- Lots more exercise
You’ve had a long day and you would love nothing more than a hot bath and an early night, but you come home and see your dog’s excited, loving and hopeful face all but begging you to go for a walk………what do you do? Of course you take him for his walk, you can’t resist that face! And there you have it! Perk 1, inadvertently being railroaded into keeping fit without even realising it.
2. Stress Relief
Had a bad day? What’s one of the few things in the world that can wash your worries away? Spending time with your doggo of course. Whether it’s playing with them, cuddling them, or even just watching them, research has actually shown that dog ownership reduces stress hormones and the effects usually outweigh the stress caused by caring for a dog.
- Increased Social Life
You’re walking through the park and you see someone playing with their dog. What is your natural instinct? Of course you want to go over and meet the cute doggo! So you do and consequentially strike up a conversation with its owner. Think about it. Would you have ever stopped to talk to this person if they hadn’t have had a dog with them? Of course you wouldn’t! Dogs are sociable beings and their sociability inevitably rubs off on their human counterparts!
- Doggy Senses
A dog’s amazing sense of smell can be used for a variety of purposes. Many dog owners have reported their dog sniffing, licking, or nudging spots that later turned out to be cancerous, for example. One of the unexpected benefits of having a dog is that it may bring your attention to an illness you weren’t yet aware of!
- Your kids will be less likely to have allergies.
Children who are raised around a dog are less likely to have allergies. In fact, living in a home with a dog can help kids grow up to have an increased immunity to pet allergies later in life.
- Your heart will be healthier.
This is linked to our second point – a less stressful life, leads to a lower heart rate and thereby a healthier heart! In fact, some research has shown that dog owners are much more likely to survive a heart attack compared to non-dog owners. Male pet owners in particular tend to experience a reduced rate of heart disease.
- You’re less likely to feel depressed.
The benefits of dog ownership extend to your mental health as well, something we’ve briefly touched on before in our previous blog, The Pet Effect. Dog owners are less likely to be depressed. Caring for a dog helps relieve symptoms of depression and encourages people to be more positive.
- Growing Old
Dog ownership benefits elderly people in many ways; Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer episodes if there is a dog in the home, caregivers of elderly people report less stress and of course dogs offer wonderful companionship for the elderly as well.
- Your risk for general illness decreases.
Dog owners tend to have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels compared to non-dog owners, maybe because their companionship has encouraged increased levels of physical activity! Dogs expose their owners to a lot of germs, which can help build up a human’s immunity to disease. As a result, dog owners get sick less often and less severely than non-dog owners.
- You’ll feel safer.
Dogs can be an effective home security system, it’s like having a four legged security guard patrol your home! The presence of a pooch deters burglars. So, for us humans, just knowing that you’ve got a dog who can use its keen sense of hearing to detect anyone prowling around can help increase your sense of security, which is good for both your mental and physical health.