According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 38% of households own dogs, making them the most popular choice for Americans’ companionship.
Why are canines so beloved — is it their goofy smiles, loyalty, or protective nature?
Every dog is different, but each one has qualities that make them unique. With a pup, you receive a bodyguard, a friend, and a comedian rolled into one.
Keep reading to learn eight reasons why dogs make the perfect pet.
1. They Teach Responsibility and Empathy
Short of having a baby, a dog is one of the most significant responsibilities you can have in life. They rely on you for food, love, shelter, and safety. Their propensity for endless affection and love will influence your ability to emphasize. You’ll feel more mindful and present in your life, and your children will learn life lessons from pet ownership.
Canine companions can teach their human guardians to learn patience and responsibility as they navigate caring for someone other than themselves.
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2. Their Positivity Is Infectious
When you see a dog smile, can you resist smiling back? Studies have shown that interacting with dogs causes your brain to release a chemical called oxytocin, which is known as the cuddle hormone. Oxytocin encourages bonding and increases feelings of trust, relaxation, and compassion. It is the same chemical that is released when mothers give birth to their children.
Outside of chemicals in the brain, experiencing happy companionship with your pet increases your life satisfaction while decreasing feelings of anxiety and stress. It’s unlikely that you would find anyone more pleased to see you arrive home than your canine friend, even if you were only gone for a short while.
3. They Encourage Adventure
Your canine will encourage you to embark on new adventures. Dogs love to hike, swim, and experience the great outdoors with their owners. Just remember to prepare for these excursions to keep your pet safe. Heatstroke, dehydration, and bugs can all harm your buddy when playing, so be mindful of the weather.
Physical activity improves your cardiovascular health and can prevent several diseases. It will enhance your quality of life and help with depression. Exercise will also help to keep your pet feeling their best and allows them an outlet for pent up energy.
4. They Will Protect You
There’s a reason why dogs are called man’s best friend. Your furry friend will bond with you and consider you a part of the pack. This means they will look at you and your children as their family to protect and watch over. Even breeds that are not commonly considered guard dogs will aim to protect their loved ones in whatever way is possible.
A dog will bark to alert you of strange sounds or possible intruders. It’s also common for dogs to guard over the family children and growl if they feel the baby is being threatened. Canines often are infatuated with kids because they offer them the constant attention and playtime that dogs cherish.
5. They Make You Laugh
Dog owners report laughing more often than those who only own cats or have no pets. Their mischievous attitude and funny looks are a recipe for amusement. Dogs are notoriously good at taking selfies and can help to alleviate tension in stressful situations.
Laughter acts as its own medicine for the body and can strengthen your immune system and diminish pain. It also improves your mood, which is good for your mental health and wellbeing.
6. They Promote a Social Attitude
You are more likely to encounter new people and act socially with them if you own a dog. When walking, you’ll meet people in the neighborhood and at dog parks; even strangers will randomly stop you to pet your dog or comment on their cuteness. If you go for car rides with your pet, then prepare yourself for drivers’ smiles when they see your pup’s head sticking out the window and enjoying the breeze.
Your dog will promote these encounters that you wouldn’t experience otherwise, and as a human, social interaction is vital to your welfare. Building strong community bonds is an essential part of adult life and will prove beneficial for you and your pup.
7. They Offer a Sense of Purpose
When you live alone, without responsibility, it’s easy to feel like you lack purpose. Dog ownership changes because they require your care to survive. They offer you loyalty and companionship, and in return, you act as their guardian. This can be life-changing for some owners, as their pets may be the primary reason they get out of bed or leave their house each day.
Older adults may benefit from a dog because it decreases feelings of loneliness while also encouraging them to exercise.
8. They Save Lives
Dogs are marvelous creatures that are capable of saving lives. Online you can find numerous articles discussing dogs that have saved drowning children, animals, and adults. Dogs can also be trained as support and service animals that can offer emotional assistance or alert you before you have a seizure. Seizure alert dogs can naturally detect an oncoming seizure and warn their owner. This offers owners a chance to call someone for help and sit down to avoid serious injury.
Love Comes In Many Shapes and Sizes
It’s clear that dog owners love their pets and that those canines love them just as much. The beauty of dogs is that they come in various shapes and sizes with demeanors that can be matched to suit your lifestyle. Research the breed that will fit best with your needs and personality and prepare yourself to find a lifelong friend — because as these eight reasons have indeed shown you, dogs are the perfect pet.