As dog owners we can all relate to that warm and fuzzy feeling we get from being with our four-legged friends. We know we’re better off in many ways for having dogs around, but we thought it was worth highlighting a few of the top reasons dog ownership is in fact good for our health and boosts our quality of life!
An apple a day, or should it be a dog a day?
Here are our favourite benefits of having a furry friend:
Companionship and Cuddles
Those of us who are long-term dog owners know that feeling when your pooch isn’t around. Sometimes you go to talk to your dog, or check for that little furnace next to you keeping you warm, or glance down at your feet where they are usually all curled up, you miss their presence. There’s a sense of companionship, safety and comfort when your dog is around. When it comes to cuddles, it’s not just us humans that benefit, dogs receive comfort and a sense of security much the same way.
Reduces Stress and Improves Mood
Simply having a dog around, or just spending a few minutes with one, can have a hugely positive effect on our moods. That perpetually happy face and wagging tail spreads an infectious good mood and can actually increase levels of serotonin and dopamine that contribute to calm and well-being. As dog owners we are less likely to suffer from depression that those without dogs. They are also great levelers, having a dog around has been proven to ease tensions whether it be in the office or at home.
Creates Routine and Keep Us Active
We all know the feeling, getting out for a walk can sometimes feel like the last thing you’d like to do. Yet, as dog owners our pups don’t care if we’ve had a busy day, or are feeling under the weather, they will always need to get out for some exercise. Luckily us owners reap the positive benefits of this too. Dog owners are more likely to be reaching the recommended levels of exercise on a weekly basis, keeping things like excess weight, cholesterol levels and our blood pressure healthy.
Expands Our Social Circles
With dogs getting us out more than our non-dog owner counterparts, it stands to reason that we have more opportunity to chat and engage with others. Research suggests that in fact, dog owners are better at at making friends and this comes more readily for them. Most dog owners have met someone either in the neighbourhood or dog park that they wouldn’t have otherwise, expanding both their social circles and a sense of community. Dog walking can also be a great way to alleviate social anxieties and be a buffer if you find it tough to engage with new people.
Teaches Responsibility and Gives Us Purpose
Dog ownership undoubtedly comes with a set of responsibilities that we’re all familiar with. We are primary caregivers for our furry friends and they rely on us, no matter what. Having a dog from a young age can help teach responsibility and to develop these skills that will transfer over into adulthood. Dogs also instill a sense purpose, they help us not to focus solely on our own needs, and it feels good to care for them knowing that we are needed.
Do you have any other ways that you’ve benefited from dog ownership? We’d love to hear how your pup has increased your quality of life, making the days that much better and brighter!