Can owning a dog make your life better? Well, anyone who owns a dog will tell you about their dog’s utter and constant devotion. Some say it’s because a dog depends on its owner for food and care. However, others say it’s love. Either way, dogs care for their owners, and owners care for their dogs, which makes it a two-way street for many.
There are have been a lot of studies conducted over the years about the effects of owning a dog on humans. And, many have concluded that people who live with a dog benefit from a healthier physical and mental well-being.
Why is that so? Let’s take a look. And, if you are interested in rescuing a dog, check out the links in the final thoughts section below.
11 Reasons Why Owning A Dog Can Make Your Life Better
1. Dogs Make People Feel Happier
Just looking at a dog can make you smile. Think about it! How many times have you smiled when you saw a cute puppy? Imagine owning a dog that gives you that adorable look every day!
A 2009 study found that a person’s level of oxytocin rises after interacting with a dog. Oxytocin is the neurohormone that evokes the feeling of happiness. In fact, just looking into a dog’s eyes raises a person’s level of oxytocin immensely, and interacting with a dog raises it even more.
Fact: Did you know that a dog’s willingness to look a person in the eyes is what separates it socially from the wolf?
2. Dogs Reduce Stress in Humans
It’s been shown that dogs can reduce the level of stress in humans. Furthermore, anyone who owns a dog can tell you how much comfort their furry friend provides them. They are always there for you when you need them, and they don’t judge!
Walking a dog, petting a dog, talking to a dog, and even caring for a dog are all ways to reduce stress levels.
3. Dogs Help Humans Recover Psychologically From a Crisis
It’s been proven that dogs can help soldiers going through post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Moreover, dogs can comfort those who are recovering from a psychological crisis.
4. Dogs Can be a Cure From Loneliness
Unfortunately, loneliness is common among the elderly, and even for those who live alone. Studies show that owning a dog alleviates the feelings of loneliness and the feelings of depression that can go along with being lonely.
In fact, having a dog around promotes social interactions which might otherwise be lost for those who live alone, without a dog. Furthermore, most people who own a dog will take their dog out for walks and to the park more often than they would go out alone to do the same type of activities.
5. Owning a Dog Can Force You to be More Social
Some of us are more social than others! Some people even struggle with being anti-social. When you own a dog, it forces you to take your dog out for walks and to get exercise. Many dog owners can tell you that they often take their dog to a “dog-friendly” place where other dog owners are sure to be.
Furthermore, when you walk with a dog, it can attract people to you . . . like it or not!
6. Dogs Allow Us to Appreciate the Simple Things in Life
Step away from technology and interact with a dog! Take a look around while you are doing so. Playing with your dog, feeding your dog, and even taking your dog outdoors will allow for the appreciation of the simple things surrounding you in life. Especially when you notice how much your dog enjoys “simple”!
7. Caring for a Dog Can Help Teach Children About Responsibilities
Owning a dog for families is a great way to help teach children about responsibilities and how to care for others. Allow your kids to help with feeding, watering, bathing, and walking, and watch them grow to be great caretakers.
Furthermore, dogs can help children to learn how to be social and how to interact with others appropriately.
8. Owning a Dog will Help You Get Your Exercise
Owning a dog will force you to exercise. Bottom line. They need to go for walks and to go outdoors, daily, and it will force you to do the same─since you are the one who will have to take them!
9. Dogs Can Take You to New Places
Go exploring with your dog! Are there parks that you have been wanting to check out but don’t have anyone to go with? How about a hike you have been wanting to go on? A dog will never say “no” to exploring a new park or trail!
10. Dogs Allow You to Connect With Nature
Dogs love the outdoors, and by owning a dog, it will reconnect you with nature. With our busy lifestyles, we often forget to spend time outdoors and what the benefits of spending time outdoors are. Walking through the woods can help to relieve stress and anxiety. Being in nature gives us time to reflect upon our lives.
To learn more, read A Connection With Nature Can Help to Heal Your Mind!
11. Owning a Dog Can Help With Relieving Chronic Pain
Owning a pet is a big responsibility, and that responsibility means actively caring for your pet. This dedication to your pet is what helps to keep some people motivated. This is why caring for a pet can be extremely helpful for someone suffering from chronic pain, joint or muscle pain, a disability, or an injury.
Those who suffer from chronic pain can have trouble with moving, in general. Owning a dog forces you to get moving. You must care for your dog, walk your dog, and interact with your dog. Owning a dog can also help with the feelings of isolation that people with chronic pain often report experiencing.
To learn more about why owning a dog can help relieve chronic pain, read 5 Reasons Why Pets Relieve Chronic Pain and Anxiety.
Owning a dog can add many positives to our lives. Not only can a dog help us to get out more, reconnect with nature, and to be more social, but they can also contribute to relieving anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.
However, bear in mind that if pet care becomes too hard for you, or if you need an occasional break, pet walkers and sitters are available at reasonable rates to help you. For the elderly and those suffering from chronic pain, The Arthritis Foundation has tips for finding affordable pet care services.
Robin, and the Zen team.
*Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about any health concerns that you might have and seek proper medical treatment.
Photo Sources: Pixabay.com