Many people own dogs. And most of us couldn’t imagine life without our canine companions. But they are expensive to keep. The cost of the food is one thing, but it’s the cost of their healthcare that can really hurt. So why do we have pets? And is there something extra special about dog ownership that makes our four legged friends the most popular pet? There certainly are some benefits to be had from dog ownership.

Let’s face it. Humans are social creatures. But we don’t always have the benefit of human companionship. Turning to our doggy friends provides someone to talk to plus that all-important unconditional love. Even if you’ve been unlucky romantically, your dog will provide you a cuddle and a great friendship regardless of who you are. Plus dogs are softer, furrier and cuddlier than people too!

Petting an animal is known to lower blood pressure. If you have medical conditions like heart problems, it is highly recommended that you get yourself a fur baby. As you spend time with your pet, your body will relax, and your heart rate will slow to a resting rate. The blood pressure will reduce, and you may even benefit from reduced cortisol. This stress hormone is responsible for weight gain, bad skin, and headaches. Your dog really could be a substitute for medical intervention!

If you lack the motivation to get up and get active, your dog will be the best physical trainer your money can buy. He will ensure you’re up and out at least twice a day for a good long walk. And he will demand plenty of active games like fetch and chase. If you like cross country jogging, your pet dog could be the best pacer you ever had. Be careful if you’re a road runner, as paws can get sore on the concrete over long distances.

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Photo by Karen Braga

Dogs can also help you improve your social life with humans. Down at the dog park, you’re bound to meet plenty of other like-minded individuals who also love dogs. You can talk about breeds, your choice in dog food, or even exchange tips on pet meds. It’s a great way to meet people, and it’s a good way to find your next romance if you’re still looking.

Did you know that our pet dogs can enhance our mood? When you’re having a really tough day, they will sit with you and listen as you let off steam about your boss. They will sit patiently without interrupting as you rant about that annoying woman in the office. Best of all, they’ll never judge you, even if you were the one in the wrong! Dogs provide a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen to you. Most people pay thousands for a therapist that does the same! As you stroke your dog, you will become more relaxed, and soon you will be back to your normal happy self.

Owning a dog comes with many benefits, especially for your health. Whether you need a companion or an excuse to work out, your pet will be a star. Love your dog.

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