Animals and people have a strong affinity that cannot be disputed. These kind creatures are frequently more than simply pets to their owners; they have developed into significant family members. Dogs are like family members that don’t beg for money, as Hall of Fame basketball star and current TNT pundit Charles Barkley famously said in a funny way. But joking aside, having a dog has several advantages, including helping you feel better emotionally. Dogs can play with your children, defend your home, and even guard you.
Most pet owners know the instant joys that come with caring for an animal.
Pets have evolved to have a keen awareness of human emotions and behavior. Dogs can comprehend many of the words people say, and they are much more adept at reading our tone of voice, gestures, and body language. A devoted dog will also look you in the eyes, like any good friend would, to assess your emotional condition and make an effort to comprehend your thoughts and feelings.
Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress levels, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. Caring for an animal can help children grow up more secure and active. Pets also provide valuable companionship for older adults. Perhaps most importantly, though, a pet can add real joy and unconditional love to your life.
Here are 15 great examples:
1.THEY LOWER YOUR STRESS HORMONES
According to studies, playing with dogs for a short while each day lowers hormones linked to stress. By increasing serotonin and dopamine levels while lowering cortisol levels, this activity helps to relax and soothe the nervous system. When we laugh or smile at our dogs, we activate and release what are known as “happy hormones.”
2. THEY PROTECT KIDS AGAINST ANXIETY
A CDC research found that having pets may be beneficial for anxious children. They looked at 600 kids in total and found that those without dogs are more prone to experience anxiety than their pet-owning classmates. According to the study’s findings, young people who grow up around dogs may be happier and healthier.
Pets never criticize and never issue commands, in contrast to parents and instructors. When parents aren’t around, having a constant pet can help youngsters with their separation anxiety. So go ahead and adopt that dog you’ve had your eye on from the neighborhood rescue organization. Although it won’t be simple, the effort will be worthwhile.
3. THEY MAKE YOU FEEL NEEDED
Most patients with mental illnesses frequently experience feelings of loss and helplessness. Because taking care of another living creature provides us a feeling of purpose and meaning, pets are a fantastic method to avoid this. According to a 2016 South Korean study, giving older adults pets for a few weeks increased their general happiness and decreased their loneliness and sadness.
4. THEY INCREASE YOUR SELF-ESTEEM AND WELL-BEING
Three distinct investigations conducted by the University of Miami and Saint Louis University were published by the American Psychological Association. In the first research, it was discovered that 217 pet owners were healthier and more stable than non-owners. In the second trial, 56 dog owners said that their canines had improved their feeling of purpose and self-worth. In the third study, scientists discovered that having a pet can make young people feel better after suffering rejection and anguish.
5. THEY TEACH YOU TO ‘BE IN THE MOMENT’
Pets constantly live in the now, which is one wonderful quality that is rarely highlighted while talking about pets. They are neither troubled by the past or anxious about the future. One thing we may take away from them is attentiveness. Our animal companions can assist us in savoring and appreciating the moment.
6. THEY SUPPORT RECOVERY FROM ILLNESS
During his victory speech for Best Actor at the Golden Globes in 2009 for his work in the film The Wrestler, actor Mickey Rourke made a memorable reference to his dogs. He stated to Barbara Walters during an interview that “the dogs were there when no one else was there.” At his lowest point, he claimed to have realized, “I don’t have kids. To me, the dogs have become everything. The dog was asking, “Who’s going to take care of me?,” as it stared at me.
“Pets provide a unique form of validation through unconditional support, which people are not often receiving from their families or relationships,” claimed Dr. Helen Brooks.
7. THEY HELP YOU BUILD HEALTHY HABITS
For many with depression and other mental disorders, just the act of waking up in the morning is crucial. Regardless of your attitude, dogs and other such creatures need to be fed, walked, and cleaned up after. They also provide individuals a valid reason to go outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.
8. THEY HELP IMPROVE RELATIONSHIP SKILLS
For kids, pets make interacting with others simpler. According to one research, youngsters with autism who were given pets to play with were more sociable than those who were simply given toys. Additionally, the youngsters were having more fun and were less stressed.
9. THEY HELP ENCOURAGE
Pet ownership has the added benefit of promoting social interaction. Walking a dog every day, despite its seeming simplicity, facilitates more encounters and exchanges with other dog owners. Owners thus experience higher levels of self-worth, enhanced cognitive abilities, and increased feelings of empathy and trust for other people.
10. THEY MAKE US FEEL LESS ALONE
Humans lose the things that formerly kept us busy and gave us meaning as we become older. Your children may have relocated far away or you may have retired from your profession. Your mood, optimism, and sense of self-worth may all be raised by taking care of a dog.
11. THEY HELP US RECOVER FROM ILLNESS
Researchers at the University of California at Davis came to the conclusion that having a dog or cat at home helps Alzheimer’s sufferers feel less stressed and less nervous. Simply being among vibrant aquariums or fish tanks can help calm an Alzheimer’s patient and reduce aggressive behavior. So can the fun interaction and soft touch from a well-trained, docile animal.
12. THEY ENCOURAGE US TO EXERCISE
According to a research conducted at the Wellness Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, walking a dog assisted owners in losing extra weight. Researchers discovered that the dogs supported the exercisers in ways comparable to a human exercise partner, but more reliably and without any unfavorable effects.
13. THEY CAN BOOST YOUR VITALITY
By taking excellent care of yourself, you may avoid a lot of the physical difficulties that come with becoming older. Pets like dogs, cats, and other animals promote movement, play, and other activities that can energize you and strengthen your immune system.
14. THEY CAN HELP PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Some individuals with autism or other learning challenges are more adept at interacting with animals than with people. Like animals, they frequently rely on nonverbal signs to communicate. A person with autism may even benefit from learning how to bond with a pet before interacting with humans.
15. THEY GIVE YOU UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
The fact that a dog will love you no matter who you are is the finest of all the numerous advantages of owning one. That’s a sufficient justification.