By Brenda Leary
It’s easy to count the ways dogs make their owners healthy.
Dogs help boost their people’s immune systems, prevent boredom and improve their social lives.
Dogs also make their people happy by boosting their moods and reducing their stress.
And as an added bonus, dogs also encourage their people to keep their homes clean and give their owners a huge sense of responsibility.
1. Dogs boost their owners’ immune systems
Because dogs pick up pathogens from any environment where they are placed, they in turn also expose their owners to those pathogens. That helps their humans to acquire new immunity, which in turn makes them more healthy.
Studies even show that infants who live with dogs have less risk of developing allergies.
2. Dogs improve your mood
If you have a dog, you’ll rarely find yourself feeling bored or stressed.
Want to watch a movie or read a book? If your dog is a mellow couch potato, she just might be willing to snuggle in and let you do that.
But if you’ve got a higher energy dog, you may want to lace up your walking or running shoes and give your self a little adrenaline boost by getting some exercise.
Just by their presence, dogs can provide love and comfort. They have great powers of empathy and gazing into your dog’s eyes can make you feel better.
Dogs understand their people and will work hard to make them feel better. It’s hard to stay angry or frustrated after a rough day at work when you come home to a dog wriggling with joy from head to tail.
3. Dogs improve your social life
While many people enjoy using their free time to make connections through social media. But having a dog can push you into making connections in real life.
If you regularly walk your dog in your neighborhood, you’ll find yourself making conversations with your neighbors. Just don’t be surprised if they remember your dog’s name and interact more with her than with you.
Some dog owners combine their dogs and their social lives by joining social groups that bring together fans of certain dog breeds or people who like to take their dogs for hikes. Or they can use an app like DoggyDatez, a location-based app that can help you meet up with other dog walkers. You can search for other users by age, gender, dog breed and dog gender.
4. Dogs encourage you to clean house
Sure dogs can make your home a bit messy by shedding and by leaving occasionally muddy paw prints. And a wet dog, occasional house-training accidents and leftover food can cause stains on carpet and furniture.
That will push dog owners to vacuum and clean their homes regularly. You could consider removing carpet and instead using hardwood floors that are often easier to clean.
And, believe it or not, your dog can help keep — in his own way — to keep your home tidy. Anyone who has a dog knows they never have to worry about picking up spilled foods. Dogs are more than willing to move in quickly to clean up messes. Just take care to make sure any spilled food isn’t dangerous for your dog.
And as a final added bonus, dogs — like cats — can serve as a natural deterrent to rodents.
5. Dogs create a sense of responsibility
Keeping a pet gives you some sense of responsibility, for instance, you have to allocate a certain portion of your time — and budget — to care for your dog.
You may want to sleep until noon on a Saturday, but your dog has needs, too. And as a responsible dog owner, you’ll put caring for your dog first.
And you just might find that makes you a better person.
Brenda Leary has a passion for dogs. Her ambition is to found a community for a dogaholics where they can share useful knowledge about dogs. Her goal is to break down complex dog tips and advice to share the information that works best. Follow her work at CuddleYourDogs.com to discover information about dogs’ daily routines and tips and advice for caring for a dog or puppy.