7 Benefits of Owning a Dog ...

Although they can be a lot of work and require a serious long term commitment, there are countless benefits of owning a dog! While it's true that owning any pet has its benefits, dog owners seem to have even more benefits than other pet owners. So whether you're trying to find reasons to convince someone that you should get a dog, or you're just trying to see why Fido is even more amazing than you already think he is, read on to learn 7 benefits of owning a dog.

1. Forces You to Exercise

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This is definitely one of the best benefits of owning a dog! They force you to go outside and take a walk even when you're not in the mood to. It's like having your own personal trainer there to motivate you to get off the couch and exercise. I take my dog out at least twice a day if not more because if I don't, he will drive me crazy with his energy and whining. Before I got a dog I would often spend some of my weekends in sweats all day long, not moving from the couch. Now, I spend them going to the park to walk around or bringing him to the dog park so he can play. Dogs definitely force you to stop being lazy and go outside!

2. Mood Booster

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How on earth can you stay angry or upset after a bad day when you come home to an adorable furry friend who acts like they haven't seen you in years? In fact, research has shown that it only takes about 15 to 30 minutes with your pet to feel more relaxed and calm. Petting or playing with your dog (or any other pet for that matter) also raises your brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, which are associated with pleasure and tranquility! Even if I'm mad at my dog for doing something wrong, I can't stay mad for more than a minute or two once I see his sad puppy eyes!

3. Help You Live Longer

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There are countless health benefits associated with owning a dog that have been proven by research. Dogs lower your cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, and reduce stress. They can even predict seizures! Because of all of these added health benefits, studies have shown that dog owners tend to live longer than non-dog owners. Not to mention the amount of stories where dogs have saved the lives of their owners! I don't know about you, but this alone would probably be a big reason for me to own a dog!

4. Makes You More Social

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I can't tell you how often people come up and talk to me while I'm walking my dog. Dogs are definitely a great ice breaker and can even be a great wing man/woman! Not to mention they will immediately tell you if someone is a "dog person" if that's something you're looking for in someone. I'm definitely one of those people who believe I get along better with people who love dogs than people who don't. The dog park is also another great place to interact with people and it's easy to start a conversation as you all have at least one thing in common!

5. Helps Loneliness

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There are plenty of "crazy dog ladies" alongside of the "crazy cat ladies" in this world. That's because dogs make great companions and can even sometimes take the place of a human companion for some people. Dogs are loyal and are perceptive to your moods, so you can always count on them to be there for you when you need them most. They can also be therapeutic to talk to when you feel like venting because all they can do is listen.

6. Feel Safer

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I am a VERY nervous person, especially when it comes to being in my home alone. However, ever since I got my dog, I feel so much safer when I have to be alone. Dogs have excellent hearing and a natural tendency to protect their home, which make them perfect guards! Even the smallest dog can be a deterrent to possible intruders as their barking will make it hard for someone to break into your house unnoticed. My dog for example is small, but has a loud and deep bark, making him sound like he's a lot bigger than he actually is. I also feel like he's more perceptive of "good" and potentially "bad" people when we're out on walks, which makes me feel safer on who I should avoid or approach.

7. Makes You a Better Person

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Pet ownership is a big commitment and requires you to be responsible, selfless, and nurturing. Having a dog in your family is a great way to teach your kids about responsibility and dedication. Walking, feeding, and grooming are all activities that young children can do that help them learn about the importance of caring for animals. I believe that one of the best things you can learn yourself or teach others is compassion, and owning a dog (or any other pet) is a great way to teach that to your family.

The key to finding a dog that will make you the happiest is to research breeds and see what matches up with your lifestyle the most. That having been said, once you find a breed or two that you like, go on Petfinder.com and search for those breeds at your area's local dog shelters. You may not get a pure bred dog, but you could end up with a mix of your favorite two breeds which is even better! Plus there's no better feeling than knowing you rescued your furry friend from possible death or going to a bad family. What do you love about owning a dog (or another pet) the most?

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