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Being able to share moments with a loved one is great, but sometimes you’re all alone. Then what do you do? It’s difficult to remain upbeat and happy when you’re solo. Keeping your emotions positive, staying fit and healthy, and on a good path isn’t easy to maintain.
What might help is to have a new best friend. A dog has always been a great companion. There are also positive physical and mental health benefits to having a four-legged friend around too. You’d be surprised just how many positives there are.
Let’s now look at how owning a dog can keep you safe, make you healthier and feeling happier than before.
Making Time to Exercise When Working from Home
While exercise is great for reducing your risk of heart disease, cutting weight around the middle and lowering your blood pressure, often we don’t find time to do it. It’s just too easy to pass it off as less important than crashing on the sofa after a long day at the office. And who wants to get up earlier than usual to hit the gym anyway?
Being a dog owner will help. They need to go for a potty break at least a couple of times a day. And depending on their breed, they’ll need walking daily too. Any dog that’s not a pocket size one will want to get out and about, sniff their surroundings to discover who’s been by and to bark at the other local doggies for good measure. Even the smaller dogs usually enjoy some exercise.
Also, seeing your dog rolling in the grass, wanting to play fetch and enjoying life, it’s hard to not put a smile back on your face. It’s an opportunity to let your hair down, put your smartphone back in your pocket, and engage with life again.
The Early Warning System
Dogs have better senses that we do. They can trail a scent several miles away from the starting point, despite the effects of wind, rain, and other elements. They can also sense a person’s mood too. As people say, don’t show fear to a dog because they know when you’re fearful.
Being a homeowner, they’ll protect you. It’s sometimes funny because dogs don’t realise when they’re small. Maybe they see it as an advantage. They’ll bark at dogs three times their size with larger dogs looking on in amusement. But they’ll also sound the alarm when a stranger is approaching, even if they’re huge compared to them. They don’t care. They take security seriously.
You might be at home alone and someone comes up the driveway. The dog will know before your outdoor sensors even kick into gear. The person outside will hear your dog and might think otherwise about a home invasion that day. A dog bite just isn’t worth it for a chance to snatch your gear, they think. And when out walking the dog, they will often have a better sense of who’s friendly and who’s not better than you will. It’s like they have a sixth sense about these things.
Dealing with Depression in a Different Way
Suffering from depression of any sort or severity interferes with enjoying or sharing life’s precious moments. It’s like seeing life with a black and white filter over your eyes where the color has been drained out of the moving image and the sounds around you are always muffled.
Getting into depressive episodes, they can last for hours, day, weeks or longer. Once they start, it’s difficult to shake them off too. It often starts in childhood or the teenage years and continues into adulthood, but depression can strike at any time when the hardness of life becomes too much to bear.
The approach to treatment is often just to write it off to anxiety and medicate it. But this creates a fog that’s hard to escape once you start down this road. Another approach is to enjoy spending time with your dog. Even people who visit dog shelters get some relief from seeing animals just looking for love and attention, but to get the full therapeutic effects, being the dog’s owner is best.
They’ll lift you up when you’re down, notice when you’re lethargic, and try to get you involved with life again. One look into their big loving eyes and it’s difficult to stay down for too long.
Reduced Asthma and Allergies with Fido at Home
While they might shed their hair and need a good brush run over their fur, they’re better for people who may develop allergies or already have them. It’s even been found in this allergy ridden, lactose intolerant world we seem to live in now that kids growing up with dogs are far less susceptible to become allergic to dust, grass, and other common triggers. Just being around a couple of dogs (or cats) was enough to halve the likelihood of suffering from allergic reactions, a recent study found.
As an adult, maybe you have asthma and get the odd asthma attack. Some people, maybe you, didn’t even know that you had asthma until it was brought on by stress. Other times, it is exercise-induced; when pushing past the fitness level, your airway cannot keep up with the oxygen requirement and a hit of a Salbutamol inhaler is required. Owning a dog can improve your resilience and reduce the incidence of asthma attacks because they’re calming to have as company.
Comforting Your Dog is Stress Reducing for You
It’s not just dogs that enjoy being petted. Whether running a brush through their fur to get all the knots out or stroking them, they will calm their breathing and enjoy the attention. But also, this has a calming effect on your body too. It’s not magical or only imagined either.
The oxytocin hormone is released by the brain when petting a dog. It calms your blood pressure without the need for medication to do so and reduces the stress hormone cortisol from wreaking havoc too. Too much cortisol from stress ages us quickly and is very unhealthy.
The positive health effects even work when petting a friend’s dog or one you meet in the park (with the permission of their owner, of course).
Loneliness is a Thing of the Past
Dogs understand when you’re feeling lonely or unhappy. They pay attention to you and learn your moods. They’re much smarter than we give them credit for. You’ll find that they will move to be close to you when you’re feeling isolated as if they can read your mind. They’re also non-critical, which is sometimes nice when you don’t have a friendly ear at that moment and need to vent.
Just make sure that you don’t forget about insurance for dogs when sorting out your annually renewed policies. After all, you don’t want to forget the pet insurance and then regret it later. Everypaw (https://www.everypaw.com/) offers insurance for dogs (and cats too). There’s also a multi-pet plan for people with two or more pets with a chance to get a discount on their coverage. Taking out dog insurance is important to avoid getting a high vet bill if your dog gets seriously ill. They can suffer from many of the same ailments that we do, sadly. By getting their health covered with insurance, they’ll be around for years to come.
You’re probably surprised at how many positives there are when you’re a dog owner. They certainly keep life more interesting than when they’re not around. And that’s a good thing.