Yep, it’s true, there are proven benefits to owning a dog and it’s not just ‘nice’ for us dog lovers!
Numerous studies and subsequent research have shown that there are actual physical and psychological advantages to having a dog.
Petting and fussing a dog has been shown to reduce stress in people by lowering the stress hormone Cortisol and increasing the feel good or love hormone Oxytocin.
LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
The fact that Cortisol reduces and Oxytocin increases is enough to help maintain healthy blood pressure.
BOOST A HEALTHY HEART
Enjoying the company of a dog is a good way of keeping a healthy cardiovascular system.
INCREASE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Dogs need to be exercised, so if, like me, you will have to face all weathers, embrace the elements and get out in the fresh air for walkies.
Should you suffer from low self-esteem and lack in confidence, you will welcome the unconditional love and affection that a dog provides. A dog needs you as much, if not more, as you need them. They are completely dependent on you for their welfare and unquestionably return their gratitude in multiple forms.
PROVIDE A DAILY STRUCTURE
A dog will need you to care for them appropriately and this will involve a certain amount of consistency and routine, meaning that you need to implement a structure to your day. This in turn helps you remain focussed.
You are never alone when you have a dog by your side. A dog will enjoy your company as much as you enjoy theirs.
HELP WITH ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
The responsibility of looking after a dog can help with problems such as anxiety and depression. Caring for an animal provides a sense of purpose and a focal point for difficult times. A dog makes you feel needed and wanted. A dog is there for you through the good and the bad providing consistent non-judgemental support.
IMPROVE SOCIAL CONNECTIONS
Dogs provide great social tools. Whether you are walking in the streets or mixing in classes you will inevitably meet people that share the same passion, a dog.
Socialising with a dog tends to be easier than when you are alone, you’ve got your pooch there for conversation prompts and support.
So, it’s not in your head, it has been scientifically studied and the results are in! You definitely do gain from having a dog in your life. Not just joy from something you love, but the genuine good stuff that enhances your life in a variety of ways and makes you want to get out of bed in the mornings.
It is often said that dogs help keep you young, well personally I believe it’s true!