Ever since I adopted my dogs Daisy and Rosie, my life has gotten better. And that’s no coincidence. I mean, dogs are called man’s best friend for a reason, right? Here are five ways that canines make their owners’ lives better.

It’s Impossible to Be Upset for Long

You may have had a bad day at work. Maybe you just suffered from a little road rage. But the moment you walk through your door, your dog is there to greet you with a wagging tail and a big smile on her face. I don’t know about you, but once I enter the dog zone, I pretty much forget about anything that may have been bothering me.

Dogs Lower Your Blood Pressure

Many studies have shown that petting a cat or a dog helps lower your blood pressure and makes you feel nice and relaxed. In fact, one study years back showed that human/dog interactions result in lower blood pressure than human/human interactions. You see, petting your pal releases a hormone called oxytocin, known as the “feel-good hormone.” That’s why it feels so nice when Fido is chilling with you on the couch.

People with Dogs are More Active

Think about it – if you have a dog you’re incorporating more activity into your life with (hopefully) daily walks for pooch. Research has shown that people with dogs are more active than their dog-less counterparts.

And most people don’t just substitute a walk with their dog for other physical activity – the walk instead becomes additional exercise. I can vouch for this too. I’m a runner, and while sometimes I run with my dogs, often I run or exercise and then I take my dogs on a separate walk. This means that I may run six miles and then walk another three with Daisy and Rosie. This is great for my heart and gets me outside more. Not to mention the extra exercise helps decrease stress.

You Always Have Someone To Cuddle

Whether you’re paired up or single, you always have someone to snuggle up with when you have a dog. And dogs are the best cuddle buddies, right?

Dogs Teach Us Unconditional Love

Have you ever met a human who is always enthusiastic to see you no matter what? Or who forgives you without question? Before I had dogs, I didn’t completely understand what unselfish, unconditional love was. Because of the devotion my dogs have shown me, I’ve learned a thing or two. And I would do just about anything just to make them happy, even if it meant I had to suffer. Now, that’s love.