Known worldwide as “man’s best friend”, dogs are one of the most popular pets out there. We humans love their gentle eyes, loyal personality, and the wagging tail that greets us when we come through the door after a long day. However, owning a dog can actually provide a number of health benefits, both physical and mental, for us humans, so let’s take a look at some of them now.
A Constant Companion
One of the greatest benefits of owning a dog is the companionship they provide. They are there every moment of every day and rely on their humans to keep them happy and healthy. For those who live by themselves, having a dog can give them a real sense of purpose as they have a little someone who needs them and will give them unconditional love in return for food, walks, and a little bit of love.
However, because of the fact that a dog is there constantly, it is important that they are well-trained so that they are calm and composed around humans. This can be difficult if the dog is a very active breed, or a rescue dog who has a dark past and does not trust humans, therefore is at risk of lashing out when they are nervous. Should a dog bite someone, the individual in question is within their rights to head to this page and pursue a legal case against the owner and, of course, the dog, which can have devastating consequences. Responsible owners take responsibility for their dogs and know when not to let them near people, or other dogs, if there is any risk involved.
A Great Excuse To Get Outdoors
One of the most obvious health benefits of owning a dog is that they require walking at least once a day, sometimes more if the dog is a particularly active breed. This gets their owners up and moving, which is great for maintaining physical health. It also challenges owners to explore their local area and encourages them to find new routes and green spaces where they can take their dog and let them run free.
Walking is also an incredibly social activity, so dog owners can meet up with fellow dog owners and enjoy a walk together. Owners can share their favorite places to walk, and the best routes at those places, so that dogs can enjoy a variety of walks and get some important socialization in – dogs do love their humans but, sometimes, they really do need the company of their own species and a chance to simply be a dog.
Reduce The Risk Of Allergies In Children
For parents, the most important thing to them is making sure that their children are as healthy as possible. And, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, one way that this can be achieved is by having a dog. There is more and more evidence these days to suggest that being exposed to dogs (and other pets and livestock) earlier in life can reduce the chances of children developing asthma and other allergies later in life, which is believed to be linked to a microbe living in the gut.
Of course, growing up with a dog also has many other benefits for children. It teaches them responsibility, compassion, and helps them learn what unconditional love really is. For more shy children, having a dog can also provide them with the vehicle they need to speak, which can provide great comfort to parents, and help them work out how they can communicate with their child.
Mental Health Benefits
Dogs provide their owners with a number of emotional and mental health benefits. As well as the previously mentioned companionship, which reduces feelings of loneliness and gives owners a sense of purpose, the simple act of stroking a dog can significantly reduce stress in the heat of the moment and help calm down an anxious mind. Additionally, If you are struggling from anxiety disorders or depression you can also obtain a dog as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). By providing companionship and love, dogs can be invaluable in helping people with mental health issues, such as reducing anxiety and even acting as an alert system. ESA’s can also be helpful in building confidence and encouraging positive thinking. To get an ESA in your state you need to get an ESA letter from your mental health specialist, for example, If you live in Oregon, you must get an ESA letter in Oregon from a mental health professional who states you need emotional support for certain diagnoses or conditions. The letter will then allow your pet to live with you without payment for pet fees or additional deposits.
Dogs also add a sense of structure to their owner’s day, as they will have set times for feeding, walking, etc., so this may then encourage owners to adopt a similar structure to their own day, which can really help improve overall mental health. Dogs can also help people feel happier in general, whether that’s through something silly they do, through playing with them, or simply through the greeting that they give when they see their human.
Even those who already own a dog may not be fully aware of the benefits that their four-legged friend can be offering them, but knowing them will no doubt strengthen the bond between them and help owners appreciate their furry companion even more. On the other hand, for those looking to persuade someone in their life to allow them to get a dog, explaining these benefits could go a long way to helping their case and getting the “yes” that they are looking for.