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Having a four-legged companion is invaluable. They love unconditionally, they provide entertainment to steer off boredom, and add a sense of joy to life. They will always be there to greet you when you come home and make you laugh when you least expect it. Not only do dogs provide great friendships for their owners, but they can also improve the overall health and wellbeing of their owners. If you don’t have a dog already, or are considering getting one, here are five wellbeing benefits of having a dog that you should know about.
1. Dogs improve your cardiovascular health.
In today’s technology-driven, fast-paced society, it can be easy to get caught up indoors calling for take-out on a regular basis. However, this can lead to increased chances of developing heart disease. Fortunately, dogs love a nice stroll through the neighborhood or a visit to the friendly dog park. It is recommended that adults get at least two and a half hours of exercise per week, but dog owners are much more likely to meet and exceed this goal. Staying active helps reduce your chance of developing heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure.
2. Dogs can help enhance your social life.
If you are struggling to meet new people, a dog may be your golden ticket to socialization. Research has demonstrated that 40 percent of dog owners make friends easier than others because many will engage in conversation with other dog owners during walks and become more outgoing. In addition, taking your dog to the dog park will allow your dog to socialize with other dogs while you socialize with your peers. It’s a win-win situation to meeting others and helping you become more extroverted. You will have a four-legged friend and more human interactions with those who share common interests!
3. Dogs can help improve your mood and treat your mental health.
Speak to any dog owner, and many will report that their mood and mental health is better when they are around their dog. After all, emotional support dogs are becoming more and more popular! Dogs can help decrease depression, reduce anxiety, and help regulate your mood by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. In addition, animal therapy is becoming increasingly popular in both mental health and addiction treatment to help individuals suffering from dual-diagnosis to develop coping skills and treat their mental health.
4. Dogs will add meaning and purpose to your life.
Let’s face it—everyone wants to have meaning and purpose in life, and dogs can help you attain this! Dogs depend on their owners for food, water, exercise, shelter, companionship, and every other aspect of their lives. When you mean everything to another living being, you will add meaning to your life and feel as though you have a purpose. Plus, dog’s will fend off loneliness and isolation, as they will always be right by your side and make you feel loved. Whether you are a single college student, a man or woman who can’t have children, or an elderly, retired individual, having a dog is sure to give your life purpose.
5. Dogs can provide an extra layer of security to your home.
Most dogs are extremely social and loving creatures, but that doesn’t mean they won’t warn and protect you when your home and territory are in danger. It is believed that dogs can actually sense when something or somebody is bad, dangerous, or threatening. They may warn you by barking, growling, or becoming protective of you if they sense that you or your home is in danger. Dog’s can act as your own unique home security system. Alarms can only warn you of intruders, but dogs can also help scare them away!
So—what are you waiting for? There are thousands of dogs sitting in shelters right now waiting for you to give them a loving home. With the multitude of physical and mental health benefits of having a dog. You won't regret getting your new best friend!