Man’s Best Friend

This article is for the Bellas, Lucys, Coopers, Charlies, Rockys, Zoes, Cocos, Luckys, Teddys, and my favorite —Mochas!

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash | Man’s Best Friend

Quote of the Day:

“You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!’” — Dave Barry

How well do your dogs know you? My guess is they know you better than you would think. In fact, some will argue their canines know them better than their family.

Why does it seem that way?

Dogs have an exceptional ability to detect and reflect their owner’s emotions.

According to a Live Science article written by Stephanie Pappas, when reacting to sadness —

“‘Dogs approached whoever was crying regardless of their identity. Thus they were responding to the person’s emotion, not their own needs, which is suggestive of empathic-like comfort-offering behavior.’”

On the other hand, when the owner is ecstatic, their dogs react with equal jubilation — celebrating victory and sharing the happiness.

What is not to love?!

As endearing as the companionship is between humans and canines, this relationship did not occur overnight. It began over 16,000 years ago — when early humans and wolves realized they could be friends.

Facts about Man’s Best Friend

“Paws for thought” | Statista | Man’s Best Friend

The most compelling aspect of the human-canine bond is the health benefits for the person, which includes reduction in blood pressure, alleviation of loneliness, exercise, outdoor time, and socialization.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) goes as far as outlining benefits on its website — right alongside daily health tips, COVID-19 updates, and outbreak bulletins:

“Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners. Some of the health benefits of having a pet include:

Decreased blood pressure

Decreased cholesterol levels

Decreased triglyceride levels

Decreased feelings of loneliness

Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities

Increased opportunities for socialization”

— Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC’s advice seems pretty legit to me.

Altogether, after 16,000 years together, the bond between humans and dogs has evolved into a list of advantages that spans beyond immediate survival.

Which Breeds are Most Popular?

Data Source: American Kennel Club | “The Most Popular Dog Breeds in the U.S. “ | Statista | Man’s Best Friend

When assessing the popular breeds in the U.S. over the last decade — not a lot has changed for the top canine breeds. Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds are still the most popular dogs in the United States.

However, taking a closer look, you’ll find the mighty comeback by the smaller dogs: French Bulldog and Poodles! They’re charging into the top spots of pet preference.

Why are small dogs gaining in popularity?

A Canine Journal article by Kimberly Alt sheds insights into the phenomenon,

“The French Bulldog is among the most popular dog breeds because they are low energy and adaptable to any home, even a small apartment. They are also comfortable living with individuals or families.”

Taking Kimberly’s quote into further consideration, the trend towards smaller dogs could be an economical one. For example, if more individuals are opting for apartments, they may be limited by their landlords in their pet’s weights.

So, opting for a smaller dog may be a socioeconomic necessity.

Pet Products are Pandemic Proof!

Data Source: Bloomberg | “Online Pet Stores Thriving” | Statista | Man’s Best Friend

Although not solely focused on dogs, the chart does spotlight the demand for pet products, and demonstrates an interesting economic occurrence.

Despite the financial shutdown due to the Pandemic and the drop in the US stock market, online pet stores and stocks have managed to surge. This event is likely due to the prioritization in maintaining the well-being of pets.

Will this trend continue?

Yes — with COVID-19 looming and spreading, online pet stores provide a solution for owners who prefer not to purchase pet supplies in-person. Also, its really convenient.

Not Everyone Loves Dogs…

Data Source: U.S. Postal Service | “The Worst U.S. Cities For Dog Attacks On Postal Workers” | Statista | Man’s Best Friend

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of mail delivery is a loose 150-pound canine charging at you. These attacks occur due to human error, where the owners do not properly contain their dogs. Most cities enact stiff penalties to hold pet owners more accountable.

Despite the fines and stiff ordinances, the dog-ownership popularity has not diminished because most owners understand the importance of proper training and containment of their pets.

Nonetheless, if you’re a postal worker and could eliminate one job hazard, it would easily be dog attacks.

The Next 16,000 Years

Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash | Man’s Best Friend

As our dogs continue to evolve alongside us, our dependencies upon each other will continue to strengthen. The numerous benefits of ownership make our dogs — Man’s Best Friend.

Our preferences for dog breeds will continue to change — however, the need for ownership will not.

Especially during difficult times like Pandemics, people will require comfort from all loved ones, including their dogs.

Will this ever change? Ask a dog lover.

Note: If I did not list your puppy’s name in the subtitle, please share it with us. We want to know — what is your buddy’s name?

Read More From KR Franklin

Editor of Fellowship Writers

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