10 benefits of being a dog owner

Owning a pet has become commonplace for many cultures, which is understandable as they offer companionship and unconditional love, especially for the elderly and the blind. But dogs offer more than that. Surely you would have noticed how your furry companion is not just a pet, but rather part of the family. Although they cannot talk, give you advice, and all the other perks that come with human interaction, they can still be your best friend.

Sure, they can be expensive and even a nuisance at times (chewing up the furniture, weeing on the bed, to name a few) but they can also bring so many benefits to your life.

1. You will feel less stressed

There have been studies to suggest that dogs decrease stress levels. That means petting you dog, playing with your dog, and just being around your furry friend can improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

2. You will feel safe

Dogs can be an expensive but highly trustworthy burglar alarm. Thanks to your dog’s great sense of hearing and loud barking to alert you of a possible intruder, you can sleep better at night, which will do wonders to your physical and mental health.

3. You will get sick less often

Having a dog in the house means more germs. Fact. Yet the more you are exposed to these germs and bacteria, it can help build up your immunity to disease. In turn, people with dogs are less likely to get sick than non-dog owners.

4. You will feel happier

Not only can dogs help with your physical health, but they can make a huge difference to your mental health too. Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression. That’s because having a dog to take care of enforces a routine that can help them out of a depressive episode. The interaction and mutual love from a dog can help people stay positive and focused, and may even be a great alternative to medication.

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5. Your kids are less likely to have allergies

Children who grow up in a house with a dog have fewer allergies and are less likely to have eczema. Also, kids who are raised around a dog, will have higher levels of immune system supporters to keep them in good shape as they get older.

6. You’ll have better heart health

Did you know that petting a dog lowers your heart rate and blood pressure? Studies show that pet owners have lower cholesterol and are therefore more likely to survive a heart attack. Other studies show that those who own a dog have less restless nights and are sick less often.

7. You will get more exercise

When it comes to exercise, there’s no excuse. There’s even less excuse when you’re a dog owner – you have to exercise daily. Most dog owners will walk for a minimum of 30 minutes everyday, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and greatly improving your overall health.

8. You have a better social life

You’re more likely to be approached when taking a dog for a walk than if you were to go alone. In fact, polls show that people trust dog owners and will feel more inclined to go up and talk to them.

9. You may detect cancer sooner

Your dog could possibly play a role in saving your life one day. It appears that due to their amazing sense of smell, dogs have the ability to detect cancer sooner than a human would. There have been stories from many dog owners of their dog sniffing or licking a mole or lump on their body and after getting it checked out, turned out to be cancerous.

10. You become a better person

Having a dog teaches us a lot about ourselves and can ultimately shape who we are. We have to learn to be patient, selfless and committed. Dogs can be hard work sometimes, but they are the best teachers and the best friends you can have.

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