There's a reason why dogs have been called man's best friend. From licking your face when you wake up to sitting on your feet when your toes are cold, dogs serve as a gentle alarm clock and the best slippers you'll ever have. Own one and you might even take fewer trips to the doctor.
Let's face it -- cats don't care about you unless you bring them food. Fish are perfectly happy as long as your fingers drop pellets into the water each day. And hamsters hardly need mere humans when they have the wonderful spinning wheel. Dogs, on the other hand, love to be around humans as much as humans love to be around dogs. They'll sit with you on the couch, follow you into the kitchen -- especially if you have food -- sleep with you at night and serve as your co-pilot on rides. They just want to please their owners, and their friendly attitude goes a long way in helping them succeed.
While criminals usually don't think rationally before they commit a crime, most realize it's not the best idea to rob or harm someone with a dog. The best way to get away with a crime is to do the deed as quietly as possible. Dogs throw a kink in that plan by either barking from 5 feet away -- in the case of a Chihuahua -- or getting up close and personal with the lawbreaker, such as a German shepherd. You should never rely on a dog solely for security, but they do provide peace of mind.
Aside from screaming at you as puppies when locked in their crate at night, dogs blow away other animals on the entertainment scale, at least if you enjoy being physically active. From enjoying a sunny day at the park to playing peek-a-boo from around the corner, dogs enjoy fast-paced action that will certainly have you belting out a few laughs.
If you're looking to stay fit or meet a fitness goal, daily walks will keep you on that path. But aside from the obvious, dogs provide health benefits that can't be measured in the mirror. If you have high blood pressure, you may receive a bit of good news the next time you visit your doctor, if you have a dog. According to Alabama A&M; and Auburn Universities, researchers at Baker Medical Research Institute in 1992 found that pet owners experienced lower systolic blood pressure than people who did not own a pet. In fact, the simple act of petting a puppy can lower your stress level. Plus, the fur will keep your hands warm in the winter.
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