Dogs aren’t just a source of cuteness and love; they also provide a number of surprising health benefits. They can help you get more exercise, make you less prone to allergies and may even lower your risk of heart disease.

Pets have also been shown to reduce stress levels and help people recover from illness or injury. For example, studies show that people with PTSD feel better when they’re around a trained service dog.

They have a strong sense of smell

Dogs have a highly developed sense of smell, which means they can pick out the slightest changes in human scent caused by disease. This is why dogs are trained to detect diseases such as cancer and malaria, which may not be picked out by medical tests.

They can also pick out the tiniest rises and falls in blood sugar levels and other chemical changes that happen when someone is sick. This is why diabetic alert dogs and migraine alert dogs can be so useful in helping people manage their health.

A dog’s sense of smell is much stronger than that of humans, with 300 million olfactory receptors compared to six million for us. This allows them to smell things up to a thousand times farther away than we can.

They are loyal

Dogs are renowned for their devotion to their owners, and they show it in all sorts of ways. Whether they wait patiently for their owner to come home from work, or they are there to greet them every time they walk into a room, this adoration can be overwhelming.

One explanation for their loyalty may be the simplest: dogs are pack animals, and they consider their human families as part of that pack. As such, they appreciate all the love, food, and ear scratches you give them.

While a good breed-specific temperament can make a dog more loyal, the strength of this bond depends on how much you care for your pet. Shelter dogs, for example, may take a bit of time to develop the loyalty that you’re looking for, but they can eventually form a lasting relationship with you.

Despite these differences, all dogs will be faithful when they have a strong bond with their humans. You can nurture this bond with frequent training, positive reinforcement, and by providing plenty of play and cuddling.

They are intelligent

Dogs are known to be intelligent creatures and this is a result of their evolution. They have been bred to be able to respond to commands and they also understand language.

A smart dog is one that has a clear understanding of their environment and they are able to learn new things quickly. They can learn many different skills, such as obedience and tricks.

They are also able to understand their emotions and show them by showing happy, upset or angry behaviour. This is much more advanced than automatic reactions like hunger, pain or fulfilment in less intelligent animals.

They are able to solve problems on their own and this is known as adaptive intelligence. This is different to instinctive intelligence, which reflects the herding, hunting or guarding jobs that breeds have been adapted for.

They are good companions

There are many reasons to get a dog: they’re good companions, help you relax, and make you feel more attractive. They’re also an excellent source of exercise and can even improve your health.

Having a dog is linked to lower heart disease risk, as well as healthier cholesterol levels and blood pressure. And, studies show that dog owners are more likely to meet physical activity guidelines.

A large study published in Circulation showed that people who owned dogs had a 31% lower death rate from heart attack and stroke than those who didn’t own them.

The human-animal bond is a powerful force in many people’s lives, but scientists are discovering that it can be beneficial for your health too.

Several studies have found that dogs and therapy dogs can alleviate stress and anxiety, especially in hospital patients, nursing home residents, and children. They also boost socialization and reduce sympathetic nervous system arousal.