Dogs are naturally cheerful creatures who love nothing better than making us happy. They enjoy being useful and being involved in everything we do. This is a special relationship which delivers a great deal more than just companionship. So how exactly does dog ownership benefit us?
Dogs can improve your mood and emotions
Being around dogs often has a calming effect on people. Their positive attitude and willingness to please are natural mood enhancers. Research supports this mood-enhancing effect and has shown that people who have cancer, AIDS and other terminal illnesses are less likely to suffer depression if they have a pet than those without.
And anyway, how can you be miserable when your pet looks at you as though you are the most important thing in his life?
Pets can naturally lower your blood pressure
According to research conducted by the University at Buffalo, in New York, pet ownership can lead to decreased blood pressure in owners. The study evaluated the blood pressure and related health factors of a number of stockbrokers in New York, revealing that those who owned pets had lower blood pressure and better heart rates. The calming effect of dogs, combined with the companionship they offer, can be an excellent way to reduce blood pressure.
The exercise and fitness benefits
Humans need at least 15 minutes a day of out-of-breath aerobic exercise to maintain reasonable levels of fitness. Dog owners spend more time walking than non-pet owners, and walking helps reduce stress and improve overall health. If you dislike exercising in the gym you will be pleased to know that brisk walking is just as good for you as jogging or running. According to Jo Salmon of Deakin University, in Australia, dog ownership can decrease a child’s probability of developing obesity by 50%. With today’s rapidly increasing childhood obesity rates, dog ownership can be an excellent way to avoid this type of health problem.
The sociable aspect
When you are walking your dog you will find people often stop to talk to you, whether or not they are dog owners. It’s a great way to break the ice, broaden your circle of friends and combat loneliness. Those who participate in dog-related events often see a greater social interactivity than those without dogs.
Dogs teach us how to be responsible
Research has indicated that pre-adolescent children who have dogs in their families and care for them on a regular basis had higher levels of self-confidence and empathy. A child who learns to care for an animal, and treat it kindly and patiently, may get invaluable training in learning to treat people the same way. Positive relationships with pets can aid in the development of trusting relationships with others. A good relationship with a pet can also help in developing non-verbal communication, compassion and respect. Additionally, caring for dogs teaches responsibility for pet owners of all ages. They provide lessons about life; reproduction, birth, illnesses, accidents, death, and bereavement.
Everyone needs love
and pets need love as much as we do. Animal experiments have shown that just like us, baby animals deprived of their parents grow up dysfunctional and depressed, develop mental illnesses and can’t function properly. Dogs love affection and they give back just as much, if not more, in return. Research has proved that people in nursing homes felt much less lonely when they were visited by dogs, even more so than when they were visited by humans. Pets As Therapy is a charity providing therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and other venues by volunteers with their own friendly, temperament tested and vaccinated dogs and cats.
Owning a dog is hard work and takes time, dedication and compassion. But if you are willing to put in the time, dog ownership can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your life. The benefits are clear;
they can improve your physical, mental and social wellbeing – You will feel happier, healthier, calmer, more sociable and generally more fulfilled. Here’s to a long, loving and extremely enjoyable relationship!
Find yourself a really good pet friendly holiday home
with Paws In Britain. The UK has a lot to offer if you are looking for beautiful countryside, interesting towns and villages, and great walking. We have a large selection of self-catering cottages, lodges, bed and breakfast, guest houses, hotels and inns to choose from where you and your
pets are welcome.