I absolutely love dogs, they truly are one of the best things this world has to offer. Not surprisingly they also have many positive health benefits!
Interacting with your dog boosts your brain levels of serotonin and dopamine. The neurotransmitters that are responsible (at a purely chemical level) for mental states such as happiness, peace and the biological response pleasure.
Exposure to dogs as a child activates your immune system, and along with a handful of controlled studies, epidemiologically speaking have shown to contribute to children with fewer allergies and stronger immune systems.
Dogs also teach us unconditional love, patience, commitment and selflessness. For me personally my dog is as much a part of my family as my blood relatives. Love and family are species independent in my house. I know growing up with a dog helped me to tap into compassion, love and the connection of all living things at a very young age.