We all know that dogs are great. I mean, who can resist squealing with delight when you see a bouncing Corgi butt or a the spotted mug of a Dalmatian trotting down the street?
Dogs have been an important part of my life since I was very young. So important that I believe my parents still have a scrap a paper from when I was in 7th grade that dictates that when I saved up one million dollars my parents would buy me a puppy.
I didn’t quite make it to one million dollars that summer (just a couple bucks shy…) but my family and I did end up getting a puppy and my true passion for our canine friends began.
I spent many of my post-college years working at doggy daycare and boarding facilities. Ultimately, I ended up learning A LOT about dogs. I learned about dog breeds, behavior, health, first aid, and training techniques. I read books about dog phycology, dog behavior and training techniques and I got to actively put what I learned into practice each day when I went to work!
I will always love dogs. They truly are mans (and womans!) best friend. With their caring, intuitive and goofy nature dogs are a lot like us!
So here it is; Three Benefits to owning a dog!
- Exercise! Dogs need exercise. Fun fact: so do you! Now, the amount and intensity of the required exercise will vary depending on breed. You can get away with less exercise for some breeds such as English Bull Dogs or Pomeranians, but keep in mind that no matter what the breed all dogs need exercise, even if it is just a little bit! I have a 100lb Husky/German Shepherd mix, so we are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Sir Mac N Cheese requires a lot of exercise. He enjoys at least one walk a day, fetch in the backyard and some vigorous rounds of tug of war. All of those things require me to get moving too! Since my diagnosis of MS, Sir Mac N Cheese is definitely my number one guy to help me get my much-needed daily walk in!
- Emotional Support When I was diagnosed with MS and going through my first two rounds of Steroid Infusion Therapy Sir Mac N Cheese would not leave my side. He sat next to me on the couch, laid with me in bed, and even followed me into the bathroom. When I had a rough day he would lay his head gently on my lap and sigh deeply, reminding me to take a deep breath, everything would be ok. When I cried tears of pain and frustration he would lick them worriedly off of my cheeks, quickly turning my tears into laughter. I have no doubt in my mind (not to mention there is plenty of scientific research backing this) that dogs have a way of sensing human emotion, and learn ways to comfort us when we need it. Think about it, from the moment your dog came home you have been his world, his support, his caretaker when he was sick and hurt, his teacher and his best friend. He is just trying to do the same in return to you!
- Laughter Dogs have a remarkable way of going from the majestic beasts descended from wolves that they are, to the worlds biggest goofball in just about the blink of an eye. Dogs never lose their sense of play, just like humans, even as adults they still enjoy the occasional bout of silliness! This makes them not only steadfast and comforting companions, but some damn goofy ones too! My dog makes me laugh on at least a daily basis. Maybe it’s the husky in him but he is one odd duck. But laughter does so much more than just make you feel good! Laughter has been proven to be beneficial in short-term memory performance, burning calories, lowering your cortisol levels (stress hormone), regulating blood sugar levels, boosting immunity and so much more! Laughing is good for us!
So tonight when you see your pup waiting patiently for you when you get home give him a big smooch and a good belly rub. Just remember, to you he may just be part of your world but to him you are his whole world.