When you work from home like me it can get a bit lonely sometimes. Many people choose to get a pet to keep them company. Dogs are a perfect companion because they always love to be with people and will come and lie at your feet whilst you are working on your laptop. I have found out that there are plenty of physical and mental health benefits that owning a dog can bring as well. Of course I only have my cats, but if my landlord would let me, I would love to have a dog too!
Dogs can reduce your stress levels
Stroking and playing with your dog can make you feel calmer and more relaxed. You will feel your stress levels reduce and you will take on a more positive outlook. It is often the act of caring for another living thing that makes you feel so much better about yourself and your life.
I know that some people worry that the very opposite will happen. They are very worried that owning a dog will tie them down and that they will be tied to the house all the time. This could become stressful and upsetting for them. It’s very easy to get around this by using the pet services in your local area. You can get the support of local teams of pet sitters who provide a high quality, personal, competitively priced pet sitting service. This allows you to get out and about to do what you want whilst your lovely pet is in good hands. They will still be pleased to see you when you get home after a long day out.
Dogs are good for your heart
One of the best things that you can do to keep your heart and lungs healthy is to get a lot of exercise. You need to at least go for a brisk walk every day that lasts for around half an hour or more. A trip to the gym around three or four times a week is ideal. However, this can be tricky for me because my job involves a lot of sitting down at a desk!
When you have a dog, you have no choice about it! You have to go out for at least two walks a day. You cannot use the weather as an excuse because the dog will not care. Your pet will remind you when it is time to go. Dogs are more effective than exercise apps at getting you out of the house and are a lot more fun.
Dogs can detect health conditions
Dogs have a highly developed sense of smell and are very intuitive. They know more about you than you probably realise. There have been several studies that have shown that dogs can sniff out a cancerous tumour and there are plenty of newspaper reports featuring dog owners that back this up.
They can be trained to sniff out things that you may be allergic to. So, if you have a peanut allergy, you can train your dog to sniff out peanuts and potentially save your life. Some dogs are actually trained as medical alert dogs and work with people who suffer from diabetes. They can detect when your blood sugar levels have gone wrong and can alert help or get you your medication. These marvellous dogs save lives on a daily basis all over the country.
Cuddles mean happiness
Cuddling is very good for you! Physical contact releases a hormone called oxytocin which makes us feel happy and relaxed. Your anxiety levels can be significantly reduced with a cuddle. If you don’t have a special someone yet that you can cuddle up to, a hug with your four-legged friend will do the job. Cuddling a dog will significantly increase your oxytocin levels.
Dogs also prevent loneliness and can help with depression. They offer unquestioning loyalty and love and we all need that in our lives sometimes.
They can increase your self-esteem
Low self-esteem is at the heart of many mental health issues. Anything that raises your self-esteem and your feelings of self-worth is a good thing. Dogs can do that. They make you feel valuable and needed and that lifts your mood. They welcome you when you get back in the house and come and lie by you when you sit down. This makes you feel wanted and loved and can help if you are battling a mental health issue such as depression.
So, what are you waiting for? Look after your mental and physical health and get out there to find a four-legged friend to keep you company!