Did you know that a dog can make you happy and healthy? Indeed, a dog can change your entire life! Dog owners, of course, already know this. Yet you don’t need to be an owner yourself to benefit from a dog’s company : a dog sitter or dog walker can also experience this joy!
Why Do Dogs Make Us Happy?
Why do dogs make us happy? There are so many ways that it would be impossible to cover the myriad ways in which they enrich our lives, put a smile on our face, help us out if we are injured or disabled and are always there for us no matter what. Our dogs don’t care if we have bed head, are in a bad mood, aren’t great cooks or if we watch cheesy movies on the weekend! In fact, our dogs would probably love lying in bed with us while we watched movies!
Physical and emotional benefits are derived by sharing our lives with our dogs, petting a dog in a therapy setting such as a hospital or nursing home or by taking them for a long walk after a stressful day at work. Coming home from work and being greeted by your dog is sure to put a smile on your face, especially when he enthusiastically bounces around, barks and licks you with abandon!
1) You’re never alone
A dog is a true pal who will always be there for you, never judges you and is invariably happy to have you around. Imagine: you get out of the wrong side of bed, you’re feeling blue and are simply not yourself this morning. Then along comes your happy four-legged, tail-wagging buddy. Your pooch places their head on your lap and looks at you with those huge, adoring eyes: “Don’t be sad. Why don’t we go outside?” And your bad mood instantly evaporates 🙂
2) You get plenty of fresh air…
… and you will discover the most beautiful places! A dog needs to be walked regularly. Those already accustomed to owning a dog will know that this is certainly no punishment. In fact, in our busy day-to-day lives at work or in front of the computer, it’s great to be able to go outside and catch your breath. Together with your canine companion, you’ll get to know some of the most beautiful parts of your local area. You’ll enjoy daily visits to pretty bushland, parks and beaches where you can truly unwind and your dog can run free. Those taking a daily walk with their dog generally feel happier and healthier, and are lucky enough to experience nature on a regular basis.
3) A dog teaches you about yourself
A dog is like a mirror into your soul: they are totally honest and their response to human behaviour is pure and unfiltered. Your faithful friend will also react directly to your behaviour and emotions. This can be quite confronting: a dog will consistently pick up on your stress, anxiety or anger. Similarly your confidence and composure will also affect your dog. So, take the time to get to know your dog inside out and you’ll become better acquainted with yourself. And that results in a super special bond between you and your dog!
4) A dog encourages fun social contact
A cute dog attracts all the right attention: “What a sweetie! What’s their name?” And if you’ve ever taken a dog for a walk, you’ll know that you usually bump into other dog owners and enthusiasts. Which is great, because you can share your experiences and the dogs get to play with each other! Of course, you might not always fancy a chat, in which case you can simply say a friendly hello and continue on your way. But if you do wish to meet new people, you’ll find that a dog is a wonderfully sociable friend to have at your side!
5) A dog is good for your health
A dog is extremely good for your health. Not only because it gets you moving, but also because pet ownership can help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and promote the production of endorphins, also known as ‘happy hormones’. Dog owners recover faster and more efficiently after illness, and having a pet also offers health and companionship benefits for the elderly. And children who grow up with dogs are less likely to develop allergies and asthma.
6) A dog brings joy to children
Research has shown that pet ownership is good for both the physical and emotional wellbeing of children – it really is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your child! Children confide all of their secrets to their dog, because a dog never judges and is always there to listen. And those who learn about careful and responsible pet ownership at a young age will benefit from it for the rest of their lives. The animals will too, of course!
7) A dog gives meaning to your life
Dog ownership is a huge responsibility and as such it’s essential that you think it through carefully. In your dog’s eyes you’re the master of the universe, the most important person in their life because they are totally dependent on you. As an owner you are responsible for the physical and mental health of this wonderful creature. This might sound daunting, but it’s the real beauty of ownership. Anyone who has ever adopted a dog knows just how great it feels to give such a deserving creature a good home. A dog will add colour to your life! Read 6 questions about getting a dog
More ways our pups give us happiness…
Dogs are great for our health (in many ways!) We’ve already mentioned that having a dog means you will be more active. Those times when you’re not active, petting your dog will make you feel better. Petting a dog is proven to lower blood pressure and make you calmer. Dogs bring order to your life. Even the most frazzled and over-scheduled individual understands the need for routine for his or her dog. Dogs like to eat at the same times. Dogs like to go for walks at the same time. Dogs thrive when there is routine in their lives. Pet parents will rush home after work to assure their dogs are fed and cared for. Dogs help pet parents be more responsible. Your dog relies on his pet parent for everything. To your dog, you are the center of the universe and that is a responsibility and joy no pet parent ever forgets.
So, ask yourself, why do dogs make us happy? What do you do to make his life as happy and healthy and full of love and life as you can? We would love to know!