Between their excitement when you come home every day and their enthusiasm for snuggling, it’s hard not to feel the love from dogs. But did you know they actually improve your quality of life?
If you’ve ever owned a dog, you probably understand the positivity they exude. In addition to the love and joy they add to your days, dogs actually have a profound effect on your lifestyle and health. Owning or just spending time with a dog can enhance your health, your mood, and even your social life. Here are just a few of the many ways dogs can improve your quality of life.
1. Dogs encourage you to exercise
On average, people who own dogs get more exercise than those who don’t. Just like humans, dogs need regular exercise, often in the form of walks, hikes, or time spent outdoors. Many people don’t move around enough on a regular basis, but having to take care of their dog ensures that they are active for at least an hour every day. Next time you don’t feel like hitting the gym, grab a leash and take your dog for a walk instead!
2. Dogs protect you
Dogs are famous for their loyalty. They will read your emotions to see if you need protecting, alert you of suspicious activity with a bark (or two or three), and may even try protect you from any threats. Not only can dogs physically keep you safe, but there’s something comforting about knowing you always have someone in your life to depend on.
3. Dogs improve your sleep
Who doesn’t feel safer and happier with a protective, loyal friend sleeping nearby? While having your dog sleep with you sounds counterproductive to a good night’s rest, sleep experts have found that sleeping in the same room as your dog can actually help you drift off more quickly. They attribute this to the added sense of comfort and security dog owners get from their pooch’s presence.
4. Dogs encourage you to socialize
Between obedience classes, trips to the dog park, and walking around your neighborhood, owning a dog provides plenty of chances for you to be social. Dogs can give you and a stranger something to bond over instantly, making social interactions much less awkward and much more enjoyable. In addition, recent research shows that dogs fulfill some of your social needs when you spend time with them!
5. Dogs teach responsibility
Owning a dog is a great way to learn responsibility. Caring for a canine is a big commitment – one that may last a decade or longer – that forces you to be dependable, structured and sensible. After all, your dog depends on you for survival! Having responsibility lends your life a greater sense of purpose, ultimately improving your wellbeing.
6. Dogs provide companionship
Last but not least, dogs love unconditionally. They’re always happy to see you when you come home, and manage to make mundane activities more enjoyable. Many people love their dogs so much that they consider them a part of their family, and for good reason! Dogs boost your mood, lower blood pressure, calm you down, and ensure that you never feel alone. Simply spending time with your dog can make your day a little better. No wonder dogs are known as man’s best friend!
Madison Ann Baker is a writer, Netflix-binger, and pop culture enthusiast who lives in Idaho. Literature and linguistics are her two passions, both of which she studied in college. She enjoys writing about animals and health and wellness, but dabbles in a little bit of everything. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her Borador, Dash, and re-reading Harry Potter. https://twitter.com/mabakerwrites