Metro Manila, Philippines
Metro Manila, Philippines
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As we all know, dogs are considered to be one of the most incredible creatures to have ever set paws on this earth. They are curious, playful, and intelligent. Yes, they can be mischievous at times, but their gentle, protective, and affectionate natures can all makeup for that. But those are just a few of a plethora of reasons why many people love dogs and even consider them their friend, child, and soulmate all at once. Dog owners may not notice it all the time, but their furry companions can actually give them so much more than they think. So, if you are a dog owner or someone who has been wanting to get a dog but is still having second thoughts, then this article might make you more interested in dogs than you already are.
Here are some of the 10 amazing health benefits of owning a dog
First and foremost, of course, they are effective life companions. Dogs being dogs, tend to follow their humans anywhere they go; even if they live in small houses or apartments, dogs will still most likely act as their owners’ shadows. Also, they are affectionate creatures that are consistent in showing their humans unconditional love and appreciated they are through their own unique ways, one of which is melting their owners’ hearts with cuddles. Such simple gestures are effective in making their owners realize that they are not alone.
In fact, one survey found that a huge percentage of their respondents, pet owners and non-pet owners alike, agree that having dogs around is helpful in decreasing the feeling of loneliness and that it can aid people in dealing with social isolation. Similar results were found in a 2015 study, where it was revealed that people who own dogs are less likely to exhibit and experience negative emotions such as distress and loneliness.
To own a dog is to have a four-legged ball of joy that is always ready to provide you with emotional support if need be. Having such wondrous beings around your house means you are lucky enough to be blessed with solace, something many people long for. These amazing incredible creatures have the power to reduce a person’s stress levels, and this is not just the opinion of any dog owner. Actually, the soothing benefits of therapy dogs, in general, have been proven in several studies. Dogs can also serve as therapy animals, providing comfort and support to individuals in need. Therapy dogs undergo special training to assist with a variety of emotional and mental health issues
Since it has been proven that dogs are their humans’ stress relievers and dogs for anxiety and depression. It is a no-brainer that they make them feel so much happiness. They could be literally doing nothing and their owners will still smile at the sight as they find them cute. What’s more, as dog owners bond with or even just look at their beloved pooches, an increase in their oxytocin levels happens; oxytocin is known to be our “love hormone,” which when triggered, instantly makes us feel relaxed.
Traveling with your dog, bonding with your dog, and taking dogs out for a walk on a daily basis is part of a fur parent’s responsibility. Dogs need daily walks because it is proven to help in digesting their food properly, stimulate their minds, and improve their socializing skills. Also, since they are descendants of wild animals who roamed around and hunted freely, it is beneficial for domesticated dogs to have the chance to explore and experience new things since they are natural explorers and adventurers; it also helps in their overall health and well-being. However, daily walks are not just beneficial for the lovely pooches, it also benefits their owners. You see, when dog owners make it a habit to take their dogs out for an outdoor walk on a daily, they get as much exercise as their dogs do. Studies revealed that responsible dog owners who take their dogs on daily walks are far more physically active and healthy than those who don’t own dogs. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone, really.
Believe it or not, having a dog in your life can have a positive impact on your longevity. Dogs are like a happy virus that puts joy into the hearts of everyone around them. This in turn reduces the chance of experiencing stress, which if left unmanaged, could lead to serious cardiovascular complications such as angina and heart attack. In support of that, an in-depth study concluded that a reduced risk of acquiring cardiovascular diseases more likely takes place in every household that owns a dog. What’s more, dog ownership may help prevent and decrease deaths caused by cardiovascular complications in the population as a whole.
In connection to having daily exercise, walking their dogs every day can also increase the chances of dog owners being more sociable. Indeed, it is much easier to start a quick chat with another dog owner you come across as you walk your four-legged best friend on the street; be it complimenting their furbaby or simply asking what their dog’s breed is. If one would think about it, a sudden conversation in the street between two or more pet owners who are all unfamiliar with each other can spark a ton of unexpected friendships and relationships. In fact, one study demonstrated that dog owners have an advantage over non-dog owners when it comes to making connections and building rapport with other people.
As strange as it may seem, having dogs inside the household is also proven to have good benefits for children; and it’s not because they make good playmates. It’s something more amazing than that. A 2015 study found that it is less likely for children to acquire childhood asthma if they are exposed to dogs at an age as early as one year old.
The benefits of having a four-legged ball of sunshine walking around your house is not just limited to receiving daily cuddles and hearing their demanding yet irresistibly adorable barks and whines. They actually have “healing capabilities” to offer, particularly to those who are unfortunately suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. A 2018 study demonstrated that soldiers and military veterans who have service dogs on their side display improved psychological and physiological health and a significant decrease in showing symptoms in comparison with only receiving the usual care and treatment for their PTSD.
Furthermore, dogs also have beneficial effects on the mental health of the elderly, specifically those who are suffering from dementia. It has been proven that when dementia patients in nursing facilities are graced with the presence and friendliness of a lovely pooch, they are more likely to be interactive; emotional outbursts, irritability, and agitation may also occur less frequently if they have a four-legged companion around.
Apart from the reduced asthma risk, stress relief, physically active body, and better mental health, dogs can also provide humans immunity. As crazy as it may sound, it is true. According to researchers, humans—children in most cases—who are frequently exposed to pets that regularly get in and out of the house are less likely to get sick; this is because the germs that humans unknowingly get from their pets as well as the dander coming from a cat or dog’s fur enable their immune system to mature, making it possible for someone, particularly a kid’s body to better fight off harmful microbes.
If you are already at this part of the article, then you have probably learned about the many health benefits humans can enjoy just by having dogs around, and maybe it convinced you to go to the nearest pet shop and purchase one cute dog. Well, there’s a 99 percent chance that I’m wrong, but if I’m not, then I’m sorry but you might want to hold on to that thought. You see, it is really not a good idea to get your beloved four-legged companion from a pet shop, and here’s why:
More often than not, the cute puppies you see displayed in pet stores are from puppy mills, and these puppy mills are nowhere near a wonderful place. Dogs, particularly female ones, are badly treated there. Breeders mercilessly drain the heck out of female dogs by continuously breeding them and then taking away their puppies at an early age to ship them to pet stores. Sadly, mother dogs continue to live their lives like that until their health deteriorates and they eventually get disposed of by the breeders.
So you see, buying a dog—or any animal at that—from pet shops might bring more harm than good for such innocent animals. But if you are really eager to have a pet dog you can spoil and cuddle with all day, then you should consider adopting, and I’ll tell you why.
There are a lot of rescued and surrendered dogs in animal shelters who get euthanized because these shelters can only accommodate so much. And because of that, dogs who take too long to get adopted are not given a chance for the life they so deserve.
It’s really sad to think that people who buy from pet stores are, most of the time, unaware that they are being enablers of continuous animal abuse. Puppy mills keep on earning profit through the exploitation of innocent dogs, and the only possible way to put a stop to their inhumane activities is by boycotting pet stores and considering rescuing and adopting.
Having a dog is a lifetime commitment and responsibility, but as mentioned, there are a lot of benefits other than those that come with that lifetime commitment. So, if you think you are ready for a lifetime full of smiles, laughs, and happy tears, then you should not think twice and adopt one because you can surely learn a lot from them. I kid you not, dogs are more than worthy of your love, and what’s good is they surely won’t fail in giving that love back tenfold!