Ask any dog owner what the benefits of owning a dog are and they will give you so much more than just 5. But we’ll keep it short and sweet with some of the best reasons why your family REALLY needs a new, furry family member! Spoiler alert: your life will never be the same, your kids will think you’re a hero and you’ll end up wondering how you ever got by in life without your four legged friend!It’s Good for Your Health
Dogs are good for your health! Think it’s just hype? Think again - It’s literally science. There have been numerous studies surrounding this subject, but we’ll cite one specific study by the University of Pennsylvania back in the 1980’s that found a decrease in blood pressure and heart rates in people that played or even just petted a dog. They also displayed slowed breathing, more relaxed muscle tension, and reduced stress hormones in their bloodstream.
Another study conducted in 2009 in Japan found that staring into your dog’s eyes boosted oxytocin in the bloodstream - a.k.a. The “love” hormone. More studies have found that owning a dog can alleviate depression and can help you stay active. This is key to leading a healthy life. This leads us to our next point.
Dogs, like humans, need to lead active lives to stay healthy. At the very least, they need to be let outside to relieve themselves and be walked, which forces you to get up and go outside at least twice a day. Since dogs are full of energy, this will push you to get moving with them. And let’s face it, we all need a little extra motivation to get our daily exercise in. If you have a family, it will do the same for each family member since you’ll probably all take turns taking the dog outside for bathroom breaks and walks. You can even make it a daily family bonding hour! Throw on some cute workout clothes coordinated with your daughter, like some matching leggings and a crop top, or a cute printed sports bra and hit the pavement with your canine companion!
Okay, so dogs won’t actually replace babysitters and nannies, so don’t expect your pooch to corral the kids into the SUV and drop them off at school when you can’t; but they will be an important part of your child’s life as they grow and develop. Some studies have shown that kids that grew up with dogs were more empathetic than kids who weren’t. One theory is that dogs could help kids regulate their emotions since they can trigger and respond to child’s behavior. Having dogs can also teach your kids responsibility, since walking the dog, cleaning up their waste, bathing them and feeding them could all be part of your child’s weekly chores. Also, you’ll benefit by having a member of the family who is always ready to play and entertain your kids, even when you can’t!
Ever noticed people with dogs talking to each other on the street? Chances are those people didn’t even know each other until their dogs brought them together. Dogs are an instant ice breaker and studies have shown that having one makes the owner of the dog look more approachable than a person without a dog. Maybe you’re already an extrovert who loves socializing or maybe you’re an introvert who has a hard time coming out of your shell. Whatever the case is, your dog will make you meet new people whether you like it or not!
Adopting means you’ll be saving a dog from possibly being euthanized in some shelters, living a hard life on the streets as a stray or living a lonely, confined existence in the shelter. In return, you’ll have that dog’s undying loyalty. Dogs are loyal until their last breaths, and you’ll benefit in so many ways. Your dog will do everything from alert you when there is a visitor at your door or alarm you if there is trouble; they’ll protect you in unexpected situations, they’ll teach your kids important life lessons like responsibility, love and compassion. Some dogs have been trained to do all kinds of life saving tasks, from sniffing out illnesses in humans to detecting when there is an allergen of some sort present that could harm a human and alerting them to it. They have been known to save kids from drowning in pools, alerting authorities when there’s trouble, serving as service animals to the disabled and serving as therapy animals for people who have been through trauma or are dealing with mental illness.