Dogs have always been a human’s best friends. However, simply being adorable and always there for you isn’t all they’re good for. Dogs bring a lot more than companionship to the table. They are uplifting, hilarious, and sometimes they just seem to get you better than any human ever could.
Science is proving over and over again that having an animal in your life comes with many physical and mental benefits. If you are considering adopting a pooch, check out these awesome pros that come with adding a dog to your family.
Your Stress and Anxiety will Decrease
There’s a reason so many people get their dogs certified as animals for emotional support. It is commonly known that having a dog will provide you with a reliable, comforting presence every day. It also makes you responsible for walking, feeding, and caring for another being, which can give you a great sense of purpose.
Dogs ease those suffering from a wide range of mental health issues. These animals can help humans cope with:
You’ll Get More Exercise
Your furry friend will help motivate you to go outside and exercise each day. It can be easy to skip a workout. However, when you look down and see your dog patiently (or impatiently) waiting diligently by the door for their walk, you find the motivation to go out and get some steps in.
A 30-minute walk every day is much more fun with your pup than by yourself. You’ll also find this has a positive impact on your mental health – getting outside for a daily walk and fresh air with your canine companion will reduce stress levels and give you a clearer mindset.
Reduce Trips to the Doctor
If you’re over 65 and thinking of getting a puppy for companionship, another benefit you might find is that your overall health and wellbeing improves. According to this study, over 65s are less likely to seek medical help if they have a dog than those who don’t.
This is thought to be because dog owners get more exercise, have reduced stress levels, and are less likely to be lonely – and loneliness has been found time and time again to have a very negative impact on health.
While all these things are true for senior citizens, they’re also true for younger people. We can all feel lonely sometimes, especially if we live alone. So, if boosting your wellbeing sounds good to you, consider giving a home to a furry friend!
Your Dog Will Keep You Safe
Barking dogs are known to deter all kinds of unwanted activity, such as burglaries or nefarious people. Dogs are fortunate to have a heightened sense of smell and hearing, which means they will detect suspicious activity before you. If there is danger nearby, they will alert you of the potential threat.
It is in a dog’s nature to protect their family and home, which may irritate you when the mailman drops off a package, but it certainly comes in handy when an ill-meaning individual comes around. When you feel safer thanks to your dog, your mind will be more at ease.
Dogs Improve Your Social Life
Aside from simply making you go outside more to get exercise, having a dog can just as easily help you get a date or make new friends. People passing are much more likely to stop to chat with you if you are walking a dog! You’ll also begin to meet fellow dogwalkers who take your regular routes, which can facilitate conversation.
Try taking your dog to a dog park or along for the ride for your daily errands to strike up conversations with new people. You never know what kind of fellow animal-loving stranger you’ll meet!
You Will Be Happier
Dog owners have higher levels of both dopamine and serotonin than people who don’t own dogs – meaning you’re also less likely to be depressed. Pooches make lovely companions that bring many positive attributes to your life, like purpose and the increased need to exercise, as we mentioned above.
If you are a shy dog owner, dogs are natural conversation starters, which means you’ll become more comfortable with social interaction and have a higher chance of creating fulfilling relationships with others who make you happy.
Dogs Reduce the Risk of Allergies
If you have young kids, giving in to their request to own a puppy might also benefit their health.
According to various studies, your kids will be less likely to develop allergies to dogs if they grow up in a home with a pup. Researchers found that 77% of children raised in a home with cats and dogs were less likely to develop many allergies and even asthma, when compared to children raised without pets.
If you’re allergic to certain irritants like dust mites and ragweed, having a dog might help. Some dogs are also trained to detect allergen-potent foods and smells to protect their sensitive owners – if you think you could benefit from this, research trained dogs.
There are also certain dog breeds that are bred to be hypoallergenic, meaning they don’t shed so much (meaning they’re also good for your carpets!) and shouldn’t set off their owners’ allergies like regular pups can.
The Bottom Line
Not only will getting a pup bring you unconditional love, help you get more exercise, and score you mega brownie points with your kids (if you have them), but being a dog owner also has a score of health benefits.
If you’ve been considering getting a dog for some time – and you should only do this if you’ve done your research into how much a pet will cost and the lifestyle changes you’ll need to make – it could be time to take the leap!
Visit your local dog shelter or animal rescue center, or find a reputable breeder near you, and give a home to your new fur-ever friend.