So your dog is your best friend? There are plenty of reasons why pet dogs earned the nickname “man’s best friend”. Unlike human BFFs, they never make a conversation all about themselves and they’re always available to hang out. They’re great listeners, love to stay in on a Friday night, and are excited to see you every day.
What do you love about your dog? If your answer is everything, you’re not alone. Dogs and people began living together 15,000 years ago when dogs followed people’s migration throughout East Asia. These social pack animals thrive on affection, making them a candidate for a person’s best friend. Dog owners, including myself, will tell you that their dog is another member of their family.
Dogs provide us with unconditional love and companionship. They’re at our sides when we’re sick, and they always know when we need a little extra affection. They love us without judgment, even when we ignore them or don’t feed them a second dinner. Dogs seem to understand us on another level that transcends language.
Dogs understand our gestures and sense our feelings, responding with the most comforting of emotions. Their unconditional love with a willingness to stick around until their last breath is what makes them special. From watching us do crazy things to being there on our stressful days, they’re the silent observers we need. They know us better than everyone else.
No matter who you are with everybody else, you’ll always be the most important thing in your dog’s life. That’s why it’s pretty hard to narrow down all the reasons why your dog is your best friend. Here are five reasons why dogs make the very best friends.
“You can usually tell that a man is good if he has a dog who loves him.”
Signs that your dog is your best friend
Have you and your dog achieved official BFF status? See if any of these seven telltale signs your dog is your best friend rings true.
- When you’re apart, you constantly think about your dog and wonder what it’s up to. Though you know the answer is “napping on the couch”, your best friend is never far from your thoughts.
- You decided that any potential romantic partner will have to be approved by your BFF, or else. Your dating profile has at least one pic of your dog. And you quickly swipe left on anyone who looks like a cat person.
- You know all of the best dog-friendly restaurants in your area. You review them on Yelp, noting which ones offer your BFF a water bowl and which have dog-friendly menus.
- Your dream about living in a house with a huge backyard. Forget getting married or having kids. The adult goal you really want to accomplish is to buy a home. This way, you can give your pup a big yard where they can play.
- During the holidays, you bring your dog to the mall to get his photo taken with Santa. After all, he has been an extra good boy this year.
- When you have a bad day, it’s your dog who you turn to for comfort and cheering up. Besides, he never judges you for having that third glass of Pinot Noir or second bowl of popcorn.
- Your phone camera is full of selfies you’ve taken together. And, of course, your screen savers feature pics of your dog, as well.
More signs that your dog is your best friend
Intrigued? Don’t worry. Here are seven other signs that your dog is your best friend in the entire world.
- It isn’t a real vacation unless your dog is there. Luckily, there are many dog-friendly hotels and Airbnbs around the world. You never want to go on a trip unless you can take your dog.
- You don’t want to have bridesmaids at your wedding, but you’re definitely going to have a Dog of Honor. Your family and friends will be at your wedding, so it makes sense your pooch will be there too. Plus, dressing up your dog in a bow tie is just way too cute of a photo-op to miss.
- You have matching “best friend” charm necklaces. After all, your dog is your best friend, your family.
- You started a doggie meetup group so you both could make more friends. Even though you and your pup are BFFs, you still think it would be nice to have a squad. You aspire to find the Samantha and Charlotte to your Miranda and Carrie.
- You love shopping for your dog more than for yourself. Before you had a dog, you just shopped for yourself. But now you can easily blow hundreds of dollars on cute, miniature outfits and chew toys
- You say “I’m sorry”. You don’t hesitate to apologize to your pup whenever you come home late or accidentally step on its tail.
- You manage your dog’s Instagram and Facebook accounts. Believe it or not, your cute dog has more followers and likes than you. Crazy, isn’t it?
Reason #1 – Dogs provide emotional support
Whether it’s a fuzzy Golden Retriever pup or a blue-eyed Siberian Husky, dogs make everyone feel happy. It’s no wonder your dog is your best friend. Just touching your dog releases oxytocin (the love hormone) in you and your dog. Our dog offers the love you need after a long workday, being an official emotional support animal.
