“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” This cannot be closer to the truth. Dogs are full of love, kindness, and happiness, which are all attributes I feel this world is lacking lately. We are constantly surrounded by negative news and hatred. Anything that can bring us back down to Earth and help us remember the little things we need in abundance! Imagine coming home from work after a long day, to loving pup running up to you and wagging their tail uncontrollably. They have waited all day just to see you and be in your company. Being lovingly welcomed into your own home is just the start of the benefits of having a dog.

1. You’ll be happier.

People that own dogs are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, compared to non-pet owners. This study proves that your canine can help you relieve stress and focus on the present moment. Your dog can provide you interaction that will help you feel useful and loved. So if you are one that struggles with anxiety and depression, before you resort to medication, try adopting from the shelter! You will be amazed at how many not only health benefits of having a dog, but also your overall happiness.

Related: Anxiety can be hard to battle. Let us show you how we can help, here!

benefits of having a dog

2. You can become more social.

Walking and playing with your dog can give you the obvious benefit of exercise, but it also can improve your social health. While walking them, you’ll be surprised by how many people will stop and “awe!” at your dog that you never would’ve had a conversation otherwise. So many older ladies stop me to pet my German Shepherd and it brings such joy to their day. They look forward to seeing her and in turn, have a daily conversation with me about how she’s doing or how my day is going. I was surprised how many new friends my girlfriend and I made at our apartments, just because of our puppy!

3.  They lessen allergies and asthma and build immunity.

Studies have shown that children who were exposed to two or more dogs or cats as babies were less than half as likely to develop allergies. They were at a lower risk for asthma. This may sound a little contradictory but kids that grew up in households with dogs and other furry friends were less likely to develop common allergies. Who would’ve thought the benefits of having a dog would include allergies!

benefits of having a dog4. Your heart health will improve.

Besides having your heart full of love for your new family member, having a dog seems to increase your heart health in medical ways. The simple act of petting a dog lowers your heart rate and blood pressure. “Several studies showed that dogs decreased the body’s reaction to stress, with a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline-like hormone release when a pet is present as opposed to when a pet is not present,” Dr. Levine said. Anything that can help motivate us to be healthier and encourage us to get outside and away from the T.V. is for the best!

5. Your dog will help you feel safer.

Whether you get a German Shepherd or a chihuahua, your dog can help improve your safety. Dogs’ hearing is far more advanced than ours is as humans. Any time someone knocks at my door or if hears people outside by the house, she will let me know. All she wants me to do is look through the peek-hole, and then tell her “Good girl, it’s okay though.” and she’ll go back about her business. This is my favorite of the benefits of having a dog, because she watches my back for me. She eases my anxiety and stress. Especially for older people, this can be especially helpful knowing they have not only some security, but also to help with occasional loneliness.

The benefits of having a dog, doesn’t end here.

If you are able to adopt a dog, you will immediately see the appreciation that you can’t describe. My puppy is so full of love and joy, it’s hard to remember what life was like before we adopted her! She’s so loving, smart and adorable, even when she knows she did something wrong. She’s part of the family and I would never want it any other way.

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