November is always a time to reflect and remember all that we’ve been blessed with. And if your home is shared with a cuddly companion, you definitely have a lot to be grateful for. If you do have a four-legged best friend, you most likely spend all year long being thankful, but this season is the perfect time to really think through all the reasons they make our lives better. And the reality that we really don’t deserve dogs.
Studies have shown that our furry-besties do way more than they’re required, and we love them even more for it. There are so many amazing benefits of having a dog, and that’s why this Thanksgiving season, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 reasons that really show why dogs are simply the best.
- They help relieve stress.
Even on the most hectic days, just seeing a dog can help you smile and feel better. One of the most fascinating health benefits of dogs is their amazing ability to make us feel calm, and science has proven that dogs actually help reduce stress. That’s why so many pups serve as therapy dogs today to help their humans with everyday anxieties. In fact, research shows that playing with or petting a dog can increase levels of the oxytocin hormone, while decreasing production of the cortisol stress hormone.
- They make us laugh.
They say laughter is good for the soul, and if you have a dog, chances are you get a good chuckle on a daily basis. We believe the benefits of owning a dog are endless, but one reason to keep a canine in your home is their ability to make us laugh – even on the hard days. Studies have shown that dog-owners do more laughing than any other pet-owners out there. And in fact, we make our dogs laugh, too.
- They’re good for your heart.
But really. While there are so many benefits of having a dog, the impact they have on our hearts might just be the best. Not only do they fill them with so much love, but they actually can make them healthier! According to the American Heart Association, owning a dog can even protect you from heart disease. Studies have shown that dog owners tend to have lower blood pressure. In fact, blood pressure actually goes down when we merely pet our pup!
- They make you feel like royalty.
You’re the best part of their day, and they’ll prove it as soon as they see you. Dogs are always ecstatic and grateful to welcome you back home, whether it’s been 5 minutes or 5 days. In fact, they spend all day just waiting for you to walk through the door, because their favorite thing is just being beside you.
- They instill healthier habits.
One of the most basic facts about dogs is that they like to move. Most of them, anyway. That’s why one of the key benefits of owning a dog is that they significantly increase the amount you move, too. They want to be walked and played with, which helps get you going on a regular exercise routine, sometimes without even realizing it! You may be unmotivated to get in those steps, but knowing your pup needs it helps keep you moving.
- They’re great security systems.
There’s no better doorbell than a dog. Pups are all about protecting their property and their people, and they have no problem letting strangers know it. Dogs make us feel safer because you know that any unwanted visitors will hear your alarm system upon arrival. Dogs are generally always on alert and are very intelligent, so they’ll raise the alarm when anyone is at the door, and you’ll know if there is any possible danger.
- They help us make friends.
Everyone wants to pet the cute pup. Anyone who has good taste, that is. And in today’s solo-society where we spend more time texting than actually speaking, many people have trouble making connections. Having a pet can be the perfect way to meet and interact with others. Whether it’s at the pup park or just on a casual stroll, dogs can be good icebreakers, making it easy for their humans to start up a conversation.
- They make great coworkers.
The best desk mate is a dog. There, we said it. And more and more employers are believing it. It’s becoming common for canines to be allowed at work, and employees are happier because of it. Both employers and employees have said that having dogs at work creates more camaraderie, helps them pass long work hours more happily, and reminds them to take much-needed breaks.
- They help keep us happy.
Dogs and humans have formed a special bond overtime, creating a companionship that only those who own a pet would understand. We are obsessed with our dogs because they love unconditionally and provide us with a sense of emotional wellbeing. They help us learn how to have more patience, give more love, and appreciate time. Studies have even proven that when people lock eyes with their dogs, it generates the "love hormone" which automatically makes you happy. Bring on the oxytocin!
- 10.They’re truly heroes.
Among the many reasons to get a dog is for personal protection. Even beyond that, there are dogs at work who sniff baggage at the airport, smell out explosives and smuggled drugs, track down criminals, and fight alongside our soldiers. Their abilities help others every day –from service dogs who lead the blind to medical dogs who literally sniff out cancer, dogs’ incredible senses of hearing and smell have saved countless lives.
They say that dogs repay the love you give them ten-fold, and we definitely believe that. This Thanksgiving, give your pup the extra they deserve – a little more love, a little more of your attention, or even a little special something to show them how much they’re appreciated.