If you are a dog owner, you already know that owning a canine can enrich your life in numerous ways. Here are but a few…
Calming. Having a dog can help you deal better with daily stresses. Dogs can sense subtle changes in your energy, and, with a quick tail wag, have the ability to snap you right out of the doldrums of distress. Always eager to provide support and affection, a dog could make a stressful time in your life a little more manageable. The University of Winnipeg even brought canine companions to help relieve the tension of exam week for stressed out students.
Fitness. Ironically, many people take better care of their dogs than they would themselves. Being a good dog owner guarantees that you will get a daily slice of exercise. A 2006 study concluded that dog owners walked an average of 300 minutes a week, whereas non-owners only walked 168. That’s almost double the amount of walking time! Whether it is simply playing ball in a dog park or hour-long walks through the woods, when your dog gets exercise, you do too.
Recovery. Dogs are excellent, nonjudgmental companions, through thick and thin. From benefiting those with depression and physical disability to helping soldiers successfully overcome PTSD, dogs affect us in ways human interaction cannot. Know someone with an ailment or hardship? Familiarize yourself with therapy dog organizations here.
Increase happiness. Sometimes, you can feel happier just by glancing at a pooch. A 2009 study showed that the brain releases more oxytocin after interacting with a dog. Oxytocin is a hormone that ushers in warm feelings of happiness. A bonus? Look your dog in the eyes and conjure a bigger dose — I’d reckon cuddle sessions by the fireplace must skyrocket those levels off the charts! This perk makes dogs excellent partners for those fighting depression. Plus, who wouldn’t want to look at such a sweet, loving face?
Be social. Depression and loneliness often go hand-in-hand. Developing a bond with your dog can strengthen the social bonds within your own life. How so? Owning a dog forces you to get out and be social. People are drawn to dogs, which means more social interactions for you. Visiting a dog park with your pal is not only fun for your hound, but you could make new friends as well!
Attractiveness. According to a study issued by the Dogs Trust of the UK, 60 percent of people said owning a dog makes you more attractive, while 85 percent were convinced that having a dog makes you appear more approachable. So, if you are lonely and looking for a mate, a dog could lend a paw with both.
Simplicity. You may think that owning a dog makes your life more complicated, but in fact it is quite the opposite. Your relationship with your dog is pure and honest, perhaps one of the most honest relationships you’ll have. There are no electronic walls to break through; you can’t text your dog. It’s all one-on-one, mammalian interaction, just as it has been for thousands of years, making dogs truly cherished human companions.
Looking to get a dog? Adopt one today from the ASPCA and give a dog a second chance!