As a furry pup lover, there is no doubt in my mind that having a dog brings many upsides to my life. I mean, how can I NOT live happily waking up to a smiley face and wagging tail? For those of you who do not yet have a furry friend, or who are planning on adding one to your family, you’ll be glad to hear that there are scientifically proven benefits that dogs bring to each of our lives! So if you’re looking for reasons to get a dog, here’s 17!
1. Dogs increase your mood dramatically!
Spending just 15-30 minutes with your dog can help you feel more calm and relaxed, reducing stress and increasing happiness. Playing with your pup increases your brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, both of which are neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and tranquility. So the next time you’re feeling down, grab the newest toy from your BarkBox and spend some time with your pup! That wagging tail will be sure to put a smile on your face.
2. Having a dog may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Studies show that talking to and petting your pooches are often accompanied by lower blood pressure, and that means a lowered risk for a myriad of different illnesses.
3. Step aside, kitties! Dogs protect children from skin conditions and allergies.
Children who grow up with dogs have a lower risk of developing eczema than those who have cats or no dogs at all. Yes, it’s true! In addition, children also develop fewer pet allergies if they grow up with a dog.
4. Having a dog improves your physical wellbeing and encourages a healthy fitness routine.
Of course! Your dog requires daily exercise, and so do you! Dog owners carry the responsibility of playing with and working their dogs, so it only makes sense that dog people tend to be more active.
5. Humans with dogs recover more quickly from illnesses.
Dog owners have a much higher rate of recovery from being sick than non-dog owners. In fact, humans with pooches who suffered from heart attacks were twice as likely to fully recover than those without!
6. Dogs make excellent service and alert animals.
Canines make excellent service companions when trained properly for people with disabilities. They can be trained to bring medication, alleviate a stressful situation for their human, and even detect an approaching epileptic seizure.
7. Children with dogs in their household miss less school.
Yes, it’s true. We all know that children absolutely adore pups, but research has shown that children from dog-owning families have better school attendance due to better overall health and less sickness from having a pup at home.
8. But wait, there’s more (for your kids)!
Having dogs has actually been shown to improve a child’s self-esteem, and makes issues that cause stress easier to handle.
9. Simply put, they are a human’s best friend.
Because of their heightened sense of smell, sight, and hearing, dogs are extremely intelligent creatures with a loyalty to their humans that is unexpectedly strong. Those with dogs will know–your pups can sense human body language, emotions, and feelings, and this paves the way for an unbreakable bond.
10. They will go to great lengths–2,800 miles to be exact–to find their humans.
Have you guys heard the story of Bobbie the Wonderdog? Well, he traveled a whopping 2,800 miles to return to his family after accidentally being abandoned across the country.
11. They make excellent watchdogs.
From puppyhood, dogs innately learn to watch and be aware of anything rotten coming your way. Potential burglars are put off by a barking or watching dog in the window. Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Scottish Terriers are among the top watchdog breeds, but even my fluffy American Eskimo dog is known to be great at alerting families of anything odd or suspicious!
12. Dogs help increase social interactions.
Yes, not only do dogs need care and playtime with their humans, but they need time to socialize with other pups too! This means that their humans will have a chance to socialize while they oversee the puppy playdates. Those of you with pups know that even going on a walk in the neighborhood can bring many friends and start many conversations!
13. There’s never a dull or boring moment.
Have you ever found yourself sitting at home, wondering what to do today? There are so many things you can do with your dog, whether that be taking a trip to the park, training, playing, running, or just watching them chew a toy. It’s all fun, for both of you.
14. Dogs may save your life.
Our lovely canine friends seem to be able to detect the smell of cancer in human bodies. There have been stories of pups who continued to lick and sniff at moles or lumps on their human’s bodies, who eventually found out that those skin conditions were cancerous. In fact, since humans made this discovery, dogs have even been trained in just 3 hours to detect cancer!
15. Stressed at work? Let me prescribe you one adorable puppy.
Notice the increasing trend in workplaces allowing dogs to come to work with their humans? There’s a reason for that! Studies have shown that people who take their dogs to work have lower stress levels during the workday.
16. Having a dog makes YOU more awesome!
The responsibility, patience, selflessness, and commitment that comes with having a dog makes us stronger, all-around better people.
The dog-human relationship is a two-way street. We’ve heard the phrase, “Who rescued who?” and it’s certainly something to consider. Dogs have proven that they improve our physical and mental health, as well as the health of those around us.
17. Need I say more?
Those magical, euphoric feelings sweeping over you while bonding with your dog are not just in your imagination. Locking eyes with your furry friend and gazing lovingly into that adorable face triggers the release of oxytocin, the “feel good” drug into your system.
Addicting, yes, but harmful? No! This calm and happy high is 100% natural, and available to you right now at your neighborhood shelter or animal rescue.