Owning a pet, in my opinion, is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life. From chickens to cats to snakes to dogs, it doesn’t matter what your favourite is, studies show that owning a pet can be beneficial to our health and wellbeing on many levels. While I love all animals, dogs are my one true love and I discuss below some of the benefits of owning a dog.
Unconditional love. Always. No questions asked, ever. This is how a dog loves their humans and not one bit less. They are always so excited to greet us when we come home from work, even though we did the unspeakable thing of “leave them”, again…just this morning. They don’t hold grudges or don’t know how to, but either way that’s fine by me.
What better reason to get up and outdoors than having to take your dog for a walk! Fresh air, vitamin D and getting your steps up to reach that 10k a day goal. I may not exercise for myself but I absolutely will for my dogs!
Looking to meet some like-minded people, in a way that isn’t awkward and uncomfortable? You’re bound to run into other dogs and their humans when you’re out at your local dog park or beach - and who doesn’t like to talk about their dog, right? Even better, why not join your local dog training club and try their paw at obedience, flyball or agility?
Dogs are great as therapy, they are used to visit hospitals and nursing homes all the time, and it’s not just because they’re cute. They always seem to have this amazing sense of how you feel and what you need, and they just know how to make you feel better.
You can tell them your worries of the world, your deepest darkest secrets and you can rest assured that they will go no further. I mean, where else can you get that kind of guarantee, with no judgement, and they will still love you unconditionally! Their wagging tails and cuddles are just the icing on the cake, the small all day every day gestures that remind you of how much they adore you.
In some cases, your dog will be more than happy to pitch in with the house cleaning too. Hoover up every crumb off your floor, help you pre-rinse the dishes when you’re stacking the dishwasher and mine even helps with the recycling, breaking down every box and milk carton she can get her mouth on!
Dogs can give us a purpose, someone else to care for. There really is nothing better than sitting on the couch, watching your favourite tv show and hearing the faint snore from your dog sleeping soundly beside you, knowing that they are so content and happy with where they are. They are our security, alerting us to someone at the door. They will join you for every meal time so you’ll never have to eat alone! And they’ll be ready and waiting to help with the hoovering right after.
Health & Wellbeing
Studies have shown that people who allow their dogs to sleep on their bed have a better night’s sleep than those who do not, due to feeling safe and comforted.
Now here’s one for the employers – apparently, staff members who own dogs take less sick days off work. I guess owning a dog really is a natural high, releasing all those feel-good endorphins every time we see our dogs or think about them, and boosting our immune systems!