Whether they are providing a lifetime of companionship, helping the disabled, or guarding houses from intruders, the benefits of owning a dog are aplenty. Pups can be cute to look at, but they can also serve as a contributing factor in turning your day (or life) around. Here are some benefits to keep in mind if you’re an existing dog owner or debating on whether or not you should add a new member to the family.
Reduced blood pressure. The next time you pet your dog, know that Spot isn’t the only one who’s benefiting. The act of patting and stroking a dog reduces blood pressure and lowers already high blood pressure, which can lessen the chance of cardiovascular disease.
Increase in exercise and fitness. Walking or running with your pooch is not only good for his health, but it’s great for yours as well. Generally, most dogs bleed with excitement at the sound of a leash, keys, and door opening. Having Fido as a jogging partner will motivate you (and essentially force you) to abandon the notion of being a couch potato and instead will let you get ample exercise.
Service for the needy. Whether they’re assisting the blind, providing aid for the deaf, or helping kids with autism, service dogs are a must for some people. Service dogs allow those in need to accomplish daily tasks without compromising their safety.
Well-being. A study in the British Journal of Health Psychology examined the relationship between dog ownership and human well-being and found that owning a dog can alleviate stress, increase psychological, mental, and physical health, and help detect warning signs of deadly diseases.
Heightened happiness. Coming home to a furry friend after a stressful day at work can be relieving, as dogs bring about positive energy and unconditional love. Dog owners are said to live longer than non-dog owners due to a dog’s constant companionship, loyalty, and warmth. Dogs will never reject a cuddle session with their beloved owner, and if you’re suffering from depression or recovering from a traumatic life crisis, your caring canine will be there to smother you with love and affection.
Guarding the home. Even if your pooch isn’t labeled as a ‘guard dog,’ most dogs naturally feel a sense of responsibility in protecting their owners. With their keen sense of smell, a dog’s nose knows when an unwanted person is approaching. They can also hear at a greater frequency and distance than humans. Clearly, with their acute senses, dogs can detect intruders faster than you can!
Mental security. Knowing that you have a guard dog can provide you with a peace of mind in that you know you’re being protected. Guard dogs shouldn’t be your only form of home security, however, a properly trained guard dog can fight off unwanted intruders.
Good for the kids
Developed immune system. Because children do not hesitate to hug, pet, or play with a dog, being exposed to a dog can help children strengthen their disease fighting abilities.
Increased empathy. The love and affection children express to dogs are reciprocated from the dog to the child through the pooch’s body language. The non-judgmental, accepting nature of dogs gives kids the confidence to communicate non-verbally and understand body language.
Teaching responsibility. Owning a dog allows children to feel a sense of responsibility in that they realize that dogs require food, attention, and care. Parents can help teach their kids responsibility by giving them tasks such as putting dog food in the dog bowl, taking him on walks, and letting him go outside to handle business.
Owning a dog has a number of benefits ranging from providing companionship to guarding your house. No matter what, they say dogs are a man’s best friend for a reason.