According to a survey carried out by PDSA, 26% of the UK adult population own at least one dog. That’s an estimated number of over 9.9 million pet dogs living in the UK.
Despite them leaving a trail of dog hair all over your home, having to pick up after them and spending a fortune on their food and vet bills, in the UK, we absolutely love our dogs. There are more and more dog-friendly pubs, cafes and fun things to do with your dog cropping up every week. But what are the benefits of having a pet dog for your overall health and wellbeing?
Always have a companion
If you live alone or spend a large portion of the day at home on your own, you can become isolated and lonely quite quickly. This is especially prominent in those individuals that work from home, or are unable to work due to health or other personal reasons. Having a pet dog means that you will always have a companion to keep you company at home. They may not be able to hold a conversation with you, but just knowing that they are there can be enough to combat any form of loneliness. Dogs are well-known for having empathic tendencies too, they will know when you are in need of some extra love.
Greeted by a friendly face
One of the best things about owning a dog is the complete unconditional love that you share with each other. There is no better feeling than coming home after a long and stressful day, and being greeted by a friendly face and wagging tail. As dogs don’t have the same concept of time as us humans, no matter how long you have been away from the house for, the likelihood is, you will still get a huge welcome home from your furry friend. It’s something that dog owners look forward to all day long.
Makes you exercise
If you have a tendency to stay indoors all day and not get some fresh air, then getting a dog is a great idea for you. It is scientifically proven that exercising every day, even if very brief, is great for your overall physical and mental health. When you have a dog, you have no excuse but to get out of the house to give them a walk each and every day. A breath of fresh air for both of you.
Reduces stress levels
Researchers at Washington State University have found that stroking a dog for just 10 minutes can relieve stress in humans. The bond that you develop by petting and stroking a dog, releases hormones in the brain that help you relax and forget about any worries you may have. Many universities across the country are now running regularly ‘puppy days’ in conjunction with charities such as Guide Dogs UK, to allow their students to take a break from stressful studying.
Improves your immune system
Having a pet dog living in your home can actually strengthen your immune system. An article published on Purina.co.uk, explains that dog owners generally have a much better immune system and visit the doctors less than individuals that have never owned a dog. If they do catch a sickness or a bug, recovery time is often reduced significantly. Children who have a furry friend living with them at home have fewer days off school due to sickness. Dog ownership can also help with recovery from mental health issues.
If you have been thinking of getting a pet dog, but were unsure, hopefully this article has managed to convince you to make the next step in finding your perfect pooch. However, please remember that dogs are a big commitment and you must be able to provide excellent and correct care to make sure your dog thrives. It is not a decision to be taken lightly.