A dog and man playing on the beach.

9 Reasons To Own A Dog

For most of us, owning a dog is just a natural thing. We grew up with dogs and are just used to their company and the benefits that they bring to our lives. The benefits are definitely many, but have you ever sat down and thought about just what dogs give you?

Looking across the room at your dog sleeping contently on the floor, your first instinct might be to think how lucky they are. The truth is though that we are luck for having them in our lives. Let’s take a look at just some of the benefits that we get from having a dog in our lives.

1) Increased Heart Health

You probably know that dogs are good for your spiritual heart, but they are also good for your actual heart.

When you pet or otherwise interact with your dog, your body releases Oxytocin. Oxytocin makes you feel happy and less stressed. This, in turn, leads to lower blood pressure levels and a healthier heart.

People with dogs also tend to be more active and higher activity levels are certainly good for heart health.

2) Lower Body Weight

Dogs help us lose weight and keep it off in several ways.

First, they make us feel better which helps reduce depression and the nervous eating that often comes with it. People who are happy are less likely to binge eat and are more likely to stay active.

Which brings up the second way dogs help keep us trim, by keeping us active. Simply taking your dog on a short walk every day can cut pounds off of your waistline over the course of a year. It might seem like a minuscule amount of exercise, but even just a casual stroll can burn calories that add up over time.

3) Safety For Your Family

Dogs are bred to alert us and keep us safe. If you have a big dog like a German Shepherd, they serve as a very good deterrent to criminals, Even if they are a big teddy bear at heart, your big dog will make people think twice about being aggressive towards you, your family or your home.

Your dog does not have to be big to help keep you safe though. Even a small dog like a Pomeranian or Chihuahua can get the job done by alerting you of danger.

4) A More Active Lifestyle

Dogs keep you active in many ways.

Obviously, they will want to go on walks and explore. That will get you out of the house and help you get some good exercise, but there is more to it than that.

Dog owners are more active in general because they are happier. Not only will you want to go out on those walks, but having a dog gives you an excuse to go shopping for them, visit a dog park or join a breed specific social group. In short, dogs give you a reason to become a better and more social person.

5) Reduced Stress Levels

It is hard to be stressed when in the company of a dog.

Simply petting your dog will release the feel good hormone Oxytocin. This will help you to reduce stress levels and live a happier life. The ability to reduce stress in humans is one of the many reasons that dogs like Golden’s and Poodles are used as support animals.

6) Structure & Meaning In Life

If you have a dog, you have a responsibility to take care of an animal. This can go a long way towards adding structure and meaning to your life. Your dog has to be fed at certain times a day, they need to go for a walk, grooming may be required. These are all things that you need to take on as a responsible pet owner.

While these added responsibilities might seem like chores to some, they can give others a purpose to their life. Raising a dog in many ways is like raising a child. There is a lot of work, but it is an overall very rewarding experience.

7) Better Sleep

If you sleep with a dog, you are probably getting a much better nights rest. It is comfortable to have a dog cuddle up next to you or at your feet during the night. It can make you feel relaxed which will allow you to sleep better.

In addition to the comfort is the security of having a dog with you at night. With their better hearing and heightened sense of smell, dogs will be able to warn you of any dangers during the night. Your dog will always be on guard, keeping you safe and allowing you to get deeper, more beneficial sleep.

8) Happy Well Adjusted Children

A dog is also good for your child in a number of ways.

Health-wise, children who have pets are much less likely to develop allergies and have been shown to have fewer respiratory illnesses. Despite the image that some might have of pets being dirty, the effect on a child’s health has been shown to be positive, time and time again.

Mentally speaking, the benefits are just as good. Children with dogs have less stress and learn a number of important character traits. Dog ownership will teach them compassion, loyalty and they will have lower levels of aggression.

9) A Better Romantic Life

People with pets are more approachable, countless surveys have said that. This can lead to a better personal life than those who go it pet free.

Being more approachable is just the start however, dogs give you a reason to get out there and meet people. Walking the dog around the park or in a pet friendly store is a great way to find like minded people and, ideally, strike up a conversation.

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