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10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend

10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend

To put it simply, dogs are awesome. Whether they’re begging for your food, barking at their leash to convince you to take them on a walk, or simply greeting you when you get home, dogs do all of the little things that put smiles on faces around the world. What are some of the more endearing reasons why dogs are and always will be man’s best friend? Read on…

1. Dogs have terrible short-term memories.

    One of the crappier aspects of human friends is that, generally speaking, they remember all of the times you’ve wronged them and will hold it against you for the rest of their lives. Dogs, on the other hand, have the “gift” of poor memory. That means you can mess with their tail, play keep away with their food, and tug on their ears to your heart’s content, even if it annoys them. You get to have your fun, and your dog will forget all about it and treat you like their best bud within a couple minutes! It’s truly one of the only win-win scenarios in life.

    2. Dogs have great long-term memories.

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      While your pooch will forget you pulling on their tail, they won’t forget the connection they share with you, and, if you are good to them, you will leave a lasting impact on them that they’ll never shake off. Take, for instance, my dachshund Chester. From a young age he was babied by my mom, and now, nearly twelve years later, he never leaves her side. Unfortunately this sort of thing goes both ways, as I used to mess with him quite a bit on a consistent basis (actually I don’t think it had anything to do with me; he’s just too attached to my mom to like anyone else), and so nowadays he barks in my general direction whenever words of any sort come forth from my mouth.

      3. Dogs have your back.

        Even though my dog Chester isn’t exactly a huge fan of me, he’ll still take me over strangers. Now, when a dog actually likes me (like my dog Sally does), they’ll defend you even more vehemently. Whenever a creepy solicitor or girl scout cookie peddling entrepreneur knocks on your door, your dog will be right there beside you barking at them as you tremble behind a corner, too afraid to answer. Of course, this can go a little overboard, like this one time when the UPS guy showed up and tried to put a box on my porch, only to be chased away by three dogs rushing out to defend the homeland. Understandably, he now leaves packages by the front gate instead.

        4. Dogs can mimic your emotions.

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          Based on the tone of your voice and your body language, your dog will do its darnedest to emulate your current state of mind. When you’re sad, they’ll look at you with big doe eyes. When your angry, the fur will rise on their backs and they’ll start barking and growling at inanimate objects. Whereas humans might not respond to your emotional upswings and downswings in a way that you’d prefer, dogs will always be there whether you’re thrilled, depressed, or anywhere in between.

          5. Dogs act as mini-dishwashers.

            Ok, that sounds a little gross, but hear me out. Ever finish dinner and have too little food on your plate to save, but too much that it’d be a hassle to wash it in the sink? Well, here’s where your dog comes in! Just hand the plate over and let them polish it off. They’ll be happy, and you’ll have an easier time doing the dishes!

            6. Dogs are great motivational tools.

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              In case you’re afraid that using your dog as a dishwasher will lead to them becoming overweight, fear not. Dogs prefer being active, at least when they’re younger. Make use of their abundance of energy and take them on walks, or, if you are super ambitious, runs! They’ll be tuckered out and supremely amused, and you’ll be on track to becoming a healthier person!

              7. Dogs are freaking smart!

                Intelligence varies depending on the kind of breed you get, but overall, dogs are some of the most intuitive animals around. This is demonstrated by their multiple facial expressions (I especially like the one where they tilt their head and look at you quizzically), their ability to deviously hide toys in the strangest of places, and more. One of my dogs is a miniature schnauzer, and he cracks me up with how smart he is. I have a few tennis balls by my desk (which I don’t use for tennis; I just toss em in the air whenever I’m concentrating), and he knows this. So, what he does is go on little reconnaissance missions into my room. If I’m in there, he pretends to look out my window or inspect my bed, while simultaneously stealing a few glances at my tennis balls (which usually lay haphazardly on the floor). Then, he’ll leave, but only after making a mental checklist of where the balls are. Later in the day, or it could even be several days later, I’ll go downstairs and see him happily chewing at one of my tennis balls, a mischievous look in his eye as he gazes up at me. It’s hilarious every time! He planned a stealth mission, waited for me to leave my room, retrieved the ball, and escaped without me noticing. Sounds like he should be made an honorary Navy Seal…

                8. Dogs won’t allow you to eat alone ever again.

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                  Who wants to eat alone? Sure it’s nice sometimes, but even as an introvert I’ll admit to liking a nice dinner with other people (only if I enjoy their company of course). Well, fear not, because if you have a dog you’ll always have company for dinner. Of course, they’ll be sitting by your knee, panting in your face, asking for your food, but it’s company all the same! Recently I went to go eat alone in my room, when I heard a distinct huffing and puffing outside my door. Turns out my 14 year old dachshund Sally had dragged her fat little body all the way up two flights of stairs to be there while I ate (presumably because she expected me to give her some of my Chinese food — oh and by the way she looked exactly like the corgi pictured in the above gif). After you’ve had a dog, it’s difficult to eat without the incessant barking in the background!

                  9. Dogs won’t leave you hanging.

                    Ever make plans with a human friend, only to find out that they canceled at the last minute? Well, no need to worry about that when you have a dog. They don’t know how to use phones, as far as I know, so there’s no reason to fear them calling up the neighbor’s poodle to see if they want to hit up some local bars, abandoning you to your TV and a paltry, lonesome microwave dinner. They’re there for you, and you alone!

                    10. Dogs know how to live.

                      To put it simply, dogs behave like humans who aren’t concerned about the more ridiculous aspects of sentient existence. For example, paying the bills, getting an education, running errands, dealing with annoying people all of the time, etc. All they want to do is wake up, say hi to you, run around, play with their toys, eat, nap, eat again, nap again, say hi again, and sleep. Is that so bad?! Sure, we humans have certain responsibilities thanks to our “intelligence,” but it sure would be nice if we could all go through life like dogs; care free and completely sure of ourselves. At the very least, if you have a dog, you can live vicariously through them. As long as you know what you’re getting into, it’s totally worth it!

                      Featured photo credit: DSCN7900.jpg/ pippalou via mrg.bz

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                      Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                      When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

                      So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

                      1. Exercise

                      It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

                      2. Drink in Moderation

                      I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

                      3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

                      Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

                      4. Watch Less Television

                      A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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                      Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

                      5. Eat Less Red Meat

                      Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

                      If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

                      6. Don’t Smoke

                      This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

                      7. Socialize

                      Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

                      8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

                      Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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                      9. Be Optimistic

                      Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

                      10. Own a Pet

                      Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

                      11. Drink Coffee

                      Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

                      12. Eat Less

                      Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

                      13. Meditate

                      Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

                      Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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                      How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

                      14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

                      Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

                      15. Laugh Often

                      Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

                      16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

                      Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

                      17. Cook Your Own Food

                      When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

                      Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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                      18. Eat Mushrooms

                      Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

                      19. Floss

                      Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

                      20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

                      Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

                      Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

                      21. Have Sex

                      Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

                      More Health Tips

                      Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
                      [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
                      [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
                      [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
                      [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
                      [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
                      [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
                      [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
                      [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
                      [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
                      [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
                      [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                      [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                      [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
                      [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
                      [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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