Dogs do so much more than leave fur on the couch and a paw print on your heart. They make you socialize more, offer daily companionship and comfort you when you’re sad. And that’s probably why so many new homeowners also find themselves adopting a pet shortly after they buy!
The reality is that dogs really are man’s best friend. Some can call for help in an emergency. Others just look really cute while begging for treats.
But you may not be familiar with the mental and physical health benefits. It turns out dogs are also able to sense emotional pain and illness in their human companions, too.
Dogs Can Sense and Respond to Pain
Dogs are surprisingly tuned in when it comes to sadness, illness and pain in humans. Studies have shown dogs approach people who are crying to offer comfort, as reported by Live Science. They know when you’re feeling ill and can even sniff out cancer.
All of this means that dogs can offer comfort during times of grief and illness. They may even know that you’re sick before you do. In addition, there are many emotional and health benefits that go along with being a doggie pet parent.
Emotional and Health Benefits of Having a Dog
There’s no doubt that living with and caring for a dog improves your mental and physical health. Studies have shown that dog owners live longer and have less risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Therapy dogs and emotional support animals reduce stress and anxiety in people and help children with certain neurological disorders, such as ADHD and autism, play, learn and socialize more.
All in all, dog owners interact more, exercise more, have a greater sense of purpose and receive great joy from owning and taking care of a pet. This is regardless of the type of dog or the training level of the dog. It doesn’t matter if you have a certified emotional support animal, service dog or pet dog, the physical and emotional benefits of dog ownership are the same.
Should You Get a Dog?
Getting a dog is a highly personal decision. You must weigh the pros and cons carefully. Following are a few questions you should ask yourself before getting a dog:
1 Can you afford it? A new dog costs more than $1,000 the first year and nearly $700 every year after that.
2 Do you have the time? If you’re away from home a lot, you may not be able to give your dog the amount of attention it deserves.
3 Are you ready for the mess? Dogs create messes and are little destroyers, especially when they’re puppies.
4 Do you have the patience? Dogs require training and a commitment from you that you will not give up when things don’t fall easily into place training wise.
Getting a dog is a huge responsibility. For this reason, you should never get one based solely on the benefits you hope to receive. If you’re ready for the cost and the mess as well as the kisses and cuddles, you may be ready to welcome a little fur baby into your life.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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