You might be surprised to learn that there are many good reasons to get a dog. Not only are dogs adorable at every stage of life, but these playful and caring friends can also improve human happiness and overall health.

While being a pet parent can be demanding at times, the responsibility of caring for a dog balances out with the wide variety of benefits that dogs can bring into your life. Learn more about the benefits of owning a dog and some of the best dog breeds for homes with different activity levels.

#1 Dogs Help Reduce Stress

The top reason you should get a dog is that these animals can reduce stress. After just 10 minutes of petting a dog, especially a familiar one, you can experience the following positive effects:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Slower pulse
  • Slower breathing
  • Less muscle tension
  • Reduction of stress hormone production

These bodily effects are good for reducing the physical strain of stress and anxiety for humans of all ages. 

#2 Dogs Encourage Physical Activity

Many dogs love to be active and playful. You can hardly say the words “walk”, “outside”, or “toy” without seeing their ears perk up with immediate excitement. These highly energetic breeds and personalities are ideal for encouraging more physical activity in your home.

You may want to look for the best dog breeds to suit your desired lifestyle, as not all dogs will be highly active. Of course, individual dogs of the same breed will vary in personality, so be sure to spend some time seeking out the dog that is right for an active lifestyle.

#3 Dogs Are Fantastic Companions and Reduce Loneliness

Simply sharing a room with a dog helps alleviate the sense of loneliness that some individuals experience. Dogs can reduce the adverse effects of social isolation for their owners by providing unconditional love and a comforting presence.

Be sure to research the best dog breeds for families or seniors that are less active. While there are no wrong breeds, potential pet owners should seek out dogs with temperaments and activity levels that align with their lifestyles.

Some breeds are highly active and may become anxious and destructive if they cannot burn off their energy regularly. Prevent damage and frustration by taking the time to get to know your potential pets for a while before bringing them home to join the family.

#4 Dogs Can Help Improve Health

As if reducing stress, improving activity levels, and acting as a human’s best friend isn’t enough, a dog can help improve a human’s health in other ways. One study even shows heart attack survivors who own pets living longer than survivors who don’t own pets.

Dog owners can even invest in training dogs to actively help with other health conditions beyond their natural ability to support heart health, including:

  • Using their noses to sniff out and notify their owners of:
    • Allergens like peanuts
    • Certain types of cancer
    • Low blood sugar
  • Serving as specialized care companions (aka service or working dogs)
    • Guide training (seeing-eye dogs for the blind or visually impaired)
    • Alert training (warnings for seizures or other conditions)
    • Sound training (for those with hearing impairments)
    • Mobility training (helps those with mobility issues)
    • Psychiatric and emotional support training (for PTSD, OCD, and other mental health purposes)

While official service dogs are not technically pets due to their working status, these animals have incredible skills that help improve the health of the humans they work with. Even as working animals, service dogs provide beneficial attention to their owners.

However, owning a dog is indeed by itself generally beneficial for health. Dogs are also intelligent enough to be capable of learning to help their owners actively overcome some of the obstacles they may face in daily life. They are incredible animals that love to learn and help.

#5 Dogs Increase Approachability and Attractiveness

Essentially, dogs unintentionally play the role of a perfect wingman who never even needs to speak. Dog owners who share photos of themselves with their four-legged friends get more positive interaction on social and dating sites. And the phenomenon doesn’t stop there.

Dog owners who take their dogs with them into public spaces online and in real life are more approachable and are often perceived as more attractive. These factors combine to help improve the social lives of dog owners both platonically and romantically.

You might be wondering how dogs accomplish this feat so easily. This social effect connects to an interesting social science finding that seems to apply to multiple species of creatures.

Humans are sort of hardwired to have positive emotions upon seeing the facial features of numerous animals like dogs and especially puppies. Dogs possess what scientists call “infant schema,” which awakens the caregiving response in the human psyche. Dogs naturally bring out the best in most people.

Overall, finding the right dog to bring into your life can bring a happier, healthier, and fuller life. Sure, owning a pet isn’t always easy or inexpensive, but the benefits of pet ownership make getting a dog a worthwhile experience.

Keep Your Dog Healthy with Penny Paws Animal Clinic

Whether you find a brand new puppy or a senior canine to bring home, your new pet will need a professional vet to provide tests and vaccinations to keep them healthy. Dogs are just as susceptible to health issues as humans are and need regular checkups. It’s important to only adopt a dog if you are also ready for the responsibility that comes with it.

Are you looking for a reliable veterinary clinic to help you care for a new furry friend? Call Penny Paws Animal Clinic to arrange a canine checkup and vaccination schedule that we tailor to your new dog’s unique needs at every stage of growth.