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Wondering if a dog is right for you?
It certainly can be a big step to bring a dog of any kind into your home. The decision should come by making a conscious choice that your new pet will require some work and effort on your part. However, the benefits you can reap from your canine friend can more than pay you back in wonderful, healthy ways. A dog can be the bridge to challenges that you may be facing or struggles that you just can't quite overcome alone.
Let's dive in to 7 (plus a bonus) compelling reasons why you should consider life with a dog:
1. Lowers blood pressure
There is a reason dogs are used in therapy for the elderly and sick. They calm you, reduce stress, and overall make you feel better. Those little things called serotonin and dopamine are released into your blood stream when petting a dog. These chemicals are crucial for feeling joy and an overall sense of wellbeing. Their calming and relaxing benefits will subsequently lower your blood pressure too. And you did this WITHOUT drugs, which can sometimes have terrible side effects on your body.
We think you should do a little test. Go to your local pet store and locate the adoption center. Ask to spend some time with a pet of your choosing for at least 10 minutes. Afterwards, if you enjoyed the interaction, check your level of "feel good". Were you feeling "blue" beforehand? Do you feel better now? It's really the same effect a person that you love to spend time wth can have on your mental and physical state.
2. Makes you laugh at their antics, makes you happy
When you spend time with a playful dog for any period of time, we promise you - They will Make you Laugh! They are such creative and silly creatures who love to play with their toys. Their "happy" pretty much rubs off on you before you even know it. The same effect as # 1 above begins to take hold of you. Your laughter and smile give way to the positive chemicals being released into your bloodstream. Are you getting the picture?
Whether you are playing fetch, tug of war, or watching a dog go crazy over a toy, you will reap the same healthy benefits. Nothing but a good thing... And if noone is laughing at your jokes, rest assured your dog will love them and laugh with you at the same one over and over again!
3. Breeds responsibility
Dogs require a level of routine that they must get from you in order to stay happy and healthy. Their needs are totally dependent on you and your ability to deliver. Noone gets out of this world successfully without taking on responsibility for their actions and duties. If you have been challenged in this area, owning a dog is a great way to refine and master responsibility.
When you know there is a living and breathing dog waiting for you, it changes the game. It's a reason to get your bum off the bed or couch and take care of your "baby". It's a reason to stay focused on their needs and plan for their checkups, flea treatments, and next outing.
If you have a yonger person under your care, this is also a great way to initiate responsibility without them quite knowing what you are up to. Teach them the ropes of how to care for their dog and then give them the power to do it. You may be surprised at how much the youth in your care will blossom and grow with this experience.
Just make sure you secretly are on stand by to ensure the needs of the dog are always met. We don't want the pet to suffer during this learning and growing exercise.
4. Shows you what unconditional love looks like
What is "unconditional love"?
It is love you show to someone or some living being, regardless of how they treat you. This means loving them even if they are mean to you. This means loving them when they are sick. Loving them after they have been away for a long period of time. Loving them when they may not look or smell so great. Loving them even if they say "bad" things to you. Loving them if they forget to feed you. Loving them no matter what!!
Everything I described above (and more) is what a dog will always give you! It is a perfect picture of the term "unconditional love" and is what all of us should strive to give throughout our life.
Having said that, I need to also state a disclaimer. Showing unconditional love to someone DOES NOT mean that you should ever stay in an abusive relationship where your mental or physical health is in jeopardy. This is a very different dynamic.
The point of this reason is that a dog will always LOVE you, regardless of your actions. However, a dog would also run and hide and shake if they were abused by you. Just wanted to point out the differences and to be very clear that I am not promoting abusive anything.
I believe we are called to give unconditional love to all during our lifetime. Understanding a dog surely teaches you what this looks like and helps you incorporate it into your life. It is a lifelong journey to comprehend this concept and could start for you by owning a pet.
5. Grows your compassion for all living creatures
Do dogs have feelings? We definitely believe they do. If you have observed enough of animals, you can clearly see their feelings on their facial expressions. Pretty much just like us isn't it? Just because they cannot speak our language doesn't mean they are void of feelings.
We believe that once you experience life with a dog and see their different emotions in play, it makes you more compassionate for all living things. A compassionate person is always received with smiles and open hearts. Let us remember this when we are dealing with dogs, cats, or any living creature that is under our power.
Ruling over an animal is a priviledge, not a dictatorship.
6. Creates a social environment for you and breaks the ice
If you are alone, lonely, or out of your element in social situations, then a dog can help you navigate it all. You will never be alone with a loyal furry friend by your side to help you travel through daily life.
But what about meeting new people? Is this tough for you to do? A dog can make all the difference in breaking the ice and establishing a common bond immediately with someone new. A walk in the park with your dog is naturally going to open up opportunies with other pet parents. Meeting people in restaurants, on the beach, or anywhere public is going to be much easier with your warm and loving friend at your side.
Think about it. Most people love pets and are always excited to talk about their furry kids. Exchanging pet stories or sharing pet remedies is a great first step to getting to know someone and making everyone feel at ease.
7. Can show empathy when you are going through tough days.
Ever have a really rough day? Have you experienced a death in your family? Life's hard times have a way of knocking you down for the count. Sometimes, you feel like absolutely noone understands what you are dealing with or how you are feeling...
Enter the faithful dog. Animals, especially dogs, have a gift or sense about them that is able to detect sadness and grief. They intuitively know how to stay close, show gentleness, and love you back to better days.
None of us know when hard times may strike, but it is always comforting to know one of your very best of friends will always be there to see you through to the other side. And you and your dog will be closer and stronger from the trial!
8. A warning system
So, I started with 7 reasons but just had to throw this one in. Whether your dog is wee tiny or way huge, he or she will always let you know when something is astray at your home. They are a wonderful "alarm system" that can be very valuable in today's times. Just know, you may get a few "false alarms" too with all the squirrels running around outside!
Are you totally convinced now that you need a dog really bad? ... but wait - what if you aren't old enough to make the decision by yourself... Hmmmm - you need to do some convincing of course.
How to convince your parents to buy a dog
The very best way is to refer back to # 3 above. What parent doesn't want to see their kid be more responsible? But hey with that being said, you could pretty much use all of the reasons listed in this post.
The most important thing though is to already show responsibility in other areas of your life - especially if there are tasks that your parents are already asking you to step up to the plate on... ;-) (taking out trash, cleaning room... you get the picture)
Now that you have some excellent reasons to get a dog, please remember adoption is always a great choice for you and the pet that is feverishly looking for a loving home! We think adopted pets are even more loving and grateful because they know you truely "saved" them and gave them life and a human to love again. ~~
Do you know another reason for wanting a dog?
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