About three years ago right here on Her View From Home, I wrote about our debate over getting a family dog. Well, we finally decided to take the plunge and now have Hanna, a darling little Havapoo rescue dog.
Our boys are smitten. I know I am; and I suspect even though Hubby was really reluctant at first, he’ll warm up in no time.
Even though we wanted a dog, there were approximately 827 reasons why we talked ourselves out of one. However, these eight reasons were more powerful in swaying us in the dog-positive direction.
Dogs help ease stress and depression. Did you know that petting a dog for just 15-30 minutes can help you feel more calm and relaxed, reducing stress and increasing happiness? Playing with a dog increases your brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, both of which are neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and tranquility. So ditch the therapy and medication, and get a dog!
Dogs make you healthier and more social. Your dog requires daily exercise, and so do you. Dog people report being more physically fit and active than non-dog owners. Furthermore, owners of dogs are always meeting other dog owners at parks or on walks, and even get to know their non-dog owning neighbors more quickly.
Dogs help you STAY healthy and recover more quickly from disease. Amazingly, dog owners have lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which also lowers their risk for many diseases including cardio-vascular disease. Dog owners who suffered heart attacks had a greater chance of survival and lived longer lives than those without a pup. Dogs can even detect changes in the human body that signal blood sugar spikes in diabetics, oncoming seizures in persons prone to them, and even changes that are caused by cancer. Dogs have saved many an owner’s life.
They benefit allergy-prone children. You read that correctly. Children who grew up in a home with a dog were less likely to develop allergies, asthma, and eczema than those who grew up without a pet. Some dogs can even sniff out potential food allergens like peanuts before their tiny owner ingests them.
Children with dogs miss less school . . . It goes back to dogs improving your health.
. . .and children with a furry best friend are more confident and better equipped at handling stress. Children get real-life experience with responsibility, patience, selflessness, and commitment.
Dogs can help children with the effects of ADHD and Autism. This one was a huge pull for us. Dogs provide unconditional, non-judgmental love in addition to helping children burn off extra energy.
Dogs benefit people with special conditions or those who are disabled. Dogs have been trained to assist humans in a variety of ways. We are all familiar with dogs who assist visually or hearing impaired folks; but dogs can also be trained to help those with Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, post-traumatic stress disorder, and patients undergoing chemotherapy or physical therapy. Some dogs have even been used on college campuses to help ease feelings of homesickness and stress during exams.
I know that having a dog is not going to be a figurative “walk in the park.” There will be expense and destroyed home items and pushback from the boys and a variety of other unanticipated roadblocks. Ask any dog owner, though, and I think they will tell you in the end that dogs really are a person’s best friend.
Head over to Kissing the Frog and read more about our dog story!
Do you have a pet? What do you love about pet ownership?
Featured image by Ashley Cox for freedigitalphotos.net