August 26 is Dog Day or Dog Appreciation Day, a day to appreciate your best friend on four legs. Founded in 2004 by pet and family lifestyle expert and animal behaviorist Colleen Paige, the day honors dogs for all that they do to enrich our lives and communities. The holiday also aims to raise awareness about dog adoption and the importance of providing rescue dogs with a safe and loving environment. Bellow are 6 Science-Based Benefits of Having a Dog.

A dog can make you more attractive

Singles, listen up: A study conducted in the United Kingdom surveyed 700 people: 60 percent said that owning a dog can make a person seem more attractive, and 85 percent said that people seem more approachable when they’re with a dog.

Dogs make us want to take care of them

There must be a reason why so many people become virtually addicted to dog videos, and why puppies are so irresistible. Konrad Lorenz, a 20th-century Austrian zoologist, posited that a dog’s face possesses an “infant schema”: In other words, because a dog’s facial features are “social releasers,” it triggers an innate caregiver response in humans.

A dog’s sense of smell can keep you healthy

Dogs can be trained to detect prostate cancer, according to a recent study. They can also help you avoid foods you’re allergic to. Several places in the United States train dogs to sniff out the slightest trace of peanuts in the room. With so many children suffering from severe peanut allergies, this ability can be a godsend to their families. Dogs can also be trained to alert diabetics to a low blood sugar level.

Dogs keep you in good shape

A Canadian study shows that dog owners are more likely to engage in moderate physical activity than non-dog owners. In fact, dog owners walk an average of 300 minutes per week, while non-dog owners walk an average of 168 minutes a week. So, yes, those walks around the block are good for you, too!

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Dogs make us more social

Think about how often you stop to talk to other people when out with your dog, whether they’re your neighbors or new friends at the dog park. A study concluded that people who have a strong attachment to a pet report that they feel more connected in their human relationships and their communities. The study also concluded that teenagers and young adults who grow up with a dog become more confident and empathetic.

Dogs make us happy

In fact, even just looking at a dog can make you happier. A study in Japan in 2009 found that just staring into your dog’s eyes raises your level of oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone.” Other studies have shown that owning a dog can alleviate depression, and this is especially true for older adults.

Which dog breed is your favourite?

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