March 23rd is National Puppy Day which is a holiday most everyone can celebrate! Like donuts, ice cream, and that second glass of wine, puppies are hard to say no to. But, unlike the other options, they come with no calories (unless you’ve been curious what a Milk Bone tastes like, but I digress…). Aside from being calorie-free, puppies and other pets can bring amazing benefits to your life.
Ice Breakers. You may not feel comfortable walking up to a random stranger and saying hello, but when they’re walking around with a cute dog, you may not be able to help yourself. It could happen at the dog park, obedience classes or just walking down the street. Questions like “What’s his name?” “How old is she?” and “Does he do any tricks?” could lead to “What’s your phone number?” “Are you free tomorrow night?” and “Will you marry me?” The dog could even be the ring barrier. Or, you could just make new friends. Friends are good too.
Physical Health. Dog owners need to take their little buddies on a walk. This, along with other games like fetch, help keep your dog healthy but also get your heart moving. In addition to a little cardio, pet owners are also shown to demonstrate lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and lower the risk of heart disease. On top of that, pets are actually shown to fight allergies instead of cause them; recent studies show that homes with infants and furry friends introduce less risks of asthma, eczema and other allergies.
Mental Health. In addition to improving physical health, having a pet in your home has also proven to help your mental health by decreasing stress, increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine (nerve transmitters for calming and pleasure), decreasing depression, and sharpening minds. How could you not feel great when you walk in the door and your pet thinks you’re a celebrity?
Life Lessons. Whether it’s just you and your pet or if you have a large family plus a pet or four, the relationships between pet owners and their four-legged children are always unique. Caring for a pet teaches children valuable lessons of schedules, responsibility and caring for another life. Studies show the work spent in training pets helps remind us the value of patience and help us strengthen our sense of empathy which, as we know, definitely come in handy in other areas of our lives.
Love. Come on… puppy or kitten, goldfish or bird, iguana or gerbil when you love a pet, it’s a member of your family. The greeting at the door, the cuddling on the couch or just the presence in the room can improve any day. Pets’ intuitive nature make them our best friends and confidants. Our lives wouldn’t be the same or as complete without the love that they provide.
So don’t let that backyard go to waste! Sure, there may be the occasional “accident” on the carpet, and you may lose a shoe or two to the chewing monster, but all in all, having a pet in your life can make every day a little brighter and your house feel more like a home.