7 Touching Truths About Your Relationship With Your Best Friend
With a dog in your life, you’ve got more than just a pet. You have a source of boundless energy, constant cuddles and never-ending joy. And while you may not realize it, dogs play multiple roles that enhance our well-being, keep us grounded and encourage us to be more mindful in our everyday actions.
Here are seven truths to ponder about the myriad ways your dog benefits you:
1. A Dog Is Your Social Butterfly
Even if you’re highly introverted, you may find yourself more engaged in conversation and making new friends when out and about with your dog. According to a 2015 survey pet owners were 60% more likely to meet and get to know neighbors than respondents without pets. This was especially true of dog owners who walked their furry friends.
2. A Dog Is Your Teacher
Lessons about resiliency, self-acceptance and trust are just a few things your dog can teach you. Dogs are rarely defeated in pursuit of a favorite toy or your attention. They’re confident they’ll succeed in catching that squirrel one day. Moreover, dogs model bio-empathy — the ability to respect, understand and learn from nature — a quality hailed as essential for modern business leaders.
3. A Dog Is Your Health Coach
A pair of 2015 research studies confirmed the connection between your dog and healthier living. Dogs motivate people to engage in physical activity, which can reduce blood pressure, lower cardiac risk and minimize the symptoms of chronic illness. Furthermore, pet ownership lessens the occurrence of asthma and allergy development in children.
4. A Dog Is Your Therapist
Unlike a licensed clinical psychologist, your dog doesn’t need an advanced degree to boost your mental health. A 2018 article posted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness links dogs with increased levels of socialization, exercise and feelings of self-worth among people living with depression. Important connections exist between dogs and mindfulness practices, which yield significant psychological benefits.
5. A Dog Is Your North Star
Beyond guiding us to the best spots to sniff and the biggest sticks to chew, dogs provide us with purpose and direction in our everyday lives. They lead us toward healthy routines and deepen our responsibility for the care and happiness of something beyond ourselves. Child development experts cite pet ownership as a valuable means for families and children to develop emotional intelligence, which charts the course for lifelong empathy.
6. A Dog Is Your Constant Companion
You’ll hardly find a truer, more constant companion than your dog. Researchers have proven the canine ability to recognize human emotions and read our facial expressions. When we’ve had a tough day or we’re brimming with happiness, our dogs don’t need words to say, “I’m here for you.” Their expressive nuzzles, tail wags and calming presences say it for them.
7. A Dog Is Your Unconditional Everything
Perhaps most importantly, there’s no price tag or condition on your dog’s love for who you are right now. The breadth and depth of dogs’ affection isn’t measured by the way we look, the state of our kitchens or size of our paychecks. While we sustain our dogs through the simple pleasures of feeding, playing and being ourselves, what they give us in return is infinite.
Contact Smart Healthy Dogs today to learn more about how you can give your canine companion the best life possible.