Pets enrich our lives in so many ways it is hard to count. Aside from the fact that they are adorable, dogs improve our mental, physical, and emotional health. The simple act of petting a dog can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Having a dog can cause you to become not only more physically active but also socially active. Unlike cats, dogs are pack animals and so their very existence is based on caring for and cooperating with one another. Their pack, however, doesn’t just consist of other dogs but people as well.
According to Get Healthy, Get a Dog: The health benefits of canine companionship by Harvard Medical School, owning a dog can:
- help you be calmer, more mindful, and more present in your life
- make kids more active, secure, and responsible
- improve the lives of older individuals
- make you more social and less isolated
Dogs also make us happier, a 2009 study in Japan found that just looking into your dog’s eyes increases your level of oxytocin, the feel good love hormone. Another 2017 study demonstrated that those with AIDS were “less likely to suffer from depression if they owned a pet.”
Our canine family members display unconditional love and support in ways that we can only image. The love and companionship that they provide to us in priceless and, in some cases, a life saving.