If you have ever owned a dog before, you know how much affection and fun they can bring you and your family. But are you aware that dogs come with powerful physical and mental health benefits as well?
Dogs can help alleviate anxiety and depression, encourage playfulness and exercise, ease loneliness, and boost your cardiovascular health. Moreover, adopting a dog can help your kids grow up more active and secure. Most importantly, a dog gives unconditional love and adds real joy into your life as a pet owner.
1. Improve Coping with Anxiety, Stress and Depression
Of all animals, dogs have evolved to become attuned to human behavior and emotions. Aside from their ability to understand some of the words you use, dogs can also interpret your tone of voice, gestures, and body language.
The companionship of a dog helps ease anxiety, gives comfort, and builds self-confidence. Due to the fact that dogs live in the moment, they help you become more mindful and cherish the joy of the present.
When it comes to managing stress, movement and touch are two of the quickest and healthiest ways. Stroking your dog helps lower blood pressure so you feel less stressed and calmer.
2. Build Fitness into Your Life
Taking your dog for a walk, run or hike are fun ways to become healthy and fit. Dog owners are most likely to meet their daily exercise requirements than non-dog walkers. The extra hours spent on walking your dog each week help boost your overall health.
Daily exercise is also great for your dog. It deepens the connection between the two of you, keeps your pet healthy and fit, and eliminates most behavioural problems common among dogs.
3. Provide Companionship
Companionship helps prevent illness as well as adds years to your life. On the contrary, loneliness and isolation trigger symptoms of depression.
Caring for a dog helps makes you feel wanted and needed. It also takes your focus away from your problems, especially if you are living alone. Nothing beats loneliness than arriving home to happy, wet kisses and a wagging tail.
4. Find Joy and Meaning in Life
Just because people associate aging with a general loss of interest in a lot of things doesn’t mean you’ll experience the same; no, not with a pet dog. Your children may move away and you will eventually retire from your career, but having a pet dog to care for brings a different kind of joy and pleasure.
Moreover, it can boost your optimism, sense of self-worth, and morale. Adopting a dog adds to your sense of fulfilment because you know that you have given a home to your furry friend.
5. Help You Meet New People
Since people are so mobile, and usually caught up in their fast-paced lifestyles, maintaining a close personal network is not that easy. A busy lifestyle, relocation and loss of face time can create gaps between you and your loved ones. Making new friends can be difficult, too. As it happens, dogs are an excellent way to spark up conversations with other people.
Your dog can help you start and maintain new friendships. Oftentimes, dog owners stop and talk to one another on hikes, walks, and when congregating in a dog park. You can also meet new people in clubs, training classes, and pet supplies stores.
6. Prevent Allergies in Children
According to a study published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy, kids exposed to pets before they’re six months old are less likely to develop eczema, hay fever, and allergic diseases as they get older.
Babies exposed to dogs are less prone to having asthma, allergies, and upper respiratory infections. If you are exposed to allergens and dander at an early age, you may grow less reactive to them over time. So people who grow up around dogs, cats, and farm animals usually have stronger immune systems.
7. Bring Family Closer Together
Having a pet is good for the whole family if you let your children take turns in walking and feeding the dog. This teaches them the value of responsibility and caring for others.
Pets are important bridges between family members. For instance, grandchildren may be too young to have meaningful conversations with their grandparents. Still, walking excursions with your pet dogs involving different family members can be relaxing, healthy and pleasurable.
Having pets offers a lot of ultimate learning experiences as having them around helps teach everyone the importance of generosity, kindness, warmth, and the expression of affection and love.
Dogs are man’s best friend not only because everyone says so, but it has also been proven that pets can make your life happier in many different ways. Caring for a dog can do more for your overall health and well-being than you have imagined. So consider adopting a dog today!
Written by: Farah Al-Khojai
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Origen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.