snuggle dalm
Dogs are stellar, magical creatures--there's no use trying to deny it. They get us out of bed in the morning (which we may not like), but they're a great reason to hop in bed and snuggle at night (which we love). And for all those hours in between? Well, let's just say they deserve way more treats than they get.
Source: Little Things

They make us happy. DUH!

Sure, dogs' goofy grins and lack of inhibitions make us laugh into the night, but how does it affect our brains? It turns out that pups keep our stress-causing hormone levels (a.k.a. cortisol) at a minimum, while boosting the good stuff (a.k.a. oxytocin and serotonin)! Next time you're in a cuddle-on-the-sofa mood, thank your dog.
Source: Little Things

They keep our hearts healthy as a horse.

We know that simply being near a dog can bring our blood pressure down, but they've been known to manage our cholesterol levels too! That means a lower risk for heart disease and ultimately a longer, happier life--pups included!
Source: Little Things

They make sure we stay active!

Not only do dogs get our butts off the couch--to get treats, food, play fetch, go for a walk... you get it--they also keep us moving! Don't deny your pup a game of chase in the backyard or a quick stroll around the block. They'll thank you for it, and you'll thank them too. Eventually.
Source: Little Things

They transform us into social butterflies.

Whether it's a visit to the park or a walk down the street, dogs draw attention wherever they go. Even if it's 5 A.M. and they want to say hello to the early-riser neighbor, they're keeping your social skills sharp!
Source: Little Things

They sometimes have a sixth sense.

Many dogs are trained specifically to hunt down cancer and monitor insulin or blood pressure levels in the human body. But even our untrained best friends have super powers; dogs are uber sensitive to the world around them--especially to their humans. If it seems like they're trying to tell you something, don't ignore it.
Source: Little Things

They keep the sniffles at bay.

Allergies, that is. Science even says that growing up with a dog puts kids at less of a risk for asthma! The earlier we're exposed to all that doggie dander, the stronger our immune systems become.
Source: Little Things

They are the all-mighty protectors.

If you've got the baying of a Beagle or the squeaky yapping of a Chihuahua, you might be able to check a security system off the list. Just having a dog by your side can reduce your risk of attracting trouble, and dogs have been known to alert their humans to house fires and intruders as well.
Source: Little Things

They get better with age.

And as YOU age, too! Dogs have a remarkable ability to relate to their people, and even as they get a little grayer and a little slower, they're still the best parts of our day.
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H/t Little Things, Featured Image via Flickr/Maja Dumat