International Women's Day celebrates dogs as best friends

Dogs Are a Woman’s Best Friend this International Women’s Day


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Happy International Women’s Day! To celebrate today’s fabulously festive (and meaningful) occasion, we’re celebrating why dogs truly are a woman’s best friend. How? With scientific data of course – get those red hot nerd glasses on.

PD Insurance has compiled the findings of three independent studies, with each focusing on a different aspect of the human-dog bond. From co-evolution to co-sleeping and interspecies communication, it turns out that women have led the way to dogs becoming humans’ BFF.

Read on to uncover a number of pawsome facts.

BFF bonding for International Women’s Day

Washington State University researchers recently uncovered data suggesting women influenced the co-evolution of dogs and humans. Yay for us!

PD Insurance spoke to Jaime Chambers, a WSU anthropology Ph.D. student and the paper’s first author to get some inside info.

She says “My dogs Chalo and Priya have been a steady, comforting presence in my life for over 8 years. They’re an integral part of my daily rhythms, my hikes on favourite trails, my moves across the country and across the world. We’re a part of each other, and they’re a big inspiration for my research.”

Her research findings are really interesting.

Humans and canines evolving together

First published in 2020, the research examined more than 844 ethnographic data recordings from around the globe. Researchers looked at how useful dogs and humans have been to each other throughout history. In addition, they hoped to uncover what factors influenced the formation of this usefulness into a bond.

Upon data analysis researchers noticed a major influencing factor is women. They found a pattern emerging – when women were more involved in a dog’s life, the dog’s value or “personhood” went up.

Personhood meant a dog would be given a name and included in family life. The data suggests that only when a dog formed a special relationship with a woman did the rest of the family or social group accept it to that extent.

Being accepted meant a dog would be regarded as special and treated with affection. Personhood for a dog also meant it would be more likely to sleep in bed with the humans. Importantly, it also meant that if a dog died it would be missed by its humans.

Jaime adds, “Humans have had dogs by their side for thousands of years – longer than any other domesticated animal – and when I walk with Chalo and Priya, I’m inspired to learn more about this big, complex story.

WSU anthropology Ph.D. student Jaime Chambers with her dogs Chalo and Priya on International Women’s Day
Jaime Chambers with her dogs Chalo and Priya
Photo courtesy of Ben Rearick

Dogs in bed will do you good this International Women’s Day     

Did you know sleeping with your dog in your bed can make you healthier? It sure can. A 2018 Canisius College study shows women actually sleep better with pooch by their side.

Is it another reason to celebrate dogs being women’s bestie this International Women’s Day? We think yes.

The study comprised nearly 1,000 participants, all of whom were women who shared a bed with their pet, partner or both of them. Pets included cats and dogs and percentages looked like this:

  • 57% shared with their partner
  • 55% had at least one dog co-sleeping
  • 31% co-slept with at least one cat

And the results?

Partners and cats were equally disruptive to sleep. Whereas “dogs who slept in the owner’s bed were perceived to disturb sleep less and were associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security.”

For all the cat owners out there (ourselves included), rest assured the research is not 100% conclusive. In fact, the article concludes by saying that follow-up research is necessary. But as dog lovers we’ll take it.

Connecting through non-verbal communication

Want to know how to speak dog? As it turns out women have an innate ability to understand and interpret the different dog growls and what they mean.

The Royal Society Open Science journal‘s 2017 study on interspecies communication explored whether male and female participants could tell the difference in dog noises. For example, between growls for playfulness, stranger defence, and food guarding.

And they could – 63% of the time, participants knew which growl applied to which context. This is higher level of accuracy compared with a random chance rate, which would only be 33%

Plus… the gender who measured the most accurately were women. Researchers weren’t sure why women scored so highly, but for the time being they’ve linked it to empathy.

owner wonders if there's insurance for pre existing conditions this International Women’s Day

Pet insurance for International Women’s Day

Pet insurance is a wonderful way to protect the health of both your beloved pooch and your purse. Celebrate International Women’s Day by giving your bestie way more security than even they provide you.

Dog insurance enables you to make speedy choices around your dog’s wellbeing so you can focus on enjoying life together. It helps build your bond while reducing out of pocket medical costs like vet visits for testing and treatment, hospitalisations, accidents, illnesses and more.

Plus, if you sign up online with PD Insurance we’ll give you one or more months of pet insurance free! Go on… get a free quote quickly now.

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