Long gone are the days when humans used dogs only for hunting and protection.
Having a dog in today’s modern society will not only help you fend off house burglars and possible threats on the street, but improve your daily life in a lot more ways than you have imagined. Here’s our list of 13 ways being a dog owner improves your life – do you have anything to add? Share in the comments below!
13 Ways Being a Dog Owner Improves Your Life
1. More protection
The woof-alarm and woof-spray. Scientists have proven that dogs repel burglars. Some dogs will bark, some will attack, and others will just stand there, looking threatening and making sure that the burglar knows “this home is under this canine’s protection, walk away.” That, and you will also feel safer whenever you have a dog beside you; regardless of your pet’s size, having a companion, especially the one who can bark, will make you feel more comfortable in those dark alleys.
2. No more stress
Forget the stress balls, hug your dog instead. Research has shown that spending time with your dog reduces stress in people thanks to produced hormone oxytocin. There are no particular activities you need to undertake as long as you focus on your dog: pet him/her, play fetch, or just relax together. It has also been proven that simply watching dogs do their own thing brings calmness and lowers levels of stress hormone.
3. Back into shape
No more excuses to stay away from outdoors. Having a dog means you’ll need to walk your little fella, and the more often you get out, the better you will feel. In fact, dog owners report that having a pet motivates them to exercise more, so you will get at least 60 minute of walking daily. Studies have also shown that exercise with dogs can turn the aging clock back by 10 years. Other dog owners say they always needed a partner for morning jogs – so there you have it!
4. Healthier heart
Now you can eat all the bacon you want (or not). Back in the 80s, researchers have discovered that spending time with dogs lowers risks of heart attack (by 20%, to be exact). Apparently, dog owners are a lot less likely to have one, and males who spend a lot of time with their canines have lower risk of experiencing all kinds of heart diseases. Enjoying a long and healthy life with a dog? Sounds like a sweet deal.
5. Forget loneliness
Your K9 will always be there for you, even when nobody else will. Your dog will love you no matter what; his/her companionship and loyalty is often worth more than you can imagine. One study found that residents of a nursing home felt a lot less socially isolated, less lonely, and felt less social anxiety when they spent their free time with dogs and not people. Dogs – 1, People – 0.
6. Better general health
Even more health problems are decreased among dog owners. This, alongside number #3 and #4, makes owning a dog a no-brainer. Studies show that, compared to people who own dogs with those who never did, dog owners tend to have lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglecyride (same) levels. They also are sick less often and have stronger immune system.
7. Improved social life
Fact: dogs can help you get a date. This isn’t news to anyone – walking your canine in dog parks on a regular basis has a very high chance to set you up on a date, potentially with another dog lover. Normally, people are a lot more open toward dog owners, and the more dogs you have, the better. It gives others a reason to stop and talk to you: “What a cute dog! Can I get your number?”
8. No more allergies
Suffer (or not) for the future of your kids. Although dogs themselves are huge allergy triggers, it has been proven that children who grow with dogs in the house have a lot higher resistance to develop allergies and possibly even asthma. If you or your partner are pregnant, it’s the perfect time to bring another addition to your family before the new one pops out, all for the better of kids.
9. Be happy
Pursuit of happiness at the cost of owning a dog. Results from multiple research studies over the years have demonstrated that dog owners are generally happier and are less likely to experience symptoms of depression. And in case you are already experiencing mental health issues, caring for a dog will alleviate some of those symptoms. Certain people found that this works more effectively than drugs.
10. Treat autism
Help your kids get into the social game. That famous loyalty and unconditional love of our dogs is a possible solution to children with autism or otherwise socially awkward kids. Those who don’t socialize outside of their home will normally find dogs to be their best friends. Some studies have found that kids’ active social behavior around their pets can be transferred into the outside world.
11. Confident children
Let the kids learn a few lessons of empathy from the dog. Kids learn from dogs. Yet another study from 2001 found that children who are often exposed to dogs will grow to be more empathetic and have higher self-esteem with decreased levels of insecurity. A different study has found that teenagers form meaningful relationships with their canines, which helps them to go through life at that age.
12. Detect cancer
Your dog’s cancer-detector is better than yours. Your canine’s senses are there not only to dig up bones in the backyard, they can also detect cancer. Dog lovers have been saying for years that their pets have been licking and sniffing spots on the body that later were diagnosed as cancerous. Save your life for the price of buying dog food on a regular basis. Why not?
13. Grow old in happiness
You can now afford to grow old with dignity and pleasure. It has been reported that Alzheimer’s patients, as well as dementia patients, will experience less symptoms of the condition when there’s a dog around. Given previous effect of dogs on people’s health, this is hardly surprising. Dogs have also been great companions to elderly for centuries, and might be the reason for older people’s prolonged life.
There are many other reasons, big and small, why owning a dog is one of the greatest things life has provided us with. Most important of them all is that you’ll be providing an amazing living to an innocent animal, whose unconditional love and loyalty to you deserves it.
Here’s to happy and healthy dogs and their owners!
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Featured photo has been provided by tpsdave