If you are looking for excuses to get a pet, you’ve come to the right place because these psychological benefits of owning a pet are going to win you over! We can all agree that dogs are loving and caring creatures worth our time and attention.
However, many people are still unaware of the great benefits of having a dog at home. Whether you’re a proud dog owner or you’re looking to adopt a puppy, stick around till the end of our list to learn more about how a dog can improve your life in ways you haven’t expected!
Having a loyal friend keep you company at all times will leave a positive impact on your health, mood and overall quality of life. Here is a list of the most important benefits that come along with owning a dog!
1. Increasing Your Physical Activity
Owning a dog means accepting the responsibility of taking your dog on regular walks. While this seems like a regular responsibility of any dog owner, it actually comes with plenty of health benefits that will make you glad you have a puppy to walk around.
According to ChooseMyPlate.gov, run by the United States Department of Agriculture, an adult person from the age of 18 to 64 requires at least two and a half hours of exercise or healthy physical activity per week.
In fact, only five hours of walking per week can have a positive impact on one’s health. Now, you may not be in the mood to go for walks and runs that often but having a dog will turn this activity into a responsibility, which will lead to an increase in the amount of time you spend being active.
Simply the fact that you are responsible for your dog will make you feel obligated to take him out for a walk. Even though it might feel time-consuming at times, a single walk per day can greatly affect your overall well-being, from helping you lose or maintain weight to improving your stamina and physical condition.
Therefore, taking your dog out for a walk every day for 30 minutes to an hour will bring you plenty of health benefits. Besides, statistics show that dog owners are far more active than those who don’t own any pets, which means they are in a better position in terms of physical health.
2. Stress Relief and Other Psychological Benefits
Physical health is not the only aspect of your well-being that is positively affected by owning a dog. The psychological benefits of owning a pet go a long way, from reducing stress and relieving anxiety to helping you deal with all sorts of difficult situations.
According to PsychologyToday.com, dogs drive emotional well-being and this is something that has been known for decades. Since dogs are often praised for the ability to effectively relieving stress, they are often brought to workplaces where they help employees deal with their daily tasks.
Besides office dogs, many furry companions serve as therapy dogs sent to hospitals to make patients feel better. There is no doubt that dogs can bring a smile to anyone’s face, which is why they are considered the best pets to have around. A recent study by EmeraldInsight.com has proven the positive effect of a dog’s presence in offices and similar settings.
3. Reduce the Risks of Developing Allergies
While it may be too late for you to improve your immunity to allergens, it’s not too late for your children or grandkids. Children who grow up with pets in the house are generally less likely to develop allergies, not only to pets but to other allergens as well.
Many people are unaware of the great benefits of having a dog at home while raising a child. According to a study conducted by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in 2004 being surrounded by pets during the first year of life can improve children’s immunity to allergies and diseases.
Another study presented by Richard Alleyne on Telegraph UK shows that owning a dog reduces the risks of developing allergies while owning cats has a completely opposite effect.
4. Significant Improvement of the Immune System
While owning a dog won’t reverse your allergies, it will significantly improve your immune system. A science-related article at HuffPost.com shows that dog bacteria actually has a positive effect on human health.
A dog picks up a ton of germs and bacteria and, as much as you clean his paws when you get home, a portion of that bacteria is still brought inside the house. Many people are scared of the idea that their dog brings germs into the house but they don’t know that’s actually something that can benefit them.
People who are constantly exposed by dog bacteria have better immune systems, as their bodies tend to get used to the variety of germs, which leads to higher resistance to viruses and bacteria.
This means that people who own dogs are generally ill less often and they feel the negative consequences of viruses very rarely. This kind of exposure to a variety of germs is not a bad thing, as many people assume. On the contrary, it is something that will boost your body’s defense system, helping you battle various illnesses.
5. Improved Cardiovascular Health
One of the greatest benefits of owning a dog at home is the positive effect this pet has on your cardiovascular health. A Chinese study conducted recently in 2017 has proven that owning a dog at home reduces the risk of developing coronary artery disease, among many other cardiovascular conditions.
A scientific statement from the American Heart Association has shown the link between dog ownership and blood pressure, as many studies have proven that petting a dog and spending time with dogs can actually lower blood pressure.
While dog owners are less likely to suffer from a heart attack, they also get the benefit of lower cholesterol, which has an important effect on overall health. Altogether, living with a dog can positively affect your heart health and there’s absolutely nothing that could cause any risks linked to health conditions.
6. A Bonus for the Social Life
We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of owning a dog that relates to health and psychology. However, there are plenty of other aspects worth mentioning, such as the fact that dog ownership positively affects one’s social life.
Dogs are known to connect people all around the world. No matter what language you speak, the one thing you can always find in common with people around you is the shared love for these adorable creatures.
A dog can be a great excuse to meet new people, as well as a perfect conversation starter in new encounters. For example, a simple walk through the dog park can lead you to new and interesting people whom you can approach easily, starting a conversation related to your pets.
In fact, several British studies and statistics have shown that dog owners make friends more easily and they are often more extroverted and outgoing. Therefore, owning a dog can help you meet like-minded people, improve your social life and start conversations more easily.
These are only a few out of dozens of reasons why a dog can make your life so much better. From helping you cope with difficult situations and keeping you company at lonely times to improving your health and bettering your social life, dogs can truly do wonders!
Besides all the benefits we’ve mentioned, there are also other positive aspects to owning dogs, as they bring joy and happiness into your life. They will, without a doubt, be your most loyal friends, ready to cheer you up whenever you feel down.
We would love to know if you’ve enjoyed our list of benefits of owning a dog at home so make sure to leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts! No matter whether you already have a dog or you’re planning to get one, it is always good to stay educated on topics like these.
If you came to us today to look for reasons to get a dog, we’re sure these few benefits we mentioned will be enough for you to make a decision. Always remember all the positive benefits a dog brings into your life and, if you already have one, make sure to thank him by giving him a treat or taking him out for a walk.
Remember, everything you do for your dog will be beneficial to you as well! Let us know in the comments below if you can think of any other benefits of owning a dog at home. Feel free to share your story with us in the comments below, as we would love to hear what you have to say when it comes to this topic!