Getting a pet is a significant responsibility. Animals require food, water, and lots of love. Even so, pets have so much love to give. They keep you company when you’re lounging on the sofa and have the power to make you feel better when you’re feeling down.
Dogs, in particular, make amazing companions. They’re loyal, funny, protective, and unconditionally loving. Still not convinced yet? Here are just a handful of reasons why you should consider getting a dog.
They Make Great Exercise Partners
Even the “laziest” dog breeds need regular walks and some exercise to help them burn off some energy and stay healthy. Guess what? They’ll help you improve your health, too! Taking your dog for a walk around the block each day is a great way get in some extra steps, helping you to burn extra calories, improve your heart health, and maintain a healthy weight. If you’ve been thinking about taking up jogging or biking, a more active breed can give you the extra push you need to get started and keep going.
They Make You More Social
Dogs tend to make people more approachable. They’re also an excellent conversation starter. Whether you’re at the dog park, walking around the block, or out in your yard, people are more likely to stop and chat. Not only do dogs make it easier to make friends, but they can also help their owners feel more connected with their families and communities. What’s more, dogs can help their owners feel less lonely when they’re socially isolated.
They Boost Your Mental Health
Dogs can do wonders for your mental health. Not only do they help you feel less lonely, but they can also decrease stress and anxiety. Even petting a dog can relax tense muscles, slow your breathing, and reduce your blood pressure. Making eye contact with a dog and spending time with one can lead to the release of oxytocin, the feel-good hormone. You’re likely to be less stressed and happier overall.
They Make You Want to Do Better
Dogs don’t just make you happier; they make you want to do better. You might find yourself looking for other ways to improve your life overall. You might become more active, make healthier lifestyle choices, and look for ways to reduce your impact on the environment, like supporting local businesses and installing a solar power system in your home.
They Improve Cognitive Function
There have been several studies looking at the effects of dogs on seniors. Overall, these studies show positive results. Dogs can help to improve the cognitive function of older adults with mental disorders and decrease agitated behaviors in those with dementia. They can also help seniors feel happier and less alone.
They Get You Ready for Parenthood
Okay, so dogs and kids aren’t exactly the same, but if you and your partner are considering children, a dog can be a great way to help you prepare. You’ll have to make certain sacrifices and compromises when it comes to caring for a dog, just as you will with a child. In the case of a dog, who’s going to be the one to take him out for a walk at night? Who’s going to pick up his food from the pet store on the way home from a long day at work? How will you train him? Who will miss work to take him to the vet if he gets sick? These might seem insignificant, but you have to work as a team to ensure your dog stays happy and healthy. It’s good practice for making essential decisions as parents.
There are so many great reasons to get a dog. From improving your mental and physical health to helping you make better choices overall, there are very few reasons not to have a furry, four-legged companion in your life. If you’re ready for the responsibilities of pet ownership and feel like a dog is a good fit for you, consider checking out your local animal shelter and adopting your sweet new friend.