Ever wonder why so many people or families want or have a dog? Besides the fact they are cute and furry (that's another topic for another day), people might unknowingly not realize there are some benefits to having a dog.
According to researchers, there are several benefits of having a dog. Here are some:
1. Owning a pet reduces stress
Having a pet can reduce the stress you feel in your daily life. Take it from me, I've had bad moods or stressful days at work but once I get to the dog daycare, it brings a sense of happiness and calmness to my life. Why? Because the dogs don't care if you just failed a test, or missed a deadline, they are still there licking at you, trying to get close to you, wanting to please you, even at your darkest days. People with dogs are less depressed. I read an article of how men with AIDS who do not own pets were three times more likely to report symptoms of depression over men who had AIDS but owned pets.
2. Having a dog reduces your blood pressure and cholesterol
Stress and blood pressure go hand in hand. Less stress means lower blood pressure, lowered heart rates. Maybe I should let my mom know about his one. (she doesn't like dogs but has high cholesterol) Again studies have shown, pet owners not only have lowered blood pressure but also have decreased levels of blood triglycerides and cholesterol. Why do you think we have therapeutic dogs working at hospital? They help to increase survival rates and decrease recovery time of patients after surgery. Amazing if you think about it. How can a living thing, that doesn't talk have such benefits to our health?
3. Dogs motivate you to become active and to exercise
It's a chain of logical events. People have lowered blood levels, are less stressed because dogs make you exercise! Taking a dog out for a walk should be a daily thing. We all know walking is a good form of exercise and what better way to get into shape than by walking the dog. Personally I have been looking for a dog to jog with, and I hate jogging. Having a dog with me to jog with makes it all worth while.
4. Dogs allow for social interaction
People with dogs appear more approachable. I was watching a program called Cell Dogs where dogs were introduced to people in prison. These were people who had life sentences and people you thought could never feel any emotion. The prisoners were to take care of the dogs. Everyone in the the Cell Dog program noticed other inmates approach them to interact. Something they normally would not have done before. Having the dog made these people more approachable. I have had several people come to me and ask questions about the dog while on our walks. They seem like they sneak up from behind me sometimes! It's a great way to meet and greet new people.
Of course you may be thinking, I have a dog and I don't see these benefits. Or I have a dog and it's just the laziest thing you've ever seen. In any case, having a dog shouldn't be a burden to your life. It should enhance it. If a dog is burdening your life, it's probably not the right time for you to own a dog. Show a little love to your dogs, and you will get lots of love in return.