It’s no surprise that dogs melt hearts, but did you know your furry companion can also strengthen your heart and overall health? Several studies have shown that there are many health benefits to owning dog aside from the joy they bring to your home.
Reduce anxiety and depression
Dogs are great for helping people who experience anxiety and depression. Dogs have an amazing ability to interpret human emotions, which helps them comfort you. They also help boost your serotonin and dopamine (chemical messengers that help regulate bodily functions), which can elevate your mood and help you relax. Just petting dogs can help reduce stress while helping you feel close to them. Go ahead and show them some love back and give them a belly rub.
A Sense of Purpose and Structure
Owing a dog requires a lot of work but it’s a rewarding job! Like humans, dogs need regular mealtimes and exercise. This can help you structure your day by factoring daily walks and meals in your day. You’ll be more likely to get out of bed if you know your dog is waiting to be fed. Your pup can also give you a renewed sense of purpose through your love and care. Dogs are completely dependent on their owners, which is perfect for empty nesters who have forgotten what it feels to be needed.
Help You Stay in Shape
If you need the extra push to get moving, your dog will be your best workout buddy. Regardless of the type of breed, your dog will need to be walked at least once a day. Dogs are typically alone at home for an average of 10 hours, which means there will be a lot of pent-up energy. A brisk walk or jog will help your cardiovascular health and help you lose a couple of pounds.
A New Social You
Have you ever walked past a dog and smiled or ask the owner if you can pet it? Dogs have a fantastic way of helping us to open up without a second thought. Don’t be surprised if a fellow dog owner happily exclaims “Puppy!” and starts talking to you about their love for dogs. Dog parks, pet stores and even some bars and cafes are also great places for you and your dog to meet others.
Best Friends for Life
When it comes to unconditional love, no one has as big of heart as a dog. Their loyalty, love and protection know no bounds. Rest assured that after long day there will be a furiously wagging tail and four paws ready to pounce the second you walk through the door. Your pup will encourage playfulness and will be happy to cuddle up to you as you unwind.
While dogs are great for boosting your mood and providing emotional support, it’s important to seek counseling should you need help managing stress or anxiety.