The Health Benefits of Owning a Dog
I have had Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety for years now and I have never felt better than I do since adopting my dog, Kona. I’ve mentioned in past articles that Kona has been God’s gift for my life. There are TONS of benefits to owning a dog, but did you know it actually is good for your health too? Just in case you need a few more reasons why you should run to your local shelter and meet your furry soulmate…
As if dogs couldn’t be any more perfect, your pooch is beneficial to your health and well-being! So, I compiled an informative list of a few ways dogs can help improve your lifestyle (that way you can convince your mom, significant other, etc. that you NEED one).
Dogs are therapeutic // Even though many people blame not getting a dog on “how much work they are” or “too much stress”, owning a dog can be quite therapeutic. After a long day at work, I look forward to nothing more than snuggling with my pooch. Dogs have a way of influencing human’s emotions. Cuddling or petting a dog can release serotonin (a happy hormone). That’s why dogs are said to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Dogs have been called “counselors in fur”. They are used for therapy in hospitals, emotional support, and service animals.
Owning a dog can bring TONS of happiness into your life.
Dog owners tend to be more active // I hate going to the gym but I don’t mind taking my dog on walks, running around the dog park, or playing with my pooch instead of watching TV. In general, Dog-owning families often promote physical activity. Owning a dog may give you the incentive to get out of the house and spend more time outside. Sometimes, you may not want to but HAVE to — for your carpets sake. Resulting in dog-owners being more likely to stick to their fitness plans. Dogs are great motivation. Want to lose some extra weight? Get a pup.
Dogs promote social interaction // I actually met my close friends because of Kona. Kona would drag me to the dog park every day where I got to know some other dog moms in my neighborhood. After seeing each other all the time because of our dogs, we started to hang out outside of the park. While dogs make great companions, they can also help create human-to-human friendships. Most dog-owners can attest to this, strangers scramble to pet your dog and talk to you during outings. Your pooch also opens the doorway to conversations and make a great conversation topic!
Dogs are a positive distraction // As I said before, there’s nothing more I love than snuggling up with my pooch after a long day at work. Dogs offer a healthy form of distraction and take your mind off stress. Dogs can give you a momentary break of relief during the hard times. They can be a ray of sunshine when it’s dark.
Dogs offer unconditional love // A dog doesn’t love you just because you take care of him. No matter if we do something he likes, give him food and water, let him sleep with us in bed, feed him loads of treats, or discipline him if he chews up your shoes — they still think you’re the bee’s knees! Dogs will support you and offer you love even if the rest of the world turns their back. A dog will love their owner unconditionally and never judge. They’ll still be smiling and giving you kisses when you lost your job, smell a little funky, or got into a fight with your girlfriend.
Dogs teach you responsibility // Dogs NEED you. They depend on your for food, water, exercise, shelter, and health. You will have to get out of bed 7 am on a Sunday to take them out even if you don’t want to because you’re responsible for them. (But you won’t mind that much because they’ll give you tons of kisses afterward.) Dogs teach you more about responsibility, their lives are in your hands and they need you to survive! It can also be a very comforting and overwhelming feeling to know a living creature depends on you that much… In some cases, they can be someone’s reason to live.