Jun 16

Real Life Benefits to Dog Ownership

How Dogs Help You More Than You Think

by Helen Rayner

Your dog is your best friend, and so they should be. They’re always there for you, are always excited when you walk through the door, and aren't they just aren’t the cutest creatures on the planet? But did you know that your canine friend brings a lot of hidden benefits to your life? From making sure you’re getting exercise to raising your mood, your dog proves again and again that dogs really are man’s best friend. In this article, we’ll take at look at some of surprising side effects of owning a dog, which will either make you love your pooch even more or be good ammunition when it comes to convincing your other half that it’s time to get a pet!

Reduced Allergies

Want to remedy your children against annoying allergies and other mild illnesses? A dog may help. A study conducted by scientists at the University of Cincinnati found that children exposed to dogs at an early age were up to four times less likely to develop the conditions than children who grew up without a dog. And if you’re debating between getting a dog or a cat, then know that cats actually increase a person’s sensitivity. Just one more reason in a long list of reasons why dogs are better than cats (ok, cats are pretty cute too, but not a patch on canines).

They Get You Fit

Imagine two scenarios. In the first you don’t own a dog. You’ve had a busy day at work, you’ve made dinner, and you’re pretty tired. Do you do that exercise you planned or do you think, pfft, let’s do that tomorrow - there’s some good TV to watch!

In the second scenario, you have a happy, bouncing dog eager to go outside to play. You’re tired, but you just can’t resist those eyes, and soon you found yourself outside on a nice summer’s evening, playing with your dog.

In which scenario are you healthier? The second of course! You might not always feel like taking your dog to get some exercise, but when you do you’re also giving yourself that all important exercise you need to be at your best. You’ll feel much better for going outside and thirty minutes to an hour a day - we promise!

They Improve Your Mental Health

Your body gets a workout when you have a dog, and your mind also gets a thorough workout too. Dogs have been shown to ease stress, symptoms of depression, and much more. If you have a child suffering from mental conditions, such as depression PTSD, or ADHD, dogs can help. A psychologist from London Medical Centre describes the act of owning a dog as better than Prozac or other medications. Though we’re not entirely why, something to do with the responsibility of taking care of another creature, the companionship they bring, and the all out love they give to the humans in their lives make us feel good. Give it a try.

They Make You a Better Person

We promise we’re not making this up, but dogs can make people...better, especially if they’re exposed to them as children. Having a pet teaches us a whole host of life lessons, from responsibility to loss to how to treat those who are less able than you and more. Children benefit in particular because they quickly learn than they’re not the center of the universe, that even though they’re young, there is something else in their life that requires that they take some sort of control.

Boost Your Social Life

As if dogs don’t do enough for humans...they also help us make friends! Owning a dog opens you up to a whole world that was previously cut off from you, and studies have shown that dog owners are less lonely than the dog-less. Take your dog regularly to a local park and you’ll soon have plenty of fellow dog-owning friends with whom you can chat. You’ll even find that you’re approached on the street much more when you’re walking your dog than when not. Even if these random interactions don’t lead to long lasting friendships, you’ll enjoy feeling part of the community.

These are just a few of many benefits of owning a pet! Did you experience any surprise benefits when you finally took the plunge and got a dog? We would like to hear your comments!

Many thanks to guest blogger Helen Rayner for the above article.

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