Bringing a dog into your home is a big step. It’s certainly not a decision to be taken lightly. Introducing a four-legged friend into your family can completely change your life. You’ll have the added responsibility of feeding, housing, grooming, and exercising your new companion. You will have to adapt your daily routine to take them for walks and ensure they aren’t left alone for too long.
And there are the financial considerations too. You’ll have to add dog food and poop bags to your weekly shopping list, not to mention the cost of vaccinations and veterinary appointments.
But if you are prepared to shoulder the financial burden and the extra duties, then getting a dog might be the best thing you ever do. It can benefit you and your family’s lives in countless ways, and make you better people too. If you are still undecided about whether a four-legged friend is the right thing for your family, here are six great reasons to take the leap.
They are great friends
The best thing about owning a dog is companionship. Canines are exceptionally affectionate animals and are always there to give you a big sloppy kiss and a cuddle. They jump up at the front door to see you when you get home from work, and they love nothing better than to curl up on the foot of your bed while you sleep. A dog can be the best friend you’ll ever have, as they never criticize you or judge you. They always accept people for who they are and once they get to know you, they will love you no matter what. If your kids are having trouble making friends at school, they will still have their beloved pooch to go home to. They can play with them when it’s wet outside or it’s too late to go out and see their friends.
They make you healthier
Owning a dog encourages a healthy lifestyle. You have to take them out for walks regularly, and you’re constantly running around after them. Some dogs are much more active than others and may enjoy even more extreme activities like trail running or climbing mountains. The level of physical exertion required depends entirely on the breed of dog you opt for.
Introducing a dog into your household will make your whole family more active. It will encourage you all to put down your phones and get outside to spend time with your furry friend. And they not only make you physically fitter, but they can actually help to boost your immune system too. Studies show that children who grow up with dogs are much less prone to allergies and sickness than kids who were raised in a pet-free household.
They teach kids responsibility
As a parent, it is your job to teach your children valuable life skills. But for some attributes, your dog is a better teacher than you’ll ever be. Spending time with animals helps young kids develop leadership skills as well as responsibility for looking after living things. It can teach them essential values such as kindness, empathy, and compassion, and will ultimately turn into well-rounded adults and better people.
They boost mental health
Having pets, and specifically, dogs have been shown to boost mental health in adults and children. Dog ownership can relieve feelings of stress and also alleviate depression and anxiety. It should come as no surprise to learn that returning home to a happy dog is a great boon to one’s mental health, as they provide companionship and affection. Spending time with dogs releases serotonin and dopamine, which are the hormones responsible for feeling pleasure and happiness, so it is one of the best cures ever for feeling down. And all it takes is just 15 to 30 minutes spent playing with a dog in order to notice the benefits.
They improve your social life
There are few better conversation starters than a cute dog. As soon as you introduce one into your family, you will immediately notice the extra attention you get whenever you go for a walk in the park. Most people are natural animal lovers and are instantly drawn to a cute pup. You’ll find yourself making a whole host of new friends in your neighborhood as a result. You can bond with other dog walkers in your area and even join a club or group for people with furry friends. Your social life will skyrocket and it’s all thanks to your new dog.
You are improving their life
Bringing a dog home not only benefits you and your family, but it can also benefit your new pet too. When choosing a pet, it is much more ethical to go down the route of adopting, rather than buying. Dogs that are up for adoption have often lived a hard life, whether through abuse, neglect, or abandonment. And you have the power to give them a good life and some happy memories. They may have suffered trauma and will therefore take longer to trust their new family, but the fact that you may be saving a dog’s life makes the extra work worth it. Read more here if you want to know more about training a puppy.
Conversely, dogs sold in pet stores are often (but not always) bred and raised in inhumane conditions. By buying one of these puppies, you are not only continuing an unethical practice but actively giving them your money. As well as being the right thing to do, adopting is also much cheaper and you have the added benefit of a support network to help you out.
In conclusion, owning a dog can add so much value to you and your family’s lives. A dog can provide love and companionship, boost your mental and physical health, and aid with your children’s development. It is of course a major decision, so think it through before you rush into things. Take some time choosing the right breed for your household and make sure you have the time and the freedom to care for your new family member the best you can.