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20 essential facts dog lovers must always remember. The last one comes with a tissue alert.

Dogsarefamily_thumb By Dogs Are Family | February 11, 2014 | Comments (12)

Dogs are family™ here at DogHeirs. We’ve created this list of 20 essential things all dog lovers must always keep in mind. These life lessons are sometimes easy to forget in our hectic lives, but when you remember that you are your dog’s whole world, these 20 truths are unforgettable.

All photos belong to our wonderful DogHeirs members.


20 Essential Facts Dog Lovers Must Always Remember

1. A dog's life is very short when compared to a human's lifespan. While humans can live for more than 100 years, dogs may only live for 10-20 years. Make the time count.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Christina

2. Dogs can act aggressively out of fear. Early socialization with people and other animals is key to building confidence, trust and love.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Anne Savage Photography

3. Children who grow up with dogs are not only healthier but they are also more well-adjusted human beings. Studies have shown that kids who live with dogs have stronger immune systems, fewer allergies and possibly even healthier microbiomes. Other research has revealed that kids raised with dogs feel more caring, happy, responsible and intelligent. And dogs love their little humans just as much as they love their big humans.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Lindsey Potter

4. Dog kisses may also improve your health! A new study aims to show that microbes exchanged between dogs and people may have a positive probiotic effect on the human body that affects our overall health.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Misa Way

5. Dogs love to have jobs. Keeping your dogs active and fit will not only maintain their physical health, it will keep them mentally happy too. "A tired dog is a happy dog."

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Jeffrey Evans

6. Dogs just want to make their humans happy. Teaching dogs new tricks, challenges and behaviors strengthens the bond with your dog. Studies have shown that dogs bond with their humans in a similar way that babies do with their parents and naturally want to please them.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Natassa Kost

7. Dogs reduce stress. Dogs have been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease because they motivate people to get outside and take walks. Also the emotional bond owners feel towards their pets reduces their reaction to stress and lowers their heart rate.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Anna Teresa Herda

8. Dogs look to their humans for help. Dogs derive comfort, security and motivation from their humans.

Dogs are family
"Poor dog's terrifying first train ride..."

9. Dogs appreciate everything you do for them. No gesture is too small or too short - dogs are just happy to be loved and cared for and every minute you spend with them just makes them love you more.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Matt

10. Dogs are sensitive to the environment. They cannot be left outside when it is too hot or too cold. Leaving a dog outside without shelter in extreme weather could result in sickness or death. Similarly, leaving dogs in vehicles during the summer heat could kill them.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Kristi Sockwell

11. Dogs need to be regularly groomed and cared for to keep them physically healthy and happy. Their toenails need to be trimmed, their coat needs to be kept clean and brushed free of mats. Dogs also need their teeth regularly brushed to avoid cavities and disease.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: sarah-jane

12. Dogs naturally want to comfort people. Scientists have shown that dogs respond to human tears and will naturally try and reassure a distressed person. Furthermore, dogs won’t just comfort their humans, they'll also try to help strangers!

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Kelly Charron

13. Dogs cannot be left alone for long periods of time. They are social animals and need people or other animals around them in order to not get lonely, suffer separation anxiety or act out with bad behavior. Dogs need to spend time interacting with their humans every single day.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Kim

14. Dogs don't understand speeches. Dogs respond to key words, vocal tones and body language. Research has proven that dogs watch human interactions and understand subtle signals.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: ChurchinPhotography

15. Dogs love food, but food is not love. The food you give your dogs will affect their overall health. Many human foods are toxic for dogs and could result in death if they eat them.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Roy

16. Dogs thrive on encouragement. Positive reinforcement training has been shown to have far better results in modifying a dog's behavior than harsh training methods. Researchers suggest training your dog well and early on to avoid any problems with aggression.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: catherine krus

17. Dogs are very expressive. Dogs may not be able to speak our language, but they can tell us a lot, if we just pay attention.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: jiuliana mckenzie

18. Dogs may display sudden changes in behavior due to illness. If your dogs are suddenly acting aggressively, or not wanting to walk or eat, it could mean they are sick or injured. Dogs don’t complain like humans, but a change in their regular behavior or routine could indicate there’s something wrong.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Hans Gotun

19. Old dogs deserve just as much love and attention as puppies. Everyone loves puppies, but senior dogs have spent many more years loving and being loyal to their humans.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Janet Woudenberg

20. Dogs always refuse to leave their human's side. There are countless reports of loyal dogs who stayed beside their humans when they were sick, injured and even deceased. Remember this when it's time for your dog to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

Dogs are family
Photo credit: Sara Robertson


And when the time comes, remember that dogs never die. They are sleeping in your heart.

