This is the re-post of an article written by Sally Perkins at www.particularpaws.com.
Dogs are a long-term investment, but they improve our lives in so many ways including reducing stress. Here are five reasons why you and your family should adopt a puppy:
- Dogs Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Interacting with or petting a dog can raise levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin, while lowering production of the stress hormone cortisol. Your physical health can benefit greatly with reducing stress, but add in a dog factor and he/she could help you with both! In a 2001 study, researchers discovered that patients with high blood pressure who owned a pet could keep their blood pressure down during stressful times. Patients without canine companionship, however, struggled with lowering their blood pressure during times of stress.
Another study showed that people who own pets have a higher level of self-esteem, aren’t as intimidated by fearful situations, and tend to being less lonely.
“You feel less stress in the company of a trusted friend, and we view our companion animals as trusted friends,” says Dr. Beck, director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.
- Dogs Can Help Increase Social Interaction
Dogs not only need love and interaction with you, but they need to engage with other dogs too. A socially interactive pup, means that you have the opportunity to become more socialized with other pet owners. Even going for a walk around the neighborhood is likely to bring people into conversation. After all, who could pass by those big, brown puppy dog eyes without saying, “Ooh how cute! Can I pet your dog?"
“If I saw you walking down the street, I couldn’t comfortably start talking to you if I didn’t know you, but I could if you had a dog,” Beck says.
- They Can Make You Laugh
Let’s face it, there’s never a dull moment with dogs. Whether they’re making a funny face, lying in an awkward position, or chasing their tails, we can’t help but grin. Pair that with those child-like behaviors dogs display like getting stuck in things they shouldn’t be getting stuck in and running around in circles when they hear the word “food!” they’re always there to make you laugh. Laughter truly is the best medicine, right?
- Dogs Can Help Make Us Healthier
Dogs can boost our immunities and improve our health in multiple ways. Dogs are active creatures that love to walk, run, swim and play, which means a lot of physical activity for us as pet owners. All that time spent meeting Fido’s exercise needs, we actually meet a great deal of our own health needs. Obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure can all be minimized with the ownership of a dog, but that’s just the icing on the cake!
Dogs can even lower our chances of falling ill by boosting our immune systems. You might not be too thrilled about the dirt your pup drags in, but your body needs that exposure to the outside world to create special cells that fight off infections. Bacteria that Fido brings in the house after rolling around in the dirt all day actually triggers a message response to our bodies saying, “Hey, we better toughen up because this wall of defense just isn’t going to hold.” Having already increased the body’s defense at an early age, the likelihood of becoming sick later in life is decreased dramatically. Over 400 children were followed from infancy to one year old for a study, revealing that the children around dogs had a decreased chance of getting sick. The kids that did get sick still recovered faster and experienced a lesser degree of symptoms that those who did not own a dog.
- You’ll Save a Life
Don’t forget that you’ll be saving a life! Each year, roughly 2.7 million shelter dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States alone. The only reason behind this massive number is simply because too many pets are brought into shelters, and not enough people are adopting. So, remember that you’ll save a life and be making a new little, furry friend’s life just as happy as they will be making yours.
So, snuggle up and give your furry friend extra hugs today! If you don’t have a puppy snuggle-buddy, go to your local animal shelter and adopt one to help bring you more joy to your life. We promise you won’t regret it! Happy National Puppy Day!