Humans and Dogs form “Mutualistic Relationships”

A Mutualistic Relationship is when two different species “work together” each benefiting from the relationship.  This is truly the relationship between dogs and humans.

Let’s take the dog side of this equation.  It is quite obvious that dogs benefit from being loved and cared for: being fed, groomed (in many cases) taken for walks, being played with and just being together with you.  After being away from you, the minute you come home your dog is wagging its tail or rubbing up against you, running in circles, jumping, bringing you its toys and just waiting for a pet and a hug. Pure joy!

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According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the human–canine bond is influenced by emotional, psychological, and physical interactions that are essential to the health and well-being of both people and dogs.

Dogs also like to feel useful.  Take for instance the therapy trained dog.  When you meet a therapy dog, they are very well trained, professional and always seem to love taking care of sick or handicapped children, adults, and seniors.  Many dogs are born to be worker dogs, herders who tend to the sheep, bomb sniffing dogs, police dogs, rescue dogs and if you ask any owner, they will tell you how much their dog loves their work and will perform their jobs even when tired or achy, as they want to please.

Now take the human side of this Mutualistic Relationship, dogs provide love, unconditional love.  They know when you are sad or sick and will stay by your side.  When you are away, even if for a short period of time, your dog will come running like you have been away forever, and this makes you feel happy, often putting a smile on your face.  Who doesn’t feel better knowing that the one you love misses you when you are away.

It has been proven that having a dog (or for that matter any pet) often improves your health. By just petting or touching your dog, this releases hormones that can lower blood pressure and reduce stress.  They often know when you are feeling “blue” and will provide you with emotional support that can help elevate the hormones that help lift depression.  It is said that petting a dog will also reduce stress and anxiety in pets.

Dogs help to increase your physical activity through walks, ball playing and other games. They also help to encourage more social interaction. It is a rare day when walking your dog in a busy area, that you will not be stopped to have your dog petted or you are asked a question about your dog.

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The AVMA officially recognizes that the human-animal bond exists, that it has existed for thousands of years, and that it has had a major impact on veterinary medicine.

We have been reading more and more about how dogs are detecting cancer or other illnesses.  There have been studies that people who own a dog live longer than those that don’t.  There are studies that children who own any pet tend to be less likely to develop allergies, skin ailments and asthma.

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There are probably studies that show that dogs that do not live in loving homes, do not live as long, either.  What we do know is that dogs provide us with unconditional and uncomplicated love that leads to healthier and happier lives. In turn, we provide dogs with the care and love they deserve-what a wonderful “Mutualistic Relationship”.

Blog post written by Susan Lyman of Tails Untold Personalized Pet Books.  Please visit Tails Untold Blog at http://blog.tailsuntold.com to read about many other interesting pet topics.  Also, if you are looking for a great pet gift, please visit this website http://tailsuntold.com

3 responses to “Humans and Dogs form “Mutualistic Relationships””

  1. Bill says:

    I am always looking online for articles that can assist me. Thx!

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