The amazing psychological benefits of owning a dog

May 16, 2018

The amazing psychological benefits of owning a dog

Did you know that there are 200,000 therapy dogs in the US alone, according to Service Dog Central? And with good reason. Many people who have depression, anxiety or seasonal affective disorder find that a dog helps improve the overall disposition. Dogs are plentiful and rewarding, and give unconditionally. They help bring about a better mood by encouraging exercise, reducing blood pressure, increasing heart rate, and being a constant companion. Read on to learn more.

How Does it Work?

Dogs have moved through the evolutionary ladder alongside humans. They are more attuned to the human race than any other animal on the planet. Not only do they understand words, but they also pick up on body language and voice inflection. Furthermore, did you know that dogs can learn sign language, and know when to supply emergency emotional support? It has also been found that dogs can reduce the chance of heart disease and help humans live longer. Further studies prove that dog owners have less depression, lower blood pressure, are overall happier, have lower cholesterol, and visit the doctor less. This is because dogs keep us moving on daily walks, provide us emotional support, and help keep us calm during times of stress. Whether it's the intelligent German Shepard or the energetic Pomeranian pup, a dog gives much more than someone soft to touch.

Benefits for the Whole Family

Even if the family has only one, everyone will experience the psychological benefits of a dog. Older adults will have renewed meaning with a dog and maintain a social network by getting out among other dog owners. Children who are raised around dogs have less allergy issues, and learn empathy from the pet. Kids also gain a sense of responsibility and security with a dog while possibly experiencing less separation anxiety from mom or dad. Families who play with a dog bond with the pet and with each other while benefiting from physical play. The brain and body are stimulated for both the dog and the human, especially in children. Studies have also proven that children with learning disorders benefit from dogs through the pet-human connection.

Dogs provide more than many other pets through their devotion to humans. Choosing the right breed depends on the family structure, so research is necessary. Additionally, dogs have unique personalities, despite the breed. Finding the right dog for a family may take some time, so local shelters are happy to allow for more than one family meet-and-greet. Take time to choose the right pet to have a forever friend that will become part of the family.