Despite the appeal for many small families of owning a dog, you might be reasonably reluctant to invite a four-legged friend into your home. Owning a dog is a lot of responsibility, and the price of adopting a dog and getting all the gear to make sure they can live with you comfortably can be exuberant.
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In addition to buying a doggy bed, toys treat, and dog food regularly, you’ll have to make sure the dog is fed, watered, and exercised at regular intervals, representing a massive investment of both time and money that you may not find appealing at first. Not to mention making sure the dog is trained to behave properly: especially with puppies, obedience and potty training is an absolute must, and some may crinkle their nose at the thought of doggy doody on their furniture in the meantime.
However, even though becoming a pet parent can be hard work, the benefits of owning a dog far outweigh both the time and money that you put into them. Dogs are known as man’s best friends for a reason, and in addition to the unconditional love that your new puppy will show you, adopting a dog has been shown to have many science-backed benefits.
Whether you choose to adopt a happy-go-lucky dog like a golden retriever, a loyal, aggressive dog like a Doberman, or a friendly, hypoallergenic puppy like a mini bernedoodle, you will no doubt see a massive improvement in your quality of life the more time you spend with your four-legged friend.
Need more convincing? Let’s talk about some of the evidence-backed ways owning a dog could benefit both you and your family.
Hardwired to Be Loyal and Supportive
It’s a little-known fact that dogs evolved from wolves over the course of hundreds of thousands of years and that modern-day dogs, while much, much more friendly to humans than wolves, still exhibit a kind of pack-behavior mentality. Modern-day dogs bond with humans in a similar way that wolves did with other members of their pack, forming a lifelong, unbreakable relationship with their owners and their family members.
This is what makes dogs such great companions for us, and what allows them to be trained to perform a variety of services for their humans: this bond, a bond that sets in stone that dogs will go to the ends of the earth and back for their owners. As a result, dogs of different breeds are able to perform complex functions for their owners, acting as therapy animals, service dogs, and search and rescue units, among others.
Dogs Can Help You Form Healthy Habits
When you own a dog, you’re going to just kind of naturally develop healthy habits. Dogs are outdoor creatures at heart, and can get stir-crazy if they’re cooped up inside all day or not given the correct amount of attention. As such, taking care of your dog will naturally get you exercising outdoors frequently, playing fetch, sports, running with your dog, or just walking them down the street.
A recent study by Michigan State University reported that 60% of pet owners who took their dogs for walks met the federally recommended standard for moderate exercise. If you’re looking for a reason to get outside more often or are concerned about your weight, dog ownership is one of the most reliable cures.
Unconditional Love, Always
Did you know that owning a dog can have significant mental health benefits, not just for you but for other members of your family as well? Just looking at our dogs tends to release oxytocin in our brains, and it’s been acknowledged by the scientific community for a long time that dog owners tend to be generally happier than those who don’t own pets.
It’s always great to know that no matter what kind of day you’ve had, you can come home to someone who has been waiting eagerly for you and loves to see you: and that goes double for your kids, who can form a kinship with their dogs that supports them through the roughest days at school.
Even if you aren’t a dog person, or you think the investment might be a bit too much right now, consider adopting a puppy: they are more than worth it, and they’re waiting for someone like you to take them home.