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MJ's Animal Blog

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Dogs And Their Benefits To Humans

Man's Best Friend

Man With Dog

Photo credit: Pixabay

Have you ever felt like you are missing something in your life? Like there is a hole that needs to be filled? Where did this quote come from, “A dog is man’s best friend?" While not an exact science, it dates back thousands of years. The love and companionship I experience with my dogs is not unique. While this phrase is attributed to dogs, I feel that all pets can provide their owners a mutual, loving relationship and similar benefits.

Anxiety Reducers

"Pet dogs could reduce childhood anxiety, particularly social and separation anxiety, by various mechanisms," according to this CDC report. “Interacting with a friendly dog also reduces cortisol levels most likely through oxytocin release, which attenuates physiologic responses to stress." So, there may be a true physiologic pathway for the comfort a pet provides!

Dog Owners Are Less Likely To Suffer From Depression

Due to the constant sense of companionship and compassion, a dog owner is less likely to suffer from signs of depression. Companionship can help prevent illness and even add years to your life, while isolation and loneliness can trigger symptoms of depression.

Provide Companionship

A dog's companionship can help you feel that there is always someone there for you. Companionship can help prevent illness and even add years to your life, while isolation and loneliness can trigger symptoms of depression. Caring for a living animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems, especially if you live alone. Most dog and cat owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles. And nothing beats loneliness like coming home to a wagging tail and wet kisses.

dog boneMore Mental Benefits To Owning A Dog

Socializing Around A Dog

Photo credit: Pixabay

Improve Upon Your Social Skills

Normally, I am very shy when it comes to meeting new people. I prefer to play video games and hang out with my friends. However, when taking my dog for a walk, it is very common to have my dog approach a hiker and “give them a “sniff.” This often leads to a short talk where questions like, “how old is he..what kind of dog is he….he’s so cute..etc.” While these conversations help me with my anxiety interacting with new people, I’m always aware that I should not be too forthcoming with my personal information like where I live or become too involved with a stranger.

In a Harvard Health publication, dog owners, and more specifically, those who walked their dogs, were also far more likely to have reported befriending someone they met through a pet-related connection or getting social support from them. Being a pet owner was the third most common way that survey respondents said they met people in their neighborhoods. (No. 1 was by being neighbors; no. 2 was by using local streets and parks.) Pet owners were 60% more likely than non–pet owners to get to know people in their neighborhoods they hadn’t known before. The possibilities are endless regarding improving your social skills.

Improve Your Daily Routine And Structure

Do you find yourself often just laying in bed or doing mindless things? Being responsible for the pet you love can help you become more mature. Dogs require a regular feeding and exercise schedule. Having a consistent routine keeps a dog balanced and calm—and it can help you too. No matter your mood—depressed, anxious, or stressed—one open eyed, ears raised look from your dog, maybe a friendly “squeak” and you'll have to get out of bed to feed, exercise, and care for your pet. You know the love you get from them and you want to respond as they need your attention. Here are more mental benefits of dogs

Increase Your Activity Level And Help You Get More Exercise

Taking a dog for a walk, hike or run are fun and rewarding ways to fit healthy daily exercise into your schedule. Studies have shown that dog owners are far more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements—and exercising every day is great for the animal as well. It will deepen the connection between you, eradicate most behavior problems in dogs, and keep your pet fit and healthy.

Woman Running With Dog

Photo credit: Pixabay

Owning a pet has many benefits to you and your pet. However, being truly responsible is VERY important. Your pet is looking to bond and grow with you and give you the love and attention you both benefit from. However, this is an important step. Not everyone may be ready for such responsibilities. If you are ready for a pet, it is a great experience!

dog boneIs a pet right for you?

Michael John Kulick
My goal with this venture is to give these pets a fighting chance in finding a good home for them and to let people know about the health benefits that come with owning a pet. I believe that every is unique and that each dog can cater to different people.

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