I am so excited about writing this post! I absolutely LOVE my dog. He is an Australian Shepherd named Happy. Being such a dog lover, my ears have always pricked up when I have heard research on why it’s actually beneficial to your well-being to own a dog. Read on for a few reasons why it’s good to have a pooch in your family.
Dogs help to strengthen your immune system. They bring in a variety of germs and dirt into your house. This exposure helps boost your immunity. A research study found that children living in households with dogs had fewer colds and ear infections than children living in pet-free homes.
Dogs encourage you to not skip a walk. Walking is fantastic for you. It’s a natural movement that you can do a lot of, without developing over-use injuries. It will also lower your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and depression. Even though it’s great for you, it can be tempting to not get out the house when it’s cold/raining/you’re engrossed in a project/too busy/feeling tired. A dog, however, won’t accept any of those excuses and will encourage you to put on your shoes and step out into that fresh air!
Psychological benefits. Many studies have proven what I think is quite obvious. Dog ownership is linked with stress-reduction, a better mood, being less likely to suffer from depression, reporting less feelings of loneliness, and having an increased sense of responsibility and purpose.
Babies growing up in a home with a dog are less likely to develop allergies, asthma and eczema. For reasons similar to that in my first point, dogs provide babies with regular exposure to dirt, germs and other microrganisims. If you want to read more about it, check out this article which explains the results of a study conducted by scientists at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
Eczema is a skin condition which causes red patches and itching. A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed infants with a dog in the home were less likely to have this condition.
Patting a loved pet releases the feel-good hormones in your brain. Like any enjoyable activity, or being around someone you love, relating with a dog can elevate levels of seratonin and dopamine. These are associated with feelings of pleasure and calmness. When craving sugar, it is actually the soothing, calming, pleasurable feeling you are wanting from seratonin and dopamine. So, next time you are hit with a chocolate craving, go cuddle or play with your pooch instead, to get those feel-good hormones pumping!