Dogs have been loyal companions to people for thousands of years. They have adapted to the tasks people have bred them for. While many people know how amazing these creatures are, many don’t realise the benefits they provide to our health, happiness and well-being. If you own a dog, then you have already felt some of the benefits that may reach down into your deeper being. If for some reason you cannot own a dog, you can always borrow one from a friend, become a dog sitter or dog walker, this will allow you to reap the benefits of being with a furry friend.
1. Dogs Provide Us with Companionship
People are the centre of their dog’s world. They would spend every moment with us if they could. Pet parents spend time speaking to their dogs, massaging them and often find they are good company, especially for a person who lives alone. A home that does not have a dog can be a quiet one. If you decide to bring a dog into your life, make sure you understand that they also have a need for companionship. Do not leave them alone for more than four hours at a time.
2. Dogs Can Help Us Heal and Provide Assistance for The Aged, Sick, and Disabled
Assistance dogs are trained to perform tasks that many people take for granted, but are difficult for some disabled people to do. Without an assistance dog, many disabled people would have a reduced quality of life. In addition to the physical tasks performed by service dogs, pets can also provide comfort to people who are hospitalised, provide therapeutic visits to care homes and visit special need schools. Dogs have a desire to connect with people and have an innate ability to understand a person’s needs.
3. They Help Keep People Healthy
Daily exercise and play times are essential to a dog’s health. They require physical and mental activity. In order to ensure your dog’s needs are met, you will have the opportunity to burn extra calories and connect with nature, while walking and playing with them. Even stroking your dog can produce the feel-good hormone serotonin. This hormone can help reduce stress and lower your blood pressure. It has been proven that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression.
4. Dogs Make Us More Sociable
It’s hard to get away from engaging with other people when you have a dog. Dog draw people towards them, even if they don’t own a dog themselves. Even a walk down the street can lead to conversations with strangers who want to say hello to your dog. They’re great for helping, even the shyest person, meet new friends. They can also help people who find it difficult to engage or communicate with others.
5. Dogs Love Us for Who We Are
Dogs love us unconditionally. Dogs do not judge people based on our appearance or how much money we have. They don’t care how successful or popular you are. Dogs love you for who you are, not what you have. That’s 100 percent devotion. Your dog will be your best friend and will always be there for you.
6. Dogs Address Our Need to Nurture
Many people have a need to nurture others. Mother Nature often provides people with the innate instincts of a parent. Caring for a dog can give a person a sense of purpose. These pet parents can protect and show love for their furry babies.
7. Dogs Make Us Laugh and Smile
We all know how a smile and laugh can help lift your mood. Dogs can put a smile on your face from the moment you wake up in the morning. Just seeing their dogs is enough to make most people happy. A dog’s unconditional love, playfulness, and cute face can put a smile on the face of most pet parents. When you’re out with your dog, you may notice that people who pass you will smile at your dog. That’s a dog’s gift to those around them, which can be super-beneficial for everyone.
So, as you can see there’s more to owning a dog than many people believe. Dogs can bring happiness, as well as health benefits. If you have a dog in your life, please repay the gifts they give you by providing them with a loving, happy, healthy home and the level of devotion they deserve.
This article was contributed as a feature on the holistic lifestyle site AgeProof Living. http://ageproofliving.com/pets-as-therapy-happier