A dog can make a wonderful addition to any family. It isn’t always easy being a pet owner, but the benefits of owning a dog far outweigh the downsides. Here are just 5 reasons why.
Dogs are known as man’s best friend for a reason. Dogs offer a type of friendship and companionship that other pets simply do not. There is a wealth of evidence that suggests the companionship of a dog can benefit people in a number of ways, including a reduction in anxiety, depression, and stress1. These effects are observed in both adults and children2, meaning that your entire family can benefit from the effect.
More introverted children who have difficulty socialising with others in their peer group may find that owning a dog offers a type of companionship and connection that is otherwise absent from their lives. Children can form a connection with any pet, but there are not many pets like dogs that will form a connection back and which make children truly feel like they have an animal friend.
One of the best parts about owning a dog is taking them for walks. Far from being a chore, a walk with your dog is a fantastic time for thought and reflection. Many dog owners find that their dog walks become just as important a part of their day as it is for their dog.
Different dogs require a different amount of exercise, and some are much more demanding than others. But even the most sedentary of dogs will require a walk every day, meaning that as their owner, you will have to exercise every day. If you are someone who struggles to find the time to exercise and keep fit, owning a dog can make it significantly easier. In fact, many new dog owners find that their fitness immediately improves just from the extra exercise that their dog requires3.
We mentioned earlier how the companionship of a pet has been linked to improved mental health outcomes. Dog owners will also benefit psychologically from the increased exercise, and this can also improve feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety4. Sometimes just going outside more can lead to a person’s mental health improving. With a dog, you won’t have any choice but to go outside with them every day.
Dogs are known to be social animals, and many dogs are keen to meet their fellow canines whilst out on a walk. This gives you the opportunity to talk to owners and potentially make new friends. If you and your dog befriend a dog and their owner, you could potentially meet regularly to socialise.
Even people who don’t have a dog themselves like to come and stroke dogs they see out and about, meaning that you’ll be able to engage with a wide variety of different people and make new friends whilst you take your dog out.
A dog can easily live for a decade or more. While the expected lifespan will vary between breeds, with smaller breeds tending to live longer, all dogs have a pretty long lifespan from the perspective of a child. This makes them fantastic companions for your children to grow up with. If your child is aged 10 or under, then they can easily end up having the dog for more than half their lives when they are in their 20s. This is part of the reason that people form such deep bonds with their dogs, especially in comparison to other types of pet.
Of course, a long lifespan is dependent on good care from you. Keeping them alive for as long as possible will also inevitably require the occasional visit to the vet. Vet visits can be an expensive part of dog ownership, but having pet insurance can help to soften the financial blow.
You can buy pet insurance online through websites such as Everypaw. Everypaw offers both cat and dog insurance, and even offers a discount when you insure multiple pets. They have a variety of different insurance packages on offer for both animals.
Owning a dog is a great way of teaching children about responsibility and what is involved in looking after another living creature. You will have to help them out of course, especially if they are younger children. However, owning a dog is an excellent lesson in responsibility for children of any age, as well as adults.
Owning a dog will be a wonderful journey for your whole family. Both children and adults can benefit from pet ownership in a variety of ways. From improved health to a valuable lesson in responsibility, buying a dog is something every family should consider.