It’s pretty much impossible to walk past a dog and not smile, they are just so happy and their positive energy is contagious. Even if you don’t own a dog, you feel a sense of calm and happiness after just seeing or spending time with a pup and petting their soft fur. Maybe you thought about adopting a dog over the last year but hesitated for some reason. Read on to find out how adopting a dog will change your life, and the lives of those around you, for the better.
10. Helps Reduce Feelings of Isolation and Loneliness
When you adopt a dog, you have a forever friend. There is no better way to wake up than to the smile on your dogs’ face or to fall asleep with your best friend at your feet. Dogs encourage us to be social by taking walks, going to the dog park, or checking out dog-friendly hikes and restaurants. Having your pup by your side makes it easy to start up a conversation with fellow dog owners and lovers since you already have a shared camaraderie. These interactions will help dog owners feel less alone and give a sense of connection to their community.
9. Increases Exercise and Time Spent Outdoors
Dog owners have the best incentive to move their bodies every single day. Science has proven that even a simple walk, not only rigorous mountain hikes, can benefit your mind and body immensely. Regular exercise improves cardiovascular health, can help lower your risk of developing type-2 diabetes, boosts your energy and improves your mood. Plus, the extra Vitamin D from your daily dog walk is a total bonus! There are dog-friendly hiking trails, camping grounds, beaches, hotels, and restaurants. There is no limit to getting out and about with your pup.
8. Decrease Stress and Anxiety
Studies have shown that dogs help reduce stress and anxiety in many different capacities. From simply being at home with their owner after a stressful day of work to therapy dogs at nursing homes to helping veterans cope with PTSD – it is astonishing to know just how powerful of an impact our canine companions provide. Petting your dog will help lower your blood pressure, slow your breathing and your heart rate, and help ease any muscle tension you may have. Even if your dog is not up for a calm, petting session, just watching your dog play can help! Dogs are silly by nature; they love to play and make us laugh when we need it most. Laughter can distract us from feelings of sadness, guilt, and even pain. Laughter lowers our cortisol (stress-inducing hormone) levels and increases our endorphins (a health-enhancing hormone).
7. Better Planning and Organizational Skills
Spontaneous adventures can be some of the best memories we make, so please don't write them off completely. However, lack of planning can also lead to disastrous trips and dangerous situations. Owning a dog means you need to plan, be prepared for the type of outing, and maybe organize packing lists based on your and your dogs' needs. You won't turn into Marie Kondo, but having another living being who is depending on you for their basic needs does make us better planners and more prepared in general.
6. Dogs Help Seniors with Cognitive Function
Dogs are friendly and non-threatening by nature, this makes them good companions for elderly persons living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Their presence can have a calming effect and help patients feel less agitated, nervous, and anxious. Dogs do not judge; they offer unconditional love and companionship to those who need it. These qualities have been scientifically proven to help elderly patients manage the effects of dementia. Dogs can be the lighthouse when they are feeling lost or misunderstood.
5. Dogs Make People More Attractive
Dogs make people appear more friendly and attractive – studies conducted have proven this phenomenon. Get this - even including a picture of you with your pup on dating apps will increase the potential for people to swipe right! Dog owners are seen as more responsible and compassionate than non-dog owners. Plus, the presence of our pup puts us at ease and puts a smile on our face, making us more approachable to others.
4. Improve Budgeting Skills
This may seem far-fetched (get it?!) but dogs can help us improve our finance and budgeting skills. While owning a dog does not have to be expensive, it does require owners to be prepared to pay for routine care costs, unexpected vet visits, and lots of toys and treats. Setting up a budget for dog-related expenses can motivate us to re-think our financial planning habits and keep better track of our spending.
3. Dogs are Good for our Hearts
Literally and figuratively. We already know that dogs make our hearts happy with their goofy personalities and loving demeanor. Now, research has proven that owning a dog helps lower stress, lower our blood pressure, and gets us moving. Subsequently, these benefits make dog owners less likely to suffer from heart disease. Dogs provide us with great incentive to take better care of them and ourselves.
2. Dogs Greatly Benefit Children’s Health
It is going to be hard to cram all the scientifically proven benefits provided to children raised with a dog but, we will try! First, dogs have no concept of cleanliness. They bring germs into the house and while this seems like a negative aspect, the increase of germ exposure helps build and strengthen the immune system. Next, children raised in homes with dogs are less likely to develop eczema, allergies, and asthma. Finally, support dogs can provide comfort to children with autism, communication difficulties, and physical disabilities.
1. Dogs Make Us Better Humans
Simply put, dogs make us better humans. Being responsible for and taking care of another living creature gives a sense of purpose and pride. It teaches us empathy, patience, and appreciation – all great qualities of a partner, employee, and friend. Even for our tiny humans, owning a dog can teach compassion, responsibility and help them grow into more independent, caring adults. Dogs teach us to enjoy the moment and the benefits of simplicity. Seeing their excitement from just going on a walk and sniff is pure joy.
The decision to get a dog is a big one but we hope that this list of benefits has tipped the scales to ‘yes’ and you will start the process of finding the perfect forever friend! Be sure to work with a local rescue to help find a dog that matches your lifestyle and personality.
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