As I sit here with my girl Luna’s head on my lap making it impossible to type, and my boy Jack catching a snooze not more than a foot away, I can’t help but wonder what life would be like without these two. In many ways, things would have been much, much easier. We’d be able to travel more without having to worry about leaving them at the kennel or troubling the in-laws. There would be no chewed-up furniture, no torn couches, fewer responsibilities, and we wouldn’t have to pick up poop every single day!
Would I have it any other way? HECK NO! I don’t know about you, but I genuinely believe that dogs are infinitely better than people. Life without these two mutts would be boring…meaningless even. So, if you’re on the fence about whether or not to bring a dog home, here are some reasons why you absolutely should!
They Will Make You Happy
If you’ve had the pleasure of spending even a little time with a dog, you’d agree that they can instantly lift your spirits. Whether it’s their lovable antics or those wet kisses, it’s impossible not to smile when you’re around a pooch. Now imagine that feeling 24/7!
Studies show that playing with a dog decreases stress and increases the happy hormones in your brain aka dopamine and serotonin. Even if you’ve had the worst possible day, one look at your bundle of joy will make everything okay. Besides, who else can greet you with the same kind of enthusiasm as your dog, even if you’ve just been gone for ten minutes? Believe me, that tail wag is everything!
They Improve Your Social Life
I work from home for the most part and had it not been for my pooches, I’m sure I would have transformed into a hermit. Dogs need to get out often for walks as well as to socialize with other canines. That means you’re going to end up interacting with other dog owners as well as strangers who want to say hello. While the hounds are busy sniffing butts and getting to know each other, you can do the same (minus the butt-sniffing part). For all you know, you could end up with some awesome buddies or if you’re lucky like my friend, you may even meet “the one” while walking your dog. True story! Dog parks are also a great way to socialize for you and your dog.
They Are Good for Your Health
One kiss from a dog can melt even the coldest of hearts but that’s not the only way dogs help your heart. Simply petting your dog can lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart disease. Not just that, but as a dog owner you’re bound to get more exercise when you go out on walks or hikes with your furry best friend. According to a study, people with dogs were 34% more likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week. This is called the ‘Lassie Effect’, and thanks to it not only will your weight be in check but your heart will be healthy as well. Besides, puppers are the BEST workout buddies!
They Strengthen Your Immunity
Believe it or not, dogs make your immunity responses better. Research shows that dog owners tend to recover twice as fast as compared to those without a pet. In fact, just snuggling with your dog could keep that annoying cold away. I’m pretty sure it’s all thanks to those wholesome kisses. According to many studies, dogs can also sniff out cancer with 90% certainty. Now that’s some kind of superpower!
They Make Life Worthwhile
Even a boring car ride is fun when your favorite fuzzy sidekick is with you! Dogs give you a sense of purpose and their zest for life is infectious. Seriously, I don’t think I would have been mentally okay during this lockdown had it not been for Luna and Jack. I wouldn’t trade their derpy expressions, crazy shenanigans, and unconditional love for the world…even if that means cleaning up after them for the rest of my life!
At the end of the day, remember that a dog is a lot of work and a lifelong commitment. Getting one should never be a spontaneous decision and should always involve the entire family. If you have your doubts, start small by volunteering at a shelter or fostering pups and work your way up.