The Science of Dogs & Our Happiness
Dearest Doggo Owner,
We’re writing to you from the office of Pug Life Harness to inform you that you are well on your way to health and happiness thanks to your companion. Universal Dog Care is incredibly important to us, and while your doggo may not be able to vocalize why they make you happy and healthy, we’ve taken the liberty of diving into the facts.
A quick search online to investigate why dogs make us happy pulls up endless results. The reality of our world is we all speak dog and it’s paying off with the unconditional love we receive and give back, but we have questions. What is the science behind it all? Do we have a firm grasp of the reasoning?
According to TIME, it’s been proven animals reduce fear and anxiety for not only children but adults as well. In particular, dogs are known to decrease the amount of stress we all carry. Back in 2012, results were released by Randolph Barker, a professor of management at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business, showing that employees are more likely to be less stressed if they bring their dog to work.
We believe it!
Even college campuses have picked up on the therapeutic results of dogs and other animals. In the Pacific Northwest, resting cozily in Bellingham, Western Washington University understands the amount of stress taken on by students as they study for exams. To alleviate the stress, therapy dogs and cats are scheduled to come in to the library on certain weeks each quarter. A brilliant idea! Sign us up and give us a diploma in Dog Studies, please.
Getting back on track… What about stress outside of school and work? Let’s discuss anxiety and depression.
It’s shown that dog owners are less likely to experience depression than those who do not own pets. When we interact with dogs and cats, our serotonin and dopamine levels elevate which gives us the calm we seek. You might pair this information to the sensation of petting your dog, because as humans, we have set needs including the need to touch. These therapeutic effects may shown long-term as studies also show pet owners over the age of 65 are less likely to frequent the doctor’s office by 30%.
The data is there. We see it and experience it daily and thank goodness for that! We have so much to owe to our furbabies. One grateful doggo owner and pet professional Leanne Young was kind enough to weigh in on her experience in the pet industry and how it’s transformed her daily living:
For me, being in the pet industry for 6 years has given me fine-tuned empath powers. Dogs are saying so much to us through very subtle body language. Learning to understand it has completely changed my relationship with not only my own dog, but with the people around me. Now I am SO in tune with everyone's needs it's crazy. I've basically become "The Mom Friend" by becoming a dog mom.
Zoning in on the transfer of empathy skill from dog to human, that’s incredibly relatable for most - we’re sure. Dogs are so tuned into our emotions that we often see reactions from them whenever we’re feeling down or troubled.
Former doggo owner Rose Miller shared, “I had a German Shepherd/ malamute mix as a kid. I would sit on the porch when I was upset, he always came and sat beside me. Even when I was angry and tried to make him go away, he stayed. He was there to comfort me. I still miss him.”
Right in the feels, friend.... This adds so much truth to Australian National University’s Colin Groves claim that our success as a species can be attributed to help from dogs.
“The human-dog relationship amounts to a very long lasting symbiosis. Dogs acted as human's alarm systems, trackers, and hunting aides, garbage disposal facilities, hot water bottles, and children's guardians and playmates. Humans provided dogs with food and security. The relationship was stable over 100,000 years or so, and intensified in the Holocene into mutual domestication. Humans domesticated dogs and dogs domesticated humans.”
We wrap up this post by posing the question how has your dog helped you? We invite you to share your stories with us by posting using the hashtag #PugLifeHarnessSuperstar for a chance to be featured, because your hero is a hero worth knowing.