Dogs are the best. This is not an opinion, this is fact – pure and simple. Okay, so I may be a little bias but dogs do have the amazing ability to change a life for the better. There’s a reason they are known as man’s best friends and why people love them for their loyalty and kindliness. That being said, dogs are living, breathing, feeling animals with emotions and needs and so you should take serious thought and preparation when considering whether one is right for you. Here we look at 10 ways they can make your life better.
1. Health Benefits
Dogs need their exercise, they need to be walked and with some level of regularity, depending on size and breed, how long for can vary quite a lot but the fact is, you need to walk your furry friend and so getting out and about is something you will do with them. This will improve your cardiovascular health as you start to exercise more and run and play with your dog, lowering blood pressure and strengthening your heart. In fact, A study in Canada found that dog owners walked an average of 300 minutes per week compared to 168 minutes for those who don’t own a dog.
2. Reduce Stress
By lowering the blood pressure, the body feels more relaxed but it is not just walking your pet pooch that will help this but also petting them. When you stroke or play with your dog, serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin, the hormone connected with falling in love, are all released and sends feel good hormones into the blood stream and rushing around the body.
3. Friendship and Connection
Any dog owner will tell you of the special bond they share with their dog, as they are loyal and loving beings that rely on you and you soon find yourself relying on them. They sense when you feel down and are there for you in your darkest moments but they can also help foster relationships with other people as they act as a talking point as well as force you to interact with other dog walkers as they break down barriers.
4. Keeps You Upbeat
Dogs have the amazing ability to lift moods just with the wag of a tail or a head on your lap as an acknowledgment of how you are feeling. Caring for a dog also gives you a sense of purpose, something to keep going for because they rely on you and so will help you along the way also.
5. Boosts Immunity
If a baby is raised in a house with dogs, they have lesser tendencies to catch allergies, asthma, colds and ear infections during childhood with the best results being seen in those who lived with a dog before the age of 6 months. Becoming used to allergens on a dog and the fur they carry can be beneficial to anyone however.
6. Great Workers
Alongside being great and loyal companions, dogs can also work for us. Most people are aware of guide dogs but they can also be trained for the fire service, search and rescue missions and the armed forces. In a more domestic setting, dogs can be used to help people with disabilities as they can recognize imminent epileptic seizures or detect a drop in blood sugar levels. Children with autism have been found to relate to dogs better than many others as well.
7. Unconditional Love
A dog will love you unconditionally. It is pleased to see you when you come home and will do almost anything for your attention. Sometimes we may feel this is something sadly lacking in our human interactions but as long as you care for your dog properly, you will have a friend for life.
8. Life Savers
Dogs noses are a thousand times more sensitive than the human one and they have been known to sniff out cancer and tumors in their owners before, often saving lives before their has even been a diagnosis. In 2015, the British NHS began trialing cancer-detecting dogs.
9. Great At Work
We’ve already said they are good workers themselves, but companies that have an office dog or allow owners to bring their own well-behaved mutts wth them have reported lower stress levels, higher productivity and a drop in absenteeism, because everyone wants to go in and see the office dog.
10. Fun Loving Animals
Everything is fun to a dog and they love to share the excitement. What’s best is simple things for them are fun like chasing a ball, going for a swim, meeting others etc. even relaxing by our side can be a form of great comfort and enjoyment to both parties and dogs can teach us about finding the joy in the little things.