In honor of Pet Appreciation Week this week, we want to focus on all the amazing ways dogs make our lives better. There are plenty of ways that we can celebrate the week with our dogs, but taking the time to really recognize what they do for us each and every day is the best appreciation there is. You might not even realize all the effects they are having on your life. Even if you do, here are a few of Wags and Walks’ favorite benefits to having a dog:
Dogs Help Relieve Stress
Having a dog around to play with and to pet is known to increase the levels of the stress-reducing hormone known as oxytocin and decrease the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. It’s also thought that petting dogs lowers your blood pressure, which is a physical measure of stress. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that having dogs around keeps things more fun and keeps you smiling, all of which impacts your overall levels of stress.
Dogs May Help Depression
Much like stress, having dogs around may help relieve anxiety and depression. In addition to an increased level of oxytocin, having a dog offers a soothing presence. They also offer unconditional love and acceptance, so you can talk to your pet, cuddle, and coexist without any judgement from them. Plus, they will always be happy to see you when you come home, and they seem to know just exactly when you need a little extra attention. Even your best of friends and family may not be able to offer that type of support 24/7.
Dogs Keep You More Active
Dogs make you go outside and stay active. They require exercise and make it more fun to leave the house and work out. Whether you are just walking around the neighborhood or taking your dog with you on a hike, they keep you on track with your fitness goals. Taking your dog on one 30 minute walk a day can make a huge improvement on your overall health, while also keeping them in shape. Try finding new ways to incorporate them into your fitness, so that you get to spend more time with them while also focusing on your health!
Dogs Make You More Social
If you haven’t already noticed, having a dog around makes you more social. Whether you’re making friends with other dog families in the neighborhood, going to local dog parks, or just stopping to talk to people while you’re on a walk, it’s easier to talk to people when you get to talk about your favorite thing in the world: your dog. People always seem more approachable with a dog, so it’s an easy ice breaker to strike up a conversation.
Dogs Make You Feel Safer
Having a dog around can make you feel safer, which is good for your physical and mental health. Depending on the type of dog you have, they often can detect prowling or odd behavior before you can, so you feel safer from burglars whether you’re home or away. Plus, they react faster, and you know they will protect you if/when the time comes. Even if nothing ever happens, having a dog in the home is good for peace of mind.
These are only a few ways that our dogs make our lives better. We could go on for days why our dogs are amazing, but it’s important to recognize that there are health benefits to owning a dog and take a step back to think about these more important impacts. We would love to hear how your dog impacts your life! If you don’t have a dog right now, we hope we’ve convinced you why you need one. Check out all of our cute Wags and Walks pups available for adoption right now!