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Benefits of Owning a Dog

There’s a reason that dogs have been labeled “man’s best friend.” Loyal and upbeat, dogs will never criticize and will always be there to comfort you when you’re feeling down. People who own dogs derive benefits from dog ownership that may not be obviously apparent. Following are a few less obvious benefits of dog ownership.

 

Companionship

People are less likely to skip their morning walk or run when their fur baby is eagerly waiting by the door, squirming with anticipation. Complete with a leash in mouth and puppy dog eyes, you just can’t say no! Dogs help you stay active when you might need a bit of motivation, ensuring that you still get outside even on the dreariest of days.

 

Exercise

Through thick and thin, dogs are always by our side. They’ll readily take you up on a walk when you offer and often encourage them unsolicited. As an added bonus, people are significantly more likely to converse with other people when out walking with their dog than they are when out walking without a dog. 

 

Nurturing

Caring for a dog presents an opportunity to nurture your furry friend. The ability to nurture a dog often fills an intrinsic need. If you have young children this need may be met otherwise but even then, having a dog will teach children the joy and accompanying responsibility associated with caring for others. 

 

Empathy

Dogs are a daily reminder that you’re not alone in this world. They are an excellent example of what it means to prioritize another’s needs above your own. Without any concern for their own welfare, dogs are famous for saving children in viral videos. In a room full of people a dog will often put their head on the lap that needs it the most. They feel people and teach us to empathize in a very valuable way. A heightened sense of awareness and concern for their owner teaches us how to give others the same selfless love.

 

Social Capital

Dog owners usually see the same people on their walks in their neighborhoods, dog parks, and local trails. Getting out and seeing who shares your ecosystem is a great way to foster a sense of community. Through becoming aware of who we live near we increase caring for and accountability, one to another.

 

Reading

Did you know that children with dogs often have elevated reading levels to their peers without furry friends? There are many programs out there that support this theory. A child can read to their dog without criticism so this builds confidence in ability and reading practice reinforces this. The dog is happy your child is giving them attention, a win for both child and dog.

 

Medical Benefits

Owning a dog also means that your house is exposed to a diversity of bacteria not present in a household without a dog. Exposure to a variety of bacteria means that your immune system is prepped for more aggressive strains, meaning a person with a dog at home may not get as sick as often as a friends without dogs. 

 

Dog owners are also more likely to have better heart health and may have a lower risk for a heart attack. The presence of a dog at home may also help lower blood pressure and ease anxiety too, making them excellent companions, well suited for nursing homes and hospitals.

 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

This means that if you don’t already have a dog, you should stop by your local shelter today and take one or two home! Obviously, make sure you are ready for the responsibilities that accompany owning a dog first. If you aren’t quite ready, but close to being ready for this, don’t let the small stuff deter you; there are plenty of products out there to help. Particular Paws’ Anti-Chew Bitter Spray and their Pet Stain and Odor Removal will ready you for the minor inconveniences sometimes associated owning a dog. As detailed above, dog ownership pays dividends on the initial investment and tremendously enriches a life!