Cherish your dogs! Dogs are family™ for life.

Copyright 2015 DogHeirs. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments on this Article

All of these don't even begin to describe the ways our fur babies enhance, and sometimes even save our lives. I wish I had read this before Christmas because this is the time of year that we need to focus on what is truly important and needful. Even if you are not a Christian who knows that the birth of Jesus was and is the most ultimate gift ever given, most people feel that personal gifts are the best. If everyone who is out buying gifts for loved ones spend just a little less and then give the extra to help animals, it would make an amazing difference in how many animals could be helped. For those who have the money to buy extravagant gifts, instead of buying a designer purse for thousands of dollars, look for something that costs half that price and donate the savings to your local rescue. If that happened we could significantly reduce, and even eventually eliminate the number of strays, help pet owners whose fur babies need medical care but cannot afford it, and go a long way to reminding people what is truly important. We have to get serious and start focusing on what is truly important. No one needs a gold plated shower head, a closet full of purses and shoes that could feed a village for a year or more. Dogs are the only animal on earth that exist solely to love their human. They need us more than any other animal. Get your pets from shelters or rescues and NEVER from breeders. If they truly loved animals they would stop breeding and adding to the homeless pet population. Dogs especially need our help so let's dive in and help! Please!!
So true Lovely news! Xxx
I agree with all the facts dogs are the best companion at times when we are disturbed due to some unusual causes. They are the most trust worthy creature in this entire world. i lost one of my pet dog and still unable to forget those memories, special time spent with him during my sad moods, morning walks.
The last "Rule" indeed did make me cry.... my Great Dog, Maxamilian, a Rotweiller of the kindest ever sort and nature, died a couple of years ago, and still I miss him so much. Max Died of internal bleedings, and I was with him till the last moments, I held him while the doc gave him the injection, the last thing Max did was giving me a lick, and then he started his last journey, and was gone. I miss him, so much!
Nice piece. The only exceptions are #2 which depends on the dog...some are not suited or even safe to just take into social situations and #4 which should suggest training to stop jumping on people like granny or kids.
OMGosh, I couldn't hold back the tears,,,,I kept looking at my two fur girls lying next to me snoring....and couldn't hold back the tears. I absolutely love this and the one that really really gets me is the one when the girl is holding the Dalmatian on the subway....I would actually really so this if my girls were scared. If I saw this...I would cry and then go over and give her a break and ask if she would like me to help by holding her dog for awhile to give her arms a break. Just sooo touching...I am going to copy and keep this....
OMG.....even though our beloved Golden Retriever has been gone for almost 7 years this reduced me to a crying mess. I am 51 years old and even though we have another dog this article still got me. I miss him like hell. He wasn't a dog but a human covered in fur. Always happy, loyal, loving and cuddly. An amazing life for 15 1/2 years. We even have a plaque at home in his memory. RIP my furry friend. Always loved,never forgotten. Now I need more tissues dammit!!
I kept looking my two fur babies while I read this and I could imagine them saying these things to me. I love them with all my heart and cannot imagine anything could ever change that. All dog owners should read this and understand that every word is true.
We just lost our beloved, best friend Max on November 29 - ironic because it was known as Black Friday. We were by his side on his favourite spot on the sofa as he slipped away. The photo alongside #20 brought a flood of memories and tears. It's easy to see it gets easier, but I think that we just become more used to their absence. I haven't spent a day yet where I haven't had a moment of tears thinking about him.
Very lovely. I would add to that, that your dog will gladly give their life for you any second of any day.
What a beautiful compilation of photographs. I agree with what you have said. There is one thing I have learned over time that has, I think contributed to the longevity and overall happiness of my dogs, and that is the last walk of the day. I try to keep that walk at the same time every night that my dogs know like clockwork that this is their time to go outside. Like clockwork they will have regular bowel movements and then have a better quality of sleep. I call this my utility walk. I do take my dogs on other walks during the day but this walk I try not to deviate from. If you are having trouble with your dog going to the washroom on your floor, a regular walk at the same time every day can go a long way to preventing this. I also take a flashlight with me for picking up after my dogs. If I notice anything wrong over a period of time with their poop, because I pickup after them I have a sample to send to the vet.
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