The Benefits of Having a Dog

By Sarah Lam

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Getting a pet is something that every little kid dreams of. They will spend months trying to convince their parents to let them get that puppy, kitten, or goldfish. I personally have also done this. I begged and begged until my parents finally let me get a puppy. She is a pitbull mix that we rescued and her name is Jade. Getting Jade was the best thing to ever happen to our family. You don’t know how much they impact your until you live with them every day. There are tons of benefit to having a dog and I’m here today to tell you just a few of them.

1. Heart health

Did you know that dogs can actually improve your heart health and make it stronger? Studies show that owning a dog reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and decreases risk of cardiovascular disease. Dogs tend to have a calming effect on people which causes low level of stress. Dogs also cause you to get more exercise which helps to lower your blood pressure and make your heart healthier than people who don’t get exercise. Studies also show that blood pressure goes down when a person pets a dog. So next time you see a dog, don’t be afraid to pet them!

2. A special bond

Having bonds with people makes you feel like a million bucks, but it’s even better having a bond with your pooch. There's no better feeling then coming home from a long day at school or work and seeing your best friend happy as can be, and wagging their tail. A bond with your dog is a bond that will never break. They will be there with you through everything and they will never ever leave your side. Your dog will look at you like you are gold. They will never want anything bad to happen to you and will be your best friend for life.

3. Reduces anxiety

Feeling anxious about that huge test coming up in a few weeks? Take a break and snuggle with a pup! Dogs are proven to help reduce anxiety. Mental health is a very important topic. Dogs can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Service dogs can also be trained to notify you of an oncoming anxiety attack. If you or someone you know suffers from a mental illness, consider getting a dog.

4. Keeps you active

One benefit you will definitely get from a dog is exercise. They love to explore the world around them and sniff everything in sight. This will encourage you to take them for walks, hikes, car rides, and anything else you can imagine.  Dogs love to run free and have fun, so taking them on adventures will definitely benefit both of you. If you’re looking for a new year’s resolution, get a dog. It will benefit the both of you.

5. Shows you love

What's one thing your dog can do that your ex couldn’t? Show you love! Dogs can be the biggest cuddle bugs you have ever seen. They will sleep in your bed, follow you everywhere, and smother you with kisses. All they want is to be shown love, so they turn to you to show their affection. If you are feeling lonely, go out and adopt a shelter dog. They will be more than grateful and show you nothing but love.

6. Protection

If you and your dog have a special bond, they will go above and beyond for you. They can be trained to protect you, your house, and everything else that belongs to you. All a dog wants to do is to be loyal and protect his owners. Approximately 65% of criminals admit that if there was a big dog standing in the way of them and your house, they wouldn’t even try to break in. Your well being is your dog’s #1 priority and they will do anything to protect you.

7. Teaches responsibility

Having a dog is like having a child. It is a huge responsibility and can’t be taken lightly. Dogs leave all their trust in their owners to take care of them. You have to make sure they are healthy and take them to the vet regularly. They also depend on you for food, water, fun, and most importantly, being loved. If you want to learn responsibility, getting a dog will definitely help.

If all of these points still don’t have you convinced, approximately 3.9 million dogs are in shelters right now. The biggest impact you can make is saving one of them and giving them a forever home.