“The Dog Blog”: Why We Humans Love Our Dogs So Much

“The Dog Blog”: Why We Humans Love Our Dogs So Much

“The Dog Blog”: Why We Humans Love Our Dogs So Much

Blog54_TheDogBlog_Coco-300x300 “The Dog Blog”: Why We Humans Love Our Dogs So Much
Dedicated to Konversai’s cutest team member, Coco

The billionaire New York hotel heiress, Leona Helmsley, also known as “The Queen of Mean,” passed away in 2007. Although she excluded many of her family members from her will, she left millions of dollars to one of her brothers and $5 million each to two of her grandchildren. She bequeathed the bulk of her estate—$12 million—to her dog, Trouble.

Trouble lived a life of luxury up until her very last day. After Helmsley’s death, Trouble was flown by private jet to Sarasota, FL, where she was spoiled at the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel. Her caretaker spent $100,000 on her a year—including $8000 on grooming and $1200 on food.

While the story of Helmsley and Trouble might be an extreme one, it illustrates the love, devotion, and fondness that so many of us humans have for our furry, four-legged friends. After all, there’s a reason that dogs have earned the affectionate nickname of “man’s [and woman’s] best friend.” There’s a reason so many of us see our dogs as members of our family and not just as “pets.” Let’s have a look at what it is about the human-dog relationship that makes it so special.

Blog54_TheDogBlog_HappyDog-1-300x200 “The Dog Blog”: Why We Humans Love Our Dogs So MuchTo start with, dogs simply make us feel good! When we look at or cuddle with dogs, our brain releases oxytocin—a hormone related to social bonding that leaves us with positive feelings. When you come home from a stressful day at school or work, petting your dog could be just what you need to calm your nerves. What’s even more fascinating, though, is that when we stare into the eyes of our dogs, not only do we experience an increase in oxytocin, but the dogs do too! Our dogs love us, just as we love our dogs.

To some extent, the human-dog bond may be evolutionary. There is evidence of human history with dogs going back as far as 13,000 years—farther back than human history with cows and sheep. Packs of wolves would follow humans looking for food scraps. Friendlier wolves came along, and humans took them in as companions. These humans and friendly wolves had a symbiotic relationship—humans could provide shelter and protection, while wolves could help take down prey. Friendly wolves bred with other friendly wolves, thus giving the world our beloved dogs.

Blog54_TheDogBlog_HypersocialDog-300x208 “The Dog Blog”: Why We Humans Love Our Dogs So MuchDogs are hypersocial beings. Research conducted in Hungary suggests that dogs process language similarly to how humans do and that they can distinguish significant words from insignificant words. To a degree, your dogs can actually understand you when you’re talking to them! Studies have also found that they can recognize human faces—both in photos and in person—processing the images in the part of the brain that deals with communication, emotional expression, and memory storage.

Blog54_TheDogBlog_KidAndDog-300x225 “The Dog Blog”: Why We Humans Love Our Dogs So MuchDogs can have a huge impact on the physical, mental, and emotional development of children. Studies have found that children who grow up with dogs (or really any kind of pet) at home develop stronger immune systems, most likely due to exposure to certain microbes. This, in turn, results in less antibiotic use, preventing antibiotic resistance.

Blog54_TheDogBlog_LeelaCoco-229x300 “The Dog Blog”: Why We Humans Love Our Dogs So Much
Coco can vouch for Leela’s fantastic reading skills!

Other studies have found that children with dogs exhibit more empathetic and pro-social behavior and greater feelings of positivity about their home life. Furthermore, children who struggle with literacy find reading with dogs helpful, as dogs don’t judge. A study found that children who read to dogs over the course of 10 weeks demonstrated a 12% improvement in their reading skills than those who did not.

Dog ownership is also associated with better health outcomes in adults. On average, dog owners have fewer heart attacks and medical problems and lower blood pressure and cholesterol than those who don’t own dogs. This could be because having a dog will force you to get out of the house at least once a day, rain or shine. When you take your dog on walks, you also reap the exercise benefits. Having a dog also helps you regulate your sleep cycle since most dogs expect to be fed first thing in the morning. This better sleep is accompanied by a better mood, enhanced creativity, a healthier appetite, and all of the other health benefits listed above. And because of our good friend oxytocin, dog ownership is also associated with a lower stress response.

Blog54_TheDogBlog_UnconditionalLove-300x200 “The Dog Blog”: Why We Humans Love Our Dogs So MuchFinally, let’s not forget the fact that in an era of changing household structures, delayed marriage ages, delayed childbearing, and fewer children, dogs can help us combat loneliness and provide us with unconditional affection and love. And who can’t benefit from a little extra unconditional affection and love?

Of course, pet ownership isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. If you’d like to spend more time with dogs and enjoy some of these incredible benefits, but you’re just not in a place to have one of your own, you can explore volunteering at a dog shelter, signing up to be a dog walker or puppy sitter, fostering a dog temporarily, or just hanging out more with your friends who have dogs.

Blog54_TheDogBlog_FunnyDog-300x200 “The Dog Blog”: Why We Humans Love Our Dogs So MuchTo talk more about dog or pet ownership, animal care, healthy living, social bonding, and neurobiology, or anything else under the sun, check out Konversai—your one-stop shop for any and all personal human knowledge. The Konversai platform connects providers of knowledge with seekers of knowledge on any topic of interest—no matter how seemingly commonplace or obscure—through one-on-one live video conversations. All users are encouraged to both providers and seekers of knowledge on any and as many topics as they wish. Knowledge providers are also encouraged to charge as much or as little as they want for their time. They also have the option of holding sessions for free or donating their earnings to a charity of their choice. The best part is that you don’t have to be an expert—any knowledge, skills, and experiences you possess are enough, and there is sure to be someone out there who will benefit from and be willing to pay for talking to you.

Konversai’s mission is to democratize knowledge, put the human connection back into technology, and make the world better by enabling meaningful, authentic conversations that will in some way enrich people’s lives. Be part of the movement by joining Konversai today!

Written by: Pavita Singh

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Beloved Coco and Pavita! 







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