Owning a dog is one of the life’s great joys. There is nothing which warms your heart like the affection of a puppy. Little compares to the fierce loyalty your pet develops after years of companionship. And, no alarm system instills the sense of safety and security that a dog does. But these are not the best reasons to join the ranks of canine ownership.
The greatest reason to own a dog is the positive impact the relationship will have on your health and wellness. Pet ownership in general is known to improve your mood and social skills, but owning a dog does even more. They promote cardiac health, an active lifestyle, and they keep your kids free from allergies. Dogs can do it all.
So, if you are shopping for a pet but are torn between a dog and some other type of animal, think about the big picture. Cats and birds are nice, but dogs will help you live longer.
Dogs Are the Best Ice Breaker Around
Owning a dog is a fantastic icebreaker when meeting new people. Commenting on a pet is a natural opening for conversation and immediately puts everyone at ease in a potentially awkward situation. Almost everyone has either owned a dog or been around one at some point in their lives. There are few things more people have in common than an interest in dogs.
If you haven’t taken your pet to a dog park lately, you will be shocked at how popular they have become. Most cities invest in well-designed environments perfect for an afternoon among dogs and other dog lovers. It is a great place to relax and to meet other pet owners with common interests.
You don’t have to find a dog-centric activity to experience the social benefit of canine ownership. Shop around for the best indoor dog to accompany you to the café, to the store, or even to work if your boss doesn’t mind. The doors it will open socially will surprise you.
Dogs Help with Stress, Depression, and Anxiety
Stress is a known killer. It contributes to high blood pressure, cardiac disease, and metabolic problems. There are many ways to combat stress in your life, but the easiest and most rewarding is petting your dog. That’s right. Simply being around and interacting with your pet has been shown to reduce stress.
How does this happen? Engaging in enjoyable activities causes feel-good chemicals like Serotonin and Dopamine to increase in your body. The better you feel; the less stress will impact your health.
The responsibility of caring for a dog has been shown to diminish the negative effects of depression and anxiety. Owning a dog requires establishing a routine and interaction, both of which can serve to break depressive episodes even more effectively than medication in some cases.
Dog Owners are More Active
Everyone knows they should be more active in their lives. It’s staying motivated to keep moving on a regular basis that is usually the problem. Owning a dog puts walking on the schedule every day and ensures you hit your thirty-minute exercise target consistently.
Dogs are the best workout partner you can ask for. They always say yes when you want to go. They let you exercise at your own pace. And, they never judge you for stopping earlier than planned.
Dogs can participate in exercise far more adventuresome than walking around the block. Your canine companion can join you while hiking the trails or even kayaking on the lake. The sky is the limit. Dogs just want to be outdoors having fun with their favorite person in the world. You.
Fight Allergies by Owning a Dog
Studies show that growing up with a dog in the house will make you less susceptible to pet allergies brought on by dander and fur. Recent studies are showing that early exposure to pets may strengthen your immune system and prevent non-pet allergies.
A child does not have to live full time with a furry friend to reap the rewards. Even limited contact can be beneficial. So, if you have grandchildren or nieces and nephews without a dog, invite them over to your house to be exposed to a real benefit of dog ownership.
Pet Owners Visit the Doctor Less Often
Dog owners are a third less likely to seek medical treatment than people without a pet. This amazing statistic can be attributed to the overwhelming health benefits owning a dog has been proven to provide.
The biggest advantage dog owners have over the rest of the population is improved cardiac health. Studies show that just petting a dog can lower your blood pressure. Cholesterol levels among pet owners are lower than the norm, as is the number of days they call in sick to work.
Overall, dog ownership promotes a healthy, happy lifestyle which translates to needing less medical intervention and being less susceptible to debilitating diseases.
Canine Cancer Detection
Dogs have the ability to detect cancer in their owner’s body by using their keen sense of smell. Many owners credit their pet with saving their lives through early detection of cancer.
Studies have shown that most dogs possess this ability and training programs have been devised to hone the skill in only a few hours. For those worried about cancer or living with the possibility of recurrence, having a home diagnostic tool offers peace of mind.
Dogs Promote Wellness and Health
The primary purpose of owning a pet is companionship. Even a fish in a bowl or a bird in a cage can provide enough interaction and dependency to make loneliness disappear in an otherwise solitary life. But for those that are willing to make a bigger commitment, to let a larger animal loose in their lives, dogs can give back in ways other animals simply cannot.
Whether you are hoping to become more active, visit the doctor less often, or are experiencing severe stress or depression owning a dog will help. Few other pets are capable of making the kind of impact on your life as a dog.
Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. She also helps curate contents for DogsAholic.com.