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Dogs, Your Health & Wellbeing

Did you know owning a dog can improve your overall health and mental wellbeing? There is a bond between man and canine that is undeniable. Afterall they’re not called man’s best friend for no reason. Dogs can understand humans on a whole new wavelength, registering tone, behaviour, gestures, and emotions. Sometimes it feels like they know us better then we know ourselves.

So why is owning a dog good for your health and well-being?

Dogs, Your Health and Wellbeing | Happiness

Have you ever noticed how you smile when you see a dog, their happy wagging tails, their beautiful big eyes, their goofy grins. They have a way of putting most people at ease, just by being in their presence. This is because when you interact with them it releases happiness hormones in the both of you. Endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin are all neurochemicals that release in the brain resulting in positive feelings of happiness and bonding. The more familiar you are with the dog, the faster these feeling will occur, resulting in a stronger bond between you both.

Plus playing with a dog can be a very joyful experience for the both of you.

Dogs, Your Health and Wellbeing | Companionship and Socialising

Dogs can be your best friend. A confidant, in your time of need. Or there to help you curb a sense of loneliness. They make fantastic companions for people of all ages, especially children and the elderly.

Children who grow up closely with a dog are found to be more secure, active, compassionate, and empathetic. They become better at building relationship with others, gain a sense of responsibility and develop a positive self-image.

Dogs are great for socialising, getting you out of the house and even meeting new people. Sometimes they themselves can be great for confiding in when you have no one else in your life to talk to. They won’t judge you for what you’re saying, and will offer only love in return, allowing you to completely open-up to them and be yourself.

Dogs, Your Health and Wellbeing | Mental Health and Wellbeing

Studies have found that spending time with a dog helps ease a large range of mental health conditions, such as, depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, bipolar disorder, PTSD, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

Petting, touching, and hugging your dog can help to calm and soothe you when you are experiencing symptoms of the above conditions.

When a dog is present with patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s, studies have found that the common frustrations that are often brought on by these diseases are eased.

When exercising, you are more likely to stick to your goals, because your dog holds you accountable.

 

Dogs, Your Health and Wellbeing | Things to Consider

But wait, before you decide to run out and buy a dog there are a few things you need to consider.

First, they all have different personalities. Do your research to find a dog that meshes well with your lifestyle. Don’t just buy one because you think it’s cute as a puppy. They grow up to be dogs and may get much larger than you were expecting.

Second, understand that a dog is not a magical cure-all to your life’s problems. Buying a dog will not automatically heal your mental well-being. It will not suddenly make you happy, it will not make you hundreds of friends, and it won’t suddenly make you lose weight.

Finally, dogs are a full-time commitment, they cost a lot of money and they can display destructive behavior.

 

But know, owning a dog will allow for you to make a connection with a creature, who is unbiased, and unjudgmental, and will offer unconditional love. When you love a creature who loves you like that, slowly you will begin to heal. Owning a dog will grant you the opportunities to go out and make those social connections you crave. It will encourage you to want to exercise your dog for their sake, because you care about them and their wellbeing, in turn helping you to exercise as well. Their playfulness will create moments in which you will find happiness.

They can help you to find joy and meaning in your life. They can bring out the best in you, but you need to make the hard steps on your own. Your dog will be there to support you on your journey, appreciate them while you can. They will help you with the small steps in life, and only later you will realise they were the big ones.

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