In other words, they’ve been scientifically proven to help us. According to research, dogs can make their owners feel that someone empathizes with their struggles. In some cases, pets were described as therapeutic. Dogs help develop self-sufficiency and feelings of empowerment.
Pets offered a way in which patients were able to exercise control, feeling they mattered. Therefore, dogs make a difference in the life of another living thing. There are few things in the world that bring people together as dogs do. Dogs are conversation starters. Strangers will come to me to ask about my dog, little kids ask if they can pet him.
Reason #2 – Dogs have distinct personalities
It’s a cliché, we know, but your dog is your best friend. Being highly energetic, some dog breeds are wonderful exercise partners. Other dogs are great to snuggle with and are always happy to see you when you come home. Other dogs are better for apartment living than others as they don’t shed. As a matter of fact, every dog breed is fit for different tasks.
After becoming a dog owner and a dog sitter, I learned that every dog has a very distinct personality. There are numerous studies proving this. Every dog has unique quirks that take time to get to know. Some are sassy and a little bossy, while others are super chill. Some dogs love to fetch, and some dogs don’t care about toys at all.
Maximus, my neighbors’ Pug, was goofy. He only played with humans and other pugs. He would get super excited to go through the McDonald’s drive-thru. Besides, he could only sleep if he had a pillow to rest his head on.
My friend’s Mini Schnauzer, Huxley, had a mind of his own. He was incessantly curious and had an opinion about everything. He got very excited about walks, his meal, air blowing in his face, and his toy. He didn’t like cuddling at night and would grunt when something happened that he didn’t like.
Reason #3 – Dogs encourage you to move, making you more social
Those long treks along sidewalks, trails, and paths add up. According to a 2019 British study, dog owners are nearly four times more likely than non-dog owners to meet daily physical activity guidelines. Dog owners spend nearly 300 minutes every week walking with their dogs. That’s 200 more minutes walking than people without a pup of their own.
Walking with a canine companion can make us more approachable and give people a conversation starter. How many times have you talked with other people, whether your neighbors or new friends, at the dog park? Researchers have found that 40 percent of dog owners had an easier time making friends. Dogs are the perfect way to get to know strangers and form new friendships.
According to a Tufts University study, people who have a strong attachment to a pet feel more connected. Not only in their human relationships, but also in their communities. We can learn so much from dogs.
Reason #4 – Dogs are so adorable, making us happier
There’s a reason why puppies are so irresistible: a dog’s facial features possess an “infant schema”. These “social releasers” trigger an innate caregiver response in humans. Thus, the next time you can’t stop watching that dog video, know those big eyes and floppy ears are scientifically appealing.
Just looking at a dog can lift your spirits. It’s no surprise that your dog is your best friend. In fact, according to a 2009 study conducted in Japan, a dog’s eyes are like a drug. Staring into your dog’s eyes raises your level of oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone”.
In addition to the general health benefits of owning a dog, they’re natural mood boosters. People suffering from AIDS who own a dog are less likely to suffer from depression, according to a study.
Reason #5 – Dogs love us unconditionally
Have you ever had a friend more loyal than your dog? Your dog is your best friend. No matter what you do, your dog will love you. With all the wars, racism, and pandemic going on, the world is a scary place right now. In this hard world, knowing there’s a dog waiting for you to get home can help you get through the day.
As dogs and humans developed a deep relationship over thousands of years, dogs are now part of our families. We take pride in our beloved dogs, spoiling them with treats, showing them off, and dressing them up. We play with them, hold them close, and rely on them for support.
Dogs have proven themselves to be loyal, kind, understanding, and full of spirit. They greet us happily after what may have been the worst day of our lives. More importantly, they make us feel much better simply with a wag of their tail. Of course, that’s what a supportive family does. Not only is your pooch your best friend, but he’s also part of your family.
These are the reasons why your dog is your best friend. After all, for all these reasons, both obvious and intangible, we’re so lucky to have them as best friends. If you take good care of your dog and respect their unique personality, they reward you with a lifetime of unconditional love.
“My little dog—a heartbeat at my feet.”