If you have a dog, petting its silky ears and belly every day is the ultimate luxury. Perhaps you know the joy of appreciating the little things with them as they drag you out for a walk you didn’t know you needed.
And, of course, there are dogs with jobs like guarding, herding and guiding who are an absolute necessity as well as a cuddly pet in their downtime.
But besides these reasons, why do we need dogs? What benefits do canines bring to our lives apart from their unparalleled joyful demeanor?
Training a dog requires plenty of time, patience, and effort. All dog owners know this. However, these skills are also rather valuable in many other areas of our lives.
Then there are the other things dogs teach us. For example, if you’ve watched your dog during a walk, you’ve probably noticed how they adore the great outdoors. This love is something that rubs off on many dog owners.
Owning a dog is also a great way to learn about responsibility. For children especially, caring for a pet like a dog is a great first foray into responsibility.
For example, no one else will refill your pooch’s water bowl, feed them, brush their coat, bathe them, take them for exercise, or play games with them.
Owning a dog has plenty of health benefits. The way dogs affect our health is truly fascinating! You’re probably aware that petting your dog makes you feel calmer.
But did you know that owning a dog ultimately lowers your blood pressure in the long term?
This is according to a study by Harvard University. Maybe it’s all the exercise owning a dog forces you to do, or perhaps it’s more due to all that relaxing petting and their chilled-out vibe, but the blood pressure of dog owners is significantly lower than for other people!
This level of blood pressure has a significant health effect in other areas. So, why not give your pooch a pet next time you feel stressed?
3. Dogs make brilliant companions
Since they were first bred all those millennia ago, dogs have made brilliant companions for the people around them.
So any time your pup greets you as you come in the door from a long day or does their adorable dance as you try to get them ready for a walk, you know you’ve got a companion for life.
4. Dogs help you keep fit
Speaking of walkies, have you ever noticed how much more exercise dogs force you to get?
Even the tiniest, least active pups know how to drag you out for a bark at the mailman. And when they’ve got you out, it isn’t difficult to persuade you to walk just a little further.
Maybe it’s challenging to get into the mood to go for a run by yourself. But when your pooch scratches at the running belt leash, suddenly suiting up and heading out there doesn’t seem so terrible!
And what about playing? Though fetch doesn’t seem like such an exhausting game, don’t you find yourself surprisingly tired at the end of all that ball throwing and bending or squatting down, trying to keep ahead of your dog? Maybe you had to walk to the park first, too.
By far, canines are one of the most social animals there are. So whether it’s saying hello to other people or dogs at the park, or perhaps the obedience or agility classes you might go to together, your dog indeed does force you to get out there and try new things.
Your dog might drag you to a new pet shop, help you explore different areas of your local area on walks, or sniff out an interesting event. Whatever the scenario, dogs allow you to meet new people every day.
6. Dogs love children
Okay, so maybe canines aren’t the best match for very young children. But a canine companion is a great idea when a child is a bit older!
Also, as we touched upon, all the care a child can give a dog, like feeding them, remembering to walk them, providing them with water, cleaning up after them and so on, teaches a child a lot about how to be responsible and how to take care of other people in their life.
A child who spends time with a pooch can also learn a lot about socialization. For example, when you play with a dog, you learn to listen to what they like to do, when they’re tired, or when to stop.
These empathy skills can teach you much about better interacting with new people, especially other children.
What’s cuter than a slobbery doggy kiss? So cold and wet, but still so loving and caring, did you know there’s a good reason your dog kisses you this way? Some say that when your dog licks your face, this is a sign of them seeing you as the dominant pack leader.
However, when they are younger, a pup might also be using licking to figure out how you are feeling. It turns out that a dog has specific receptors in their mouth and nose. Dogs use these special receptors to interpret and process the scented molecules they find in your sweat.
That’s why licking your face may help a dog figure out whether you’re currently happy or stressed – whatever you’re feeling.
Then there’s the fact that licking also helps dogs to chill out. Licking releases pleasurable endorphins in a dog and calms them. Licking allows dogs to get to sleep, for example. So, your dog might be licking your face just because it feels great to them.
8. Dogs help you get to know yourself
Have you ever seen a dog who looks just like its owner? Maybe a pampered pooch in the handbag of a glamorous owner or a muddy sheepdog running beside an equally muddy farmer owner?
Dogs really do reflect your personality! In England, a study found a clear link between owners’ personalities and the breed of dog they had adopted. For example, people who lived with utility dogs like Bulldogs and Dalmatians were the more conscientious owners.
In contrast, people with toy dog breeds turned out to be more intelligent. So what does your dog say about you?
It’s also a fact that dogs do mirror their owners’ personality traits. So, don’t be aggressive around your dog, or your pooch could end up the same way.
9. Dogs just make life better
What could be better than seeing the sheer ecstasy on your dog’s face as you go to pick up a ball and head out to play?
What tops watching your pooch realize it’s time for a walk together? Even when you relax at home on the couch, recovering from time well spent outdoors or just having a TV marathon, what could be remotely nicer?