Can Owning a Dog Make you Live a Happier Life
So as Christmas approaches and we wonder what really is the perfect gift for our family is it possible that buying a dog can really make our lives happier?
According to scientists, they have long believed that the companionship of a dog can be good for you and can also improve the quality of your life. Here are a few reasons that we believe adding a pup to your household may be one of the best gifts you could ever give yourself and your family.
1. Dogs increase your mental well being by just spending 15 - 30 minutes with your dog each day can help you feel more calm and relaxed, reducing stress and increasing happiness. Playing with your dog increases your brain's levels of dopamine and serotonin both of which are neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and tranquility. When hugging and petting your dog your body releases a peptide hormone called Oxycontin. Oxycontin reduces stress and has a calming and blissful effect on the body. So generally speaking, owning a dog can hep you be less anxious, less lonely and less depressed. I think it is safe to say dogs offer the best FURR-apy!
2. Having dogs has actually been shown to improve your children's self esteem and makes it easier for them to handle stress when it comes their way. Research has also shown that children from dog owning families also have better school attendance due to better overall health and less sickness from having a pup at home. Dogs also teach children about responsible pet ownership that they will benefit from for the rest of their lives.
3. Research shows that humans with dogs recover faster from illnesses. Dog owners have a much higher rate of recovery from being sick than non dog owners. In fact, humans with pups who have had heart attacks are twice as likely to fully recover than those without.
4. Dogs help us appreciate the simple things in life. A dog takes us back to simpler modes of interaction. In our world today filled with texting, emails, videoconferencing and social media a relationship with a dog is unmediated by technology. I think we could all use a sweet pup to tear us away from our smartphones.
5. Dogs help to be more active and stay physically fit. Research has shown that dog owners were more likely to participate in moderate physical activity than those who do not own a dog. Having a dog is sometimes the perfect motivator we need to help us get off the couch and get outside for a walk or run.
6. Dogs remind us to celebrate even the little things. When is the last time you got so excited you jumped up and down? Dogs get excited like that over everything, especially the moment they see you walk in the door or when you grab their favorite toy, reach for their leash etc...dogs are a constant reminder that the little things are worth getting happy about!
7. A dog can help connect you to a community. Dog's like babies are conversation starters. On walks you are bound to stop for a chat or two with other dog owners. Dogs also give you the chance to meet like minded pet owners at the vet, pet store, or training classes. Dogs help you to know more about the members of your community and boost your social life which in turn makes you a happier person.
8. Getting a dog helps you to love yourself more. Psychologists all over the world agree that dogs can promote self-love and increase self esteem. If you suffer from mild depression getting a dog can help you experience unconditional love. People who own dogs are much less lonely and this leads to happiness and appreciation for their dogs and themselves.
In closing dogs just make people feel good. Perhaps the most intuitive benefit of sharing your life and home with a pup is that dogs give you feel good vibes almost instantly. However owning a dog is a big responsibility and is a long term commitment that you need to make sure you and your family are ready for. They are not just adorable Christmas presents but many years of responsibility that if your family is not ready for than maybe consider fostering a dog for a local shelter in need first to see if you would be ready for the commitment.
Happy Holidays to everyone and may you continue to always LIVE PAWSITIVELY!