show. Simply by having them around, and knowing that even at our worst, somebody loves us unconditionally and is eager to see us happy again, we’re given a reason to get up and keep going.
16. Help College Kids Get Through Finals Week
Finals Week sucks; just ask any stressed-out college student or anyone who’s ever been one. Many schools, thankfully, have found a way to help: dogs. Programs that provide therapy dogs to campuses for overworked students to pet, play with, or just plain cuddle with, have proven successful in calming down students and (hopefully) improving their test scores
17. Comfort Children With Autism
Autistic children often find the world very stressful, in ways that the non-autistic can’t understand. Luckily, a dog can. Studies are showing that bringing a therapy dog into an autistic household helps to reduce the amount of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the autistic child’s body. This both calms the child down and shows him that he has a friend.
18. Help Prevent Bullying
Bullying has been a huge problem for a long time, and people are finally doing something about it. Dogs, too. Experimental programs have been launched that bring dogs into schools to promote empathy, with the lesson that you shouldn’t treat people badly because you wouldn’t do it to a dog. Thus far, kids have been able to make the connection, which will hopefully continue to be the case.
19. Help People With Fibromyalgia Stay Warm
Fibromyalgia is a debilitating disease that can leave its victim in constant pain. Studies have shown that the Xolo dog’s body temperature can be used as a kind of therapeutic heating pad, due to it being a hairless species. Of course, unlike heating pads, a Xolo will bond with you, snuggle with you and keep you warm as long as you need, leading to both external comfort and internal happiness.
20. Help People With Dementia Live A Better Life
Dogs have shown that they can help keep dementia sufferers on schedule, reminding them when it’s time for medicine and when to see the doctor. In addition, when the owner experiences frustration over the state of their mind, the “dementia dog” is right there to support them, comfort them, and remind them that someone’s always there for them.