5 Ways Having A Dog Changes Your Life

boy and his dog

Photo by Mike Hiatt / CC BY 

 

 

Dogs and mankind have been companions for thousands of years. There is no clear consensus on how man and dog became friends but many speculate it first started during the hunt. Imagine thousands of years ago when mankind was out hunting for big game. Then take into consideration the wolves that would have been following for scraps once a kill was made. It would not have taken very long for the wolves to figure out that hanging around the guys with spears was a good idea at dinner time. Over time the relationship grew so that wolves and humans became traveling companions, and wolves starting evolving into the dogs we have today.

There are literally hundreds of different breeds of dogs. Some dogs have been bred throughout the years to bring out certain characteristics such as dogs that are hypoallergenic. Other dogs are bred for their intelligence and working abilities while other dogs are bread specifically for their looks. We even have what has been termed “designer dogs” which is usually two purebred dogs bred together.

Dogs have the ability to decrease stress, make a person smile, and create a bond with their human owners that only exists with very few animals. Dogs can literally change a person’s life, as therapy dogs do for their patients every day. Here are a few more reasons that a dog can change a life:

  1. Dogs can help humans stay physically fit – Owning a dog means that an individual will get out of the house at least one a day for a walk. Dogs require at least 20 minutes every day (preferably twice a day) to get outside and play, and to expel the huge amounts of energy they have. Even an older dog will require a walk at least once a day. This will help an individual to lose weight and also for their stress levels to decrease. Walking will also help to lower high blood pressure, which is a leading cause of heart problems today.
  2. Happy, happy, happy – A dog will make a person happy. If you are feeling blue one of the best things you can do is pair up with a dog. It has been proven that when disaster strikes, having a dog nearby will help to decrease stress levels. No matter how depressed or unhappy a person feels, getting that slobbery kiss will immediately perk up the day. Dogs are non-judgmental and will love their human companion no matter what.
  3. Meet new people – Taking your dog to the park, or for a walk, or even to dog obedience class gives a person the ability to get out there and meet new people.
  4. Save a dog from destruction – Millions of dogs and cats are euthanized every year because homes cannot be found for them. Adopting a shelter dog can actually help two dogs; you are giving a loving home to the dog being adopted and allowing space for another dog in the shelter, who now has the chance to find a good home.
  5. A dog’s love is unconditional – Not feeling attractive? A dog does not care. Not feeling good because you’re sick? Doggy will sit by you and keep you warm all day. Dogs do not judge, nor do they question. They accept us as we are with no expectations, except to be loved. If only humans could be that forgiving.

Dogs can improve both the physical and the mental health of human beings. They love us unconditionally and we should be taking care to do the same for them.