You’ve heard it before—dogs are man’s best friend. Owning a dog can add a lot to your life, and it can evenpotentially extend it by a few years. Plus, it never hurts to have a friend who is willing to hunker down for movie night or run around the park with you. But beyond being a lovable companion and partner-in-crime, dogs can make your life a bit better in ways you might not expect.
Sure, you can turn to your friends and family for advice when you’re making a tough decision. You’d be surprised, however, at just how much a dog (or two) can play a role in how you live, and what sorts of changes you’ll make in your life because of your four-legged pal. So when you’re struggling to make big decisions or thinking of making a change, don’t leave Fido out of the process—he might even be able to offer a little wisdom, and he’ll definitely make your life a little bit better.
Dogs Make You More Active
For people who struggle to maintain an exercise routine, you’ll quickly find that a dog will keep you on target. Dogs need plenty of exercise, even if they’re a less active breed. Your dog will need plenty of time outdoors, either running around in your backyard, the local park or strolling around your block.Having a dog means you’ll get moving, too, in order to keep your pup happy and healthy. Luckily, a little exercise most certainly helps dog owners’ wellbeing, too.
Dogs Affect Big Decisions
Having a dog is more than deciding which pup you think is cutest. There are a number of other important factors to consider. Budgeting for your pets’ needs, such as their food, toys, vet visits, and other expenses, is one of the biggest concerns that come into play when you’re in the process of considering pet ownership.
But a dog can affect even more than your day-to-day expenses. If you’re considering home ownership, or if you’re considering buying acar, your dog is inevitably going to factor into your decision. You might hesitate before closing the deal on a house with a dinky backyard, or a neighborhood that doesn’t provide many good walking routes. You might want to choose a new home close to your pup’s favorite dog park, or you might choose a vehicle based on itsinterior durability for long car rides.
Dogs Make You More Social
Part of being man’s best friend means encouraging social situations. Sure, playing with your pet may seem like all the interaction you may need. But having a pet is a great way to meet more people, whether you’re at work, at a party, or even out for a walk.
Some studies have even shown that having a dog can make youtwice as approachable as someone without a dog, leading to more conversations struck up and more friendly exchanges. Talking about your dog can be an excellent icebreaker. Comparing notes on pets can help you connect with new people, and you’ll likely find yourself meeting people through the park or the vet all the more often with your pooch.
Dogs Make You More Compassionate
Studies have shown that having a dog can actuallyboost your mood and relieve stress—in fact, it’s been shown that dog owners only need to spend 15 to 30 minutes with their pooch to feel a little boost in their mood.
Being in a positive mood can directly affect your empathy towards others. Caring and nurturing a puppy teaches owners that compassion is easier and more pleasurable than they may have realized. Making a meaningful connection with your pet will only help you make meaningful connections with other people. You may even find that your dog’s sunny approach to other people is something you’d like to emulate.
Dogs Enjoy the Little Things in Life—So Should You!
If there’s one thing that dogs are good at, it’s stopping to smell the roses (or the grass, or the bushes—really, they’ll stop and smell most things). Dogs live in the moment, a habit many humans forget to remember.
Whether your pooch is with you when you’re home or out on a walk, they’re excited just to be with you. Dogs are the ultimate cheerleaders for their owners, and their positivity is infectious. Dogs can teach their two-legged companions the joy of being more open, more positive, and more patient in our day-to-day lives simply by the way they live their own lives.
Owning a dog means you’ll have to cultivate a bit of your own inner Zen—even when it’s a cold, rainy day, you might find something important in your daily walk with Fido, be it a positive interaction, an appreciation of your surroundings, or even just a little time out of the house. A dog can help you take joy in playing a game of fetch, or playing couch potato after your morning walk.
So take it from your dog—it’s worth it just to stop and sniff the grass!