For current dog owners, you already know the joys (and sometimes pains) of raising a dog. For those who don’t own a dog, you will soon find out just how much having one will improve your life. There really aren’t too many things in life that bring you as much joy as having a dog. Sure, there’s chocolate, cookies, and milkshakes but the only love those things give back is solely directed towards your stomach, hips, and inner thighs… a dog’s love for you lasts forever.
One of the reasons why people don’t have dogs is because they say that having a dog is too much responsibility. Well, having a dog is definitely a responsibility, especially if you’re going to be a “good” dog owner. A “good” dog owner means that you don’t just have a dog because he’s cute. Being a good dog owner means you’re taking the dog to the vet, getting him properly groomed, and taking him out on walks.
In return for taking care of them, you’ll get unconditional love and devotion… and that’s something people can’t get out of other people. For the love of pets, take a look at some ways that owning a dog can change your life for the better.
Dogs Force You to Physically Get Into Better Shape
As you know, all dogs need exercise, ranging from 30 minutes to two hours per day, depending on the dog’s age as well as their size. Walking or running with your dog is not only good for them but it’s also good for the owner too.
Maybe you’ve been meaning to get in the gym but haven’t had the time or energy to do so… if you have a dog, he can be your workout partner. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that incorporating at least 30 minutes of walking per day can help reduce health problems such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and depression.
Think about it… You have to walk them and take them outside to go to the bathroom anyway, so why not make the most of it!
You Get to Meet New Friends
Just as you have with children and play dates, you will find yourself embarking on a new social journey as well. Having a dog opens the door to you meeting all kinds of new people. If you take your dog out for a walk in your neighborhood or in a park, you’ll begin to see how much friendlier people are towards you.
Other dog owners will smile and nod at you and even spark up conversations with you about the breed of your dog. You’ll then find yourself exchanging contact information with fellow dog owners and setting up “doggie play dates!”
The only thing to be careful of with doggie play dates is the safety aspect. A lot of times doggie play dates take place in dog parks. For the protection of yourself and your dog, make sure you’re aware of your surroundings at all times because dog parks run the high risk for potential dog bites… it doesn’t happen too often but those types of injuries do happen so it’s best to prepare just in case… oh, the joys of being a dog parent are endless…
They Become Part of the Family and Make You Happy
You’ve found yourself going on family trips and bringing your dog with you now. Hiking, swimming in the ocean, and backpacking are all things that you enjoy doing but you now realize those things are more fun when traveling with your dog!
For dog owners that travel as a means to clear their heads, dogs accompanying them on those types of trips have added capabilities to reduce anxiety and depression in certain individuals. Having a dog has been known to positively affect your endocrine response, boosting the production of those feel-good hormones we all know and love: cortisol and epinephrine
Dogs Teach Responsibility and Empathy
We spoke earlier about how people say they won’t get a dog because they come with too much responsibility, well that is definitely true; dogs do come with a lot of responsibility. With that responsibility, did you happen to stop and think about what else dogs come with?
Owning a dog not only teaches you responsibility but it also teaches you to be considerate of the needs of other living beings. The Washington Post has an article talking about how owning a dog teaches empathy and it’s more prominent and beneficial for children. Teaching children at a young age to care for their dog teaches children responsibility.
Being that dogs can’t talk, it forces their pet parents and family members to figure out their nonverbal cues to communicate.