Dogs are some of the most amazing animals on the planet. Owned by tens of millions of people in the US alone, and countless more across the world, they’ve provided endless love, companionship, and joy to people of all ages and from all walks of life.
Man’s best friends are famed for their loyalty, their energetic characters, their amusing and unpredictable behavior, and that uncanny ability they have to brighten up our days and make us feel better.
And that feeling of joy we get from seeing our dogs after a long, hard day isn’t just in our minds. It’s a very real, scientifically proven benefit of dog ownership, with some studies even linking dog owners with longer life expectancies and happier lives overall. Here are just some of the mood-boosting benefits dogs have to offer…
One of the best and most obvious mental benefits of having a dog is that you should feel less stressed each day. Even if you’re going through a particularly tough time at work or at home, having a dog to greet you each evening and seeing a happy, wagging tail is always something that will lighten your mood and trigger the release of positive chemicals in the brain.
Many studies have shown that cuddling, petting, and playing with dogs helps people forget their worries and feel less stressed, and countless dog owners throughout history can testify to this. Dogs are able to provide the friendship and loyalty you need to feel happy with life, and this, in turn, can lead to higher levels of focus and a more positive mindset, with plenty more indirect advantages.
A big part of the responsibility of owning a dog is having to take it for a walk each day. Little and large dogs alike all benefit from daily walks, and their owners can find a lot of benefits in this activity too. It’s a great way for people of all ages to get into a routine of regular exercise, giving them an outlet for their energy and an opportunity to spend some quality time in the open air.
Experts have consistently linked exercise with reduced stress levels, so getting outdoors with your dog each day is a great way to forget your worries and feel more positive about work, your family, your relationships, and just life in general. What’s more, it’s great for your body too to get your muscles moving and burn off some calories, especially if you don’t do many exercises.
Dealing With Difficulties
Life can be unpredictable, throwing obstacles in our path and challenges our way and forcing us to deal with the consequences. It’s only natural for people to experience ups and downs throughout their lives, with difficult moments coming along now and then and bringing a lot of stress and anxiety along with them.
Dogs are able to help with this, providing love, companionship, and loyalty we need to feel less lonely in the world. It doesn’t really matter what you’re dealing with, whether it’s a simple bad day or something more serious like a relationship or career problem, dogs are always there to help out. It’s no surprise then that couples can find themselves in a dispute over who gets the pets after a divorce.
Better Sleep Quality
Even though a barking or whining dog definitely isn’t desirable when you’re trying to sleep, owning a dog will generally help you get better quality sleep overall, and this ties into all the other points listed above. Since dogs help to lower stress levels, they’ll make it easier for you to drift off each night without too many worries weighing you down or triggering bouts of insomnia.
What’s more, since dogs encourage you to get outside and exercise, you’ll be more tired out and find it easier to sleep. Plus, dogs have a way of providing some structure and routine to your days, which also helps in terms of sticking to a bedtime and having a solid sleep schedule. All of this helps people sleep more consistently and peacefully each night, waking up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day ahead.
Overall, it’s clear to see that dog ownership isn’t just able to provide fun benefits of having a furry friend to snuggle up with or a buddy to come along on your morning jogs; dogs can also provide a whole host of mental and emotional benefits too, improving people’s lives in a myriad of ways.