Dogs make the best companions, whether it's going for walks, cuddling on the couch, or playing fetch, dogs keep you happier, healthier, among other benefits. Research has shown that there are many positive factors when it comes to owning a dog. Doesn’t life seem to have more meaning because there’s a living creature depending on you? We think so!
Here's our list of why having a dog in your life has numerous physical and mental health benefits.
There's a reason why they say, ‘a dog is a man's best friend’. Dogs are one of those pets that provide nothing but unconditional love. Regardless of who you are, where you come from, what you have, they are always happy to see and be around you. One of the best feelings in the world is walking through your door at the end of a long day and being welcomed home with undeniable emotional comfort. That’s what ‘puppy love’ is all about!
Lower stress levels
You might have already guessed it – or felt it. Your dog helps you reduce your levels of stress. And they may even have a positive impact on your overall cardiovascular health. Your canine companion can offer comfort and ease your worries just by their presence. Multiple studies have shown that the act of petting a dog can simply lower blood pressure and anxiety levels, while the social interaction between people and their dogs increases levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin.
Therapy dogs are also great in high-stress situations. The main responsibility of these dogs is to provide affection, comfort and support to people, often in settings such as hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, libraries, hospices, or disaster areas.
It’s important to note that there is a difference between therapy (emotional support dogs) and service dogs. Unlike service dogs, therapy dogs are encouraged to interact with a variety of people while they are on-duty including petting the therapy dog.
In the animal world, spending time together grooming each other is not only valued, but also one of the number one signs of affection! Grooming is what makes a connection, that's why we always see our pets doing this for one another. On the flip side, owners tend to get frustrated and fearful when it comes time to the grooming and maintenance of our dogs.
No matter what breed of dog you own, grooming is a connection that can be physically and mentally stimulating for the both of you and strengthens your bond over time. Not to mention the attention and well-being you’re offering them by brushing, trimming or cutting nails that can easily transform from a source of anxiety, into a beautiful moment spent together.
Read more: How to Groom your Dog at Home
Mental & physical fitness
Did you know that dogs can be a significant help to our physical and mental health? Having a dog around has been known to aid many mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Have you ever noticed that as soon as your mood dampens your furry bestie springs into action?
As well as mental health, having a pet can also boost your physical well-being. How many people are willing to go outside at the crack of dawn and exercise in the rain or snow? Dog owners, that’s who! Dogs need to get out of the house, into fresh air, and towards green spaces, multiple times a day. Even playing with them indoors can get your heart rate up and get those muscles loose.
A four-footed best friend provides unconditional love and support, which is important day-to-day but especially during tougher times. Owning a dog is richly rewarding with one of the most satisfying, loving, and active relationships you’ll ever experience. Though people may think we’re taking care of our canine companions, it’s mutual: Dogs take care of us, and science confirms it. All in all, we think owning a dog is a win-win!