I’m not sure if anything else gives you as much joy as owning a dog. They each have their own quirky personalities, and do the funniest things, just like toddlers. But owning a dog actually improves your health!
More Exercise. Dogs are energetic. They need exercise just like we do. In the journal, BMC Public Health, it's a fact that dog owners walk, on average, 22 more minutes per day compared to people who didn't own a dog. Even walking at 3 miles per hour is beneficial for your heart health. Dogs are almost like a personal trainer! Most dogs need to be walked several times a day, so they can help in maintaining, or even losing weight.
Lower Stress. Sure, we have friends and family, but sometimes human relationships can bring stress. Owning a dog, especially one that loves affection, provides an opportunity to relax by petting or going for a long walk. A study conducted in 2002 also showed that people who own a dog (and yes, even a cat) have had lower resting blood pressures than those who didn't own a pet. 94% of patients with dogs survived heart attacks.
Enhance Social Skills. Group classes, such as puppy kindergarten, and other obedience classes help owners mingle with other dog owners. Many restaurants today are pet-friendly, and offer seating options outdoors and even dog-specific items on the menu!
Combat Loneliness. Pets offer companionship, which can boost your mood and bring you joy and happiness. Many hospitals and nursing homes use pets on a regular basis. Dogs are especially helpful for the ill and elderly. Nothing brings you joy and comfort like a fun, loving pup!
If you are looking to boost your health and mood, look into adoption! Rescue dogs are the best, most loving and appreciative. Giving a rescue dog a forever home is one of the best feelings!