“Dogs are man’s best friend.” I’m sure you’ve heard that before; many people would even consider it a cliché. However, you’ve probably never thought deeply about the benefits that owning a dog has for you or other members of your family. Indeed, owning a dog has immense benefits for your physical, emotional and social well being. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should consider having a dog at home.
Dogs help to prevent loneliness by providing physical companionship for their owners. This is especially important for the sick and elderly who are left by themselves most of the time. Dogs have been known to guide the blind and bring comfort to the sick. Retired and elderly people are prone to depression as a result of idleness or cessation of normal routine. A dog can provide good company and even amusement in times of loneliness or distress.
- Unconditional love
Your dog will never judge you and this is why many people consider them as their best friends. Dogs have no emotional or attitudinal issues like humans do. Your pet accepts you the way you are and you don’t have to try too hard to please him or her. The relationship is mutually enjoyable and beneficial.
- Mood enhancement
Research has shown that playing with or petting your dog can raise the level of levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain. These neurotransmitters are associated with feelings of pleasure and calmness.
- Reducing Stress
The joy you get from caring for and attending to your dog’s needs goes a long way in helping you deal with stress. This is because your morale, self worth and optimism is boosted in the process since a routine is usually involved. With a dog around you, there is very little room for depression, anxiety or stress.
- Build Resistance to Germs
Pets pick up germs easily. While this may seem like a disadvantage, it can actually be beneficial because the presence of such germs around you makes your body develop resistance against them. Folks who have dogs seem to fall ill less frequently and less severely than people without.
- Improved Social Interaction
When you take your dog to a park or for a walk, it is easy for people to strike up a conversation with you. Dogs attract attention and it is quite easy to start up a topic around them. This can be very helpful for otherwise shy people and can prevent social isolation. And you never know, it could mean the beginning of a romantic or mutually rewarding relationship.
- More exercises
Your dog can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. As you take him or her out walking, jogging or swimming, you too are able to reap the benefits. Taking care of your dog involves you being physically engaged and this is helpful in keeping you active and healthy.
- Better Kids
Although dogs are known to trigger allergies in people, children who grow up having a dog at home are less likely to develop allergies or asthma as they grow older. Studies have shown that kids growing up in a home with furred animals are less prone to the risk of allergies and asthma.
By learning to care for his dog, a child learns commitment, responsibility and compassion which are important for a balanced life in adulthood.
Children with autism or other learning challenges are often better at communicating non-verbally. Interacting with dogs may help them connect better with people because they are able to learn how to regulate stress and calm themselves in the process. Such an interaction may also help them learn to stay alert and attentive throughout the day.