A dog will always put its paw down first if approached by a stranger.
It doesn’t matter how many times they’ve been warned not to, dogs just won’t ever stop greeting new people with enthusiasm. And even after all these years of being told “no” from strangers, dogs still try to engage us in conversation, wagging their tails and trying to get our attention with the occasional bark or whine.
In fact, studies show that interacting directly with an animal such as a dog helps lower blood pressure and improve moods — and it’s especially true for elderly adults who suffer from loneliness and isolation.
Here are some other reasons why you should consider getting a dog:
- 1. Dogs are good for your health
- 2. They’ll keep you company on lonely nights (and weekends)
- 3. You can make them do tricks!
- 4. They don’t judge you based on what’s under your hood
- 5. Dogs love to cuddle and snuggle up with their owners
- 6. There is no better feeling than knowing that someone loves you unconditionally
- 7. They help relieve stress, anxiety and depression
- 8. They also provide unconditional positive regard, which has been proven to increase self-esteem in children
- 9. And lastly…they just want to be loved
- 10. They have so much more going for them when compared to humans. It makes sense really. They’ve got it
1. Dogs are good for your health
The American Heart Association recommends having a four-legged friend around because owning one may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent. A study published in 2014 found that interacting with pets reduces levels of inflammation in older women.
2. They’ll keep you company on lonely nights (and weekends)
If you struggle with socializing because of work, family commitments or other obligations, a recent study showed that having a dog at home can help you feel less isolated during the day. The researchers surveyed 474 adults living alone about their feelings toward their daily routines, including time spent outside the house. People reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction overall when they had a pet at home, particularly those with allergies.
3. You can make them do tricks!
According to Petfinder, there are over 2 million unique titles in Canine Companionship books. That means there’s something out there to pique your interest. For example, why not teach your dog to shake hands? Or learn how to give them a bath? If you have kids, you can even train them to fetch sticks or play catch. There are online classes too.
4. They don’t judge you based on what’s under your hood
While dogs can certainly smell whether you’re wearing deodorant or haven’t taken a shower recently, they aren’t likely to pass judgment on you based on your hygiene level. In fact, a 2010 study found that dogs were actually more interested in dirty socks than clean ones.
5. Dogs love to cuddle and snuggle up with their owners
When a baby falls asleep while holding their mother’s hand, it’s called cosleeping. When a dog does this with his owner, it’s called dozing off together. Studies have shown that sleeping together increases the amount of oxytocin released into the brain, making the bond between parent and child stronger.
6. There is no better feeling than knowing that someone loves you unconditionally
Researchers say that spending time with a dog makes you happier. According to a 2011 study published in the journal Animal Welfare, people who spend more time with their dogs experience greater happiness, joy and contentment.
7. They help relieve stress, anxiety and depression
Studies show that interaction with animals can help relieve symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. Researchers believe this happens because animals stimulate the release of endorphins, chemicals in the body known to promote relaxation.
8. They also provide unconditional positive regard, which has been proven to increase self-esteem in children
According to a 2013 study, children raised with dogs scored 21% higher on IQ tests than those without dogs. Researchers attribute this to unconditional positive regard provided by their canine companions. This type of support allows children to develop emotional resilience and confidence, both of which are important for success later in life.
9. And lastly…they just want to be loved
Dogs’ main purpose isn’t survival. Their reason for existence is to fulfill their innate desire to connect with us and find acceptance. Research suggests that dogs who live with their families are healthier and happier than those who don’t.
10. They have so much more going for them when compared to humans. It makes sense really. They’ve got it
Humans might be able to talk, but we can only express ourselves through words. We can read each others’ thoughts. But dogs are experts communicators who can tell us exactly what they mean through their actions and behaviors.