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These 20 essential facts all dog lovers must always keep in mind were written by DogHeirs. 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.

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

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

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.

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.

image: http://www.reshareworthy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/10-20-essential-dog-facts.jpg

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.”

image: http://www.reshareworthy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/11-20-essential-dog-facts.jpg

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.

image: http://www.reshareworthy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/14-20-essential-dog-facts.jpg

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.

image: http://www.reshareworthy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/15-20-essential-dog-facts.jpg

Photo credit: Anna Teresa Herda

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

image: http://www.reshareworthy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/6-20-essential-dog-facts.jpg

“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.

image: http://www.reshareworthy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/8-20-essential-dog-facts.jpg

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.

image: http://www.reshareworthy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/19-20-essential-dog-facts.jpg

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.

image: http://www.reshareworthy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/17-20-essential-dog-facts.jpg

Photo credit: sarah-jane

12. Dogs naturally want to comfort people who are upset. 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!

image: http://www.reshareworthy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/3-20-essential-dog-facts.jpg

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.

image: http://www.reshareworthy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/13-20-essential-dog-facts.jpg

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.

image: http://www.reshareworthy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/12-20-essential-dog-facts.jpg

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.

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