Benefits of Owning a Dog

A dog and its owner on a park bench

For more than 30,000 years, dogs have served in important roles in hunting and have worked beside their bipedal counterparts to help people with disabilities. Even when they're not doing a specific job, canines make great companions and friends as pets. If you're considering welcoming a canine friend into your home, here are six benefits of owning a dog.

6 Benefits of Owning a Dog

1. More Exercise

If you enjoy staying active or are trying to get more exercise, getting a puppy is a great idea. Dogs give you a reason to go to the park, enjoy hiking or walk or run more regularly. Dogs can also be beneficial if you have children, as playing with their new pet will ensure they aren't glued to a screen all day. Make sure your dog is played with and exercised often to keep them fit. To keep your dog active and energetic, it's best to feed it nutrient-rich healthy food.

2. Fight Depression and Anxiety

Along with helping the physically impaired, dogs are also well-equipped to help soothe those fighting emotional and mental issues. Canines have acute senses and can read your body language to know when you are sad or anxious, and they will often try to comfort their owner. The health benefits of owning a dog can include helping you fight depression and avoid isolation and loneliness.

3. Reduce Stress and Relax

Petting or playing with your dog releases endorphins and dopamine, chemicals that create the feeling of love and serve as natural pain killers. These chemicals can help you feel calm and alleviate stress. Cuddling with a dog before bed can even improve sleep. If you find yourself stressed often, getting a dog might be helpful. There is nothing better than coming home from a long day to a pair of perky ears and a wagging tail.

4. Meet New People

One of the benefits of owning a dog is that they push us out of our comfort zone, and this is a great thing if you want to meet new people. If you're new to a neighbourhood, having a dog can be very beneficial. You'll meet new people when you take your furry friend for walks or visits to the park or even when you shop at the pet store, and all that socialization is good for your dog too. Making friends with other dog lovers is a great way to network and grow your circle of acquaintances.

5. Teach Responsibility

An important milestone for children growing up is learning to care for something outside themselves. A dog is a great catalyst for this achievement. Kids are usually very willing to take on the responsibility of owning a pet, and they learn a lot about tending their charge. Remembering to feed, walk and play with a pet seems like a big task for children, and succeeding at it can make them feel accomplished.

6. A Long-Term Companion

A dog will be with you through many changes and struggles. It can be part of a child's entire journey into adulthood or see you through many jobs and life-changing events. Feeding your dog well throughout its life can help keep your pet healthy and strong.

If you're in a position to own a dog and have the time and resources to properly take care of it, you should definitely consider getting one. Dogs make great friends and can increase the happiness in your life.

Related articles

An orange cat cuddling its owner
There are approximately 8.3 million cats throughout the country, and a full 38% of Canadian homes include at least one cat. Cats have long been one of the more popular companion animals, constantly battling dogs for the number one spot, and it's easy to see why. From their soft fur, soothing purrs and funny antics that are the subject of millions of online videos, cats are an easy choice if you're looking for a pet that gives plenty of entertainment and affection without requiring a lot of time or energy as far as upkeep and daily schedules. Here are just a few benefits owning a cat can bring to your life.
Two cats rubbing against each other
Jazz and Little Bits - 1993 Inductee