In my mind, dogs truly are the best companion you can have in life. After becoming a dog owner myself almost 3 years ago, I see so many benefits of having a dog in my life. I wanted to write an article about it for anyone who is thinking about getting a dog themselves. Obviously, a dog is a massive responsibility and a lot of work, so you have to make sure you are ready for a big commitment – but this post is about all the positive things these furry friends bring.
First up, a little bit about my dog for anyone who doesn’t know him: My dog is named Bowie after David Bowie who is a big musical favourite in my family. The first time I saw him he jumped into my arms, it was like he chose me and I was instantly in love. He is now almost 3 years old (his birthday is in April) but he still acts like a little, funny puppy. Bowie is a poodle, technically medium-sized but many people say he is small for his size. I have never had a dog before, in fact, I used to be scared of them when I was younger, but before choosing Bowie we did a lot of research on breeds. What we discovered was that poodles are one of the smartest types of dogs and also a great family dog – which to us was a big plus. They are also very affectionate and super cute :-)
I could go on and on about him, but let’s get into what this post is about!
Keep reading to discover the benefits of having a dog in your life and why dogs simply are the best friend you can have:
1 Boost your mood
It is no secret that a dog will bring a lot of joy and happiness into your life, and this is probably the biggest reason why we love them so much. For me, getting Bowie helped me to create more of a routine in my day, get out more, and feel like I have a purpose of taking care of someone else. The unconditional love a dog shows you on a daily basis whether it is jumping of joy when you come home or wanting to lay in your lap are constant mood boosts. In addition, he is always there to make me smile and laugh (a lot) when he does silly things like walking on two legs. All these factors are helping me feel more happy in my day to day life, and have created an increased sense of well-being. It has also been found that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than people who do not have pets.
“All dogs are therapy dogs. The majority of them are just freelancing…”
2 Good for your health
I have read a few studies which indicate that if you have a dog in tour life, you will live longer and at the same time it can make you less likely to get sick. Not only can dogs help to reduce cardiovascular disease but also give you a healthier gut. Apparently, the different types of dirt dogs bring into our homes help expose us to new bacteria which can strengthen our immune system, digestive health and therefore prevent us from getting sick. It is also found that growing up in a house with a dog makes children less likely to develop allergies throughout their lives so that is an added bonus.
3 Get you active
As a dog-owner, you are bound to take daily walks with your pooch and I love the fact that Bowie is a constant reminder in my life to get out for a walk and some fresh air. If I forget to do so, he comes over and puts his paw on my leg to tell me its time. For me, these walks are great not only for keeping fit, but also for my creative process. I put my phone away in my pocket and just focus on my thoughts while we have a wander with my best friend. Whether you are a dog owner or not, keeping active is a great way to help improve your heart health, but sometimes we just need a little reminder to do so and dogs sure help in that department. Besides, they need to be played with so there is lots of time to be active both at home or outside with a dog.
4 Help you be more social
While we talk about being more active, I have found that having a dog also helps in being more social. When I walk Bowie, I always interact with other dog owners (or dog lovers) on the street whether it is a quick hello or a longer conversation. It is almost like having a dog by tour side makes people more likely to approach you, and I like the fact it feels like you are a part of a little community in a way. Living in Italy is great because you can bring dogs with you everywhere, so I bring Bowie with me as much as I can. He comes to the restaurant with us, out for a drink, to go shopping, on hiking trips… and people always love him when they meet him so he spreads a lot of joy!
5 Make you feel less stressed
Daily life can get stressful, and especially when it comes to work. Having a dog around is not only good company but also helps reduce stress. If I ever feel a bit worried or a bit down, Bowie’s little face always brings a smile on my face and having him sit on my lap or stroking him can help me feel calmer. Studies actually show that people who interact with a pet while working have lower stress levels throughout the day, and petting or interacting with a furry friend can reduce stress levels. Having a dog in the office will not only help people to take more breaks and play or walk the dog which again makes them feel more energised, but it also leads to more productivity and happiness in the workplace.
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself”
6 Improve your self-esteem
It might sound a bit funny, but when you have someone who is so happy to see you and want to basically be around you all the time it does give you a confidence boost. I have noticed that it makes me feel less bad about myself when I have someone by my side who thinks the world of me. A dog will help you feel better about yourself, give you confidence and improve your self-esteem, while also provide you with a sense of purpose in life.
7 You are never lonely
If you live by yourself or work from home like me, it can feel a bit lonely sometimes… If you have a pet you will never feel lonely again, you have someone there who is always waiting for you to come home and listen to everything you have to say (although they can’t really say anything back.) In addition, having a furry friend there when you are home alone can make you feel a lot safer. A dog will be the best friend you ever have, someone who is always by your side no matter what and don’t want to be anywhere else than with you.
8 They know how to hygge
When talking about hygge, which is an important part of the Scandinavian lifestyle, I have noticed that having a pet has helped improve this feeling in my own life. Hygge and happiness goes hand in hand, and the affection a dog brings is endless. A dog truly knows how to hygge, and I think it makes them your ultimate hygge partner. They know how to get cozy at home and the importance of a nap and a cuddle – we can all learn from them in terms of slowing down and enjoying each others company instead of stressing around don’t you think?
Being a dog owner is a big responsibility, but if we look at all the benefits mentioned above it makes all that hard work worthwhile in my eyes. They will love you forever and be the best companion, so make sure you treat them as good in return as they deserve!
Do you have a dog in your life? If so, I would love to hear what benefits you have discovered.
Also, make sure you check out my post with the best Nordