A lot of people prefer to keep an emotional support dog. Because they love to see a wagging tail around the house. Their cheerful spirits and happy faces lift up the mood too. But what a lot of people don’t know is that in addition to providing emotional support dogs can help their owners maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s not a conscious effort but they can definitely tweak up your life habits and improve your health.
You may have heard of the stories of how dogs can smell a disease developing in their owners. Well, I’m not going to talk about that but something along the same lines. So let’s take a look at how dogs can have a positive impact on your life.
They help maintain a routine
The first step to any healthy lifestyle is to build up a routine and follow it diligently. But not a lot of people find success in this. If you have had trouble keeping a routine, getting a dog can help you achieve that goal.
Dogs are known to have an internal clock or an amazing sense of time. You may have experienced or heard about how a dog always knows when it’s feeding time or when the owner is about to get back from work. And above all they will always remember when it’s time for walks. You can even find them wagging their tail with excitement and a leash in their mouth. That happens because they follow their routine and will make you follow it too because they are dependent on you. So you will have to wake up every morning to feed them and take them on a walk so that they can finish their business. When you keep doing it for some time, your body will adjust to your dog’s routine and will improve your lifestyle. So your lack of routine will not be an obstacle anymore.
A dog helps improve your mood
This is something that you may have experienced once in your life. Let me help you remember. Did you ever come across a cute dog by the pavement and for a while you forgot everything and had the urge to pet the good boy? Yes, that’s how they make you feel, happy.
Dogs have the ability to increase the production of all the happy hormones in your body which is why we feel a gush of positive feelings after seeing a dog or petting one. Owning a dog is like carrying a happy pill with yourself all the time. Their physical embrace will act like a touch of a loved one and give you a feeling of security and also alleviate any feelings of loneliness. In case of anxiety or depression, dogs give you a cheerful distraction. Caring for them, playing with them and spending time with a dog can give you a sense of control and prevent any negative feelings from overpowering your emotions.
You get optimal physical exercise
Dogs are a furball of energy. They are always ready to go on walks, play fetch and chase away the pigeons. And this energy needs to have an outlet or it will have a bad effect on the mental and physical health of the dog. They will develop destructive behaviour and also gain weight. So who will help them find that outlet? You.
As an owner of a dog, it’s your responsibility to make sure that they get optimum physical exercise. You must take them on walks at least 2 to 3 times a day. And besides that, playdates are a must. By aiming to maintain the physical activity of your dog, you also give yourself optimal exercise. And regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight as well as keep a healthy mental and emotional state. So dogs are your perfect workout partners.
And when you get into this routine, you can plan a trip with your dog to explore new landscapes for walks and physical activity.
Improve your social life
If you have been a socially awkward person, a dog can help you get over the nervousness. Dogs are known to help improve the social abilities of their owners. You can feel the difference just by taking them for a walk. Many strangers will come up to you for permission to pet the dog and ask about it. So you do become ‘that person with a cute dog’. Apart from random encounters, dogs can help build a friendship among two different dog owners. They can share their thoughts about their experience with pets which can become a starting point for their friendship.
The familial face of your dog and their presence also eases the nervousness and calms the mood which helps break the ice better. So whenever you are hesitant about meeting new people, I suggest you take your dog along if your can.
Improve Your Immunity
Is there anything a dog can’t help you with? I don’t think so. Along with being the much needed emotional support, dogs can help improve your immunity too. How? By exposing you to a variety of allergens and microbes. Sounds like a bad idea but it’s not.
Living in a sanitized environment is not really a good idea. It makes you more prone to being sick with even the most benign elements like pollen. A dog however, brings you into contact with different contaminants that helps your immune system fight better against any invaders. This is why some researchers even say that babies are healthier when around dogs.
We do so much to get healthy. Replace regular cooking oil with healthier ones, follow a workout, drink varieties of smoothies etc. But look beyond these factors, a dog can help you do the same.
It’s aptly proved now that getting a dog is not a bad idea at all. They only help you get healthier and improve your lifestyle positively. So if you don’t own a dog yet, don’t think twice and adopt one right now.