Author: Wenxin Ye
Once you have had a dog for a while, you may occasionally get very overwhelmed. Yes, they are cute and cuddly but also they require a lot of work. You have to clean up after them, feed them, and entertain them. And regardless of what’s happening in your own life, they need you. But have you paused and asked yourself how your dog is taking care of you?
Here are a few ways that your dog is improving your life:
Your Dog Can Give You A More Positive Outlook
We all could use a little more positivity. When we have a bad day, we need something to help us to see the cup half full. According to a study, people who own pets have a more positive outlook. Having a positive mindset can get you to view things differently. Instead of seeing everything as a roadblock, you begin to see opportunities in challenges and appreciate how far you’ve come.
There’s a lot in our life that’s out of control. Instead of succumbing to stress, it’s helpful to develop strategies to manage it. Studies have shown that interacting with a pet can boost your dopamine and serotonin — two chemicals which help alleviate the symptoms of stress.
With online psychiatry, you can get connected to a specialist who can help you come up with a road map for a happier, more positive future.
Dogs Can Improve Your Overall Health
In addition to improving your mental health, studies have demonstrated that having a pet can decrease your blood pressure, lower triglyceride levels, and reduce your cholesterol — all factors of improving your cardiovascular health. There’s a strong link between your mental and physical health. Hence, when your body isn’t doing great, there’s a chance that you also are feeling anxious, stressed, and nervous about the future. Here are some other ways that having a dog can help improve your physical health:
- Jogging: Many people enjoy going on a jog with their dog. Jogging has a myriad of benefits including strengthening your immune system, assisting with managing stress, and improving your spine’s flexibility.
- Going Outside: Anyone with a dog will tell you that no matter how calm they may appear, they need to go on regular walks. While some people have differing opinions on how often you should walk your dog, it’s a safe bet that they should be walked at least once a day. Especially now that so many of us are working from home, these regular walks can be crucial for your mental health. According to research, going outside can help mitigate stress, decrease inflammation, and improve your concentration.
- Playing Games: Whether it’s fetch or just jumping around, dogs are playful and exuding energy. A cardio workout can help improve your cognitive function and mental health.
Dogs Can Give Your Life Some Structure
We’re going through a time where things can change at a moment’s notice. That concert you wanted to go to or that musical you desperately wanted to see can get abruptly canceled, leaving you frustrated and confused. With a dog, you can have some much-needed consistency. Studies show that having a routine comes with numerous health benefits such as improved sleep, better eating habits, and lower levels of stress. These are a few things you need to do on a regular basis for your dog:
- Feed It: Whether it’s once or twice a day, you will need to remember to feed your pet. If you’re someone who has trouble waking up, this can be a great motivating factor to start your day bright and early!
- Cleaning After Your Dog: Regardless of how much you care for them, one thing is for sure — your dog will occasionally make a mess. While you’re cleaning up after your four-legged companion, you can also take this as a chance to rearrange your own space. Studies demonstrate that a little organization can go a long way in managing your stress.
- Errands: Dogs need stuff. It could be food, a new collar, or some toys. If you’re going through a funk, running errands can distract you from your troubles and ensure that you’re getting some time away from the screen.
Meet New People
- A Way To Reconnect With Others: Over the course of the pandemic, a lot of people have fallen out of touch. Do you want to reach out to others but feel worried about coming off as awkward? Well, a dog can help. Posting a photo of your dog on social media can be a great way to get others to notice you and reach out. If someone also has a dog, they may suggest going on hikes or walks together!
- Great For Dating Apps: Especially when it comes to dating apps, your photos can communicate a lot about you and your hobbies. Include a selfie with your dog to show that you’re caring and adventurous. Sifting through profiles can be frustrating because it’s hard to tell how compatible you truly are with this stranger. But with dog photos, you’ll have a baseline of interest.
- Meet People The Old-Fashion Way: Though dogs are great for dating apps and social media, they can also get you to meet new people the old fashion way. Tons of neighborhood parks have dog meet-ups where dog owners congregate. In addition, you can also meet new people throughout your day on your walks or trip to the store.
- Teach You About Empathy: In order to have a successful relationship, you will need empathy. Having a dog can show you how through ups and downs, you need to be caring and understanding.
Dogs take care of us in a myriad of ways — large and small. So, next time you see your dog running in with muddy feet, pause and think about all they do for you on a daily basis and thank them!