I’m a “Dog person”. We have three dogs that live with us, a Dachshund and two huge Great Danes. They’re all boys and they’re all attitude, I love them! They take up space and when they’re not taking their epic walks they’re taking up all the couch space anywhere we are in the house. What’s great about our dogs is that they’re consistent in a way people can never be. They’re always in the mood for exercise, for cuddles, or for chilling out, they adjust perfectly to however I’m feeling, and I can’t ever see myself living without a dog.
According to the latest statistics put out by the U.S. Humane Society, there are about 78.2 million dogs in the United States, about 60% of households have at least one dog! When you ask dog owners how they feel about their pets, they’ll tell you Fido is a part of the family as much as anybody else.
So, what does this mean for your relationship?
We all know that no relationship is perfect and whenever we’re in conflict with our significant others it can feel like the whole world is against us. We can call a friend to talk about what happened but sometimes other people’s opinions do more harm than good.
That’s where your dog comes in. He might just be the only one who really understands your thoughts and feelings without judgment and without having to have something to say. If you are a dog owner, you have to admit you’ve found yourself talking to him more than once and just venting your feelings. That dog is the one “person” who loves you unconditionally and will never tell anyone your secrets. If you think about it, this is the perfect situation.
I know from plenty of experience that a good dog can make you feel better emotionally but there’s science involved too! Just a few minutes with your pooch can slow down a rapid heartbeat and bring down the cortisol level, (a hormone that is associated with stress). It’s also shown that the serotonin level, (the hormone associated with well-being) goes through the roof when a loving dog gets into the equation. Sharing that calming emotional and physical effect on two people in a relationship cannot be a bad thing at all.
No matter what we may say or do, that dog is there to de-stress even the hardest situations; be it a bad day at work or a bad argument on the home front. It really is hard to stay angry when your dog is right there bumping against you and nudging your hand for a good rub.
Lots of couples think of their dogs as their children, even when they have actual kids in the home. These are the perfect neutral family members that love both parties and can even be the mortar that keeps things together when the relationship going gets tough.
That doesn’t mean getting a dog makes all of the relationship ills go away, but they’re a great means of support and affection when we need it the most. There aren’t too many times a dog will see his or her owner in distress and not instinctively go into comfort mode. A dog can feel the emotional temperature of the room and act go where it’s needed.
But for those of you with dogs, you know this already! So try and find a way to say thank you to the doggie on the couch, he’ll thank you, even if you wake him up from his nap!
Karla Stephens-Tolstoy, Tokii CEO & Founder
A business and brand maverick, skilled in building start-ups and building brand management teams in North America, Asia and Europe.