10 Ways Your Dog Makes You Happier!
Posted on April 01 2021
Sometimes dogs get expensive and they require a lot of energy, time, and personal commitment to care for them as they deserve. But when they cuddle up next to you it’s always worth it! Here are 10 other ways your dog makes you personally happier, according to researchers!
1. Dogs Increase Your Levels Of Oxytocin
Neuroscience lesson! Spending time with dogs, and even more so petting them and cuddling them, increases your levels of oxytocin. Oxytocin, known as the "love hormone, and the “cuddle hormone," is a neurotransmitter that calms your nervous system down, relaxing you, whilst also increasing your trust. Oxytocin is also heavily released during and after pregnancy to increase mother-baby bonding, as well as, romantically when you’re falling in love!
2. Dogs Lower Your Stress By Lowering Cortisol!
Interacting with dogs not only increases your oxytocin but also lowers your cortisol, the stress hormone. In line with this, studies at the University of New York found that people experienced lower levels of stress when conducting a stressful assignment when they had a pet with them. Studies in workplaces have also shown that taking dogs to work lowers your stress, improves your recovery after challenges and even increases positive social interactions. This can be part of the reason dog ownership has skyrocketed during quarantine!
3. Dogs Help Build Confidence In Social Skills!
If you're shy, an introvert or simply not that confident in social situations, just walking your dog can help with this! When you’re walking down the street, or in the dog park, as your dog greets another dog, it's natural to exchange a few words with the dog's owner. It's easier to chat because you already have something in common: a beautiful dog! Having these simple interactions have been shown to build social skills and increase confidence.
4. Dogs Keep You On A Healthy And Fit Routine!
Clinical studies have shown that dog owners tend to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both reducing the risk of heart-related illnesses. Why is this? If you own a dog and you love them, you take them out for walks. You play with them. You keep them entertained. That means you're active throughout your day which naturally boosts your physical health whilst also, as an added bonus, improves your mood. If you own a dog like a border collie, or a sheep herding dog, they require a lot more exercise –– which means a lot more exercise for you!
5. You're never alone!
For some of us, we were lucky we had dogs during quarantine. A dog is a true pal who will always be there for you, never judges you and is always happy to have you around. Imagine: you get back home, you had a terrible day, and you just don’t feel like talking to anyone. When you open your door out comes your happy four-legged, tail-wagging buddy so excited to see you. Every dog owner knows this feeling. How could you possibly be in a worse mood after that?
6. A Dog Brings Joy To Children
Research has shown that pet ownership is good for both the physical and emotional wellbeing of children. It really is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your child! Children confide all of their secrets to their dog, because a dog never judges and is always there to listen. And those who learn about careful and responsible pet ownership at a young age will benefit from it for the rest of their lives in building empathy for others, following routine, and growing to be a well rounded adult. The animals will too, of course!
7. Dogs Are The Best Comedians!
We all know that each dog has their own individual personality. And with that brings their own individual quirks, and obsessions, and silly behaviors. Even if you don’t own a dog, anyone can relate to being in a park and watching a dog do the absolute most silly, hilarious thing ever! Whether it be dipping into a pond, or rolling in sand, or especially, their excitement when they discover snow! All of these beautiful moments add joy and laughter to our lives in ways we’re always grateful for!
8. Dogs Improve Depressive or Anxiety Symptoms!
Numerous studies have shown that having a dog can lessen the symptoms of depression and help pet parents maintain a positive, optimistic outlook on life. After all, they do need you tomorrow to care for them and will love you for it! As animal expert Karen Winegar said in a 2009 interview with the New York Times, “The human-animal bond bypasses the intellect and goes straight to the heart and emotions and nurtures us in ways that nothing else can.”
9. Dogs Bring Order To Owners Lives
Even the most disorganized and busy person understands the need for routine for their dog, and themselves. Dogs like to eat at the same times. Dogs like to go for walks at the same time. Dogs thrive when there is routine in their lives. Pet parents will rush home after work to assure their dogs are fed and cared for. Dogs help pet parents be more responsible. Your dog relies on his pet parent for everything. To your dog, you are the center of the universe and that is a responsibility and joy that requires owners to create schedules, become more organized, and generally, have a better handle on their own lives.
10. A Dog Gives Meaning To Your Life!
Owning and caring for a dog is a huge responsibility and is not for everyone. Inyour dog's eyes you're the master of their world,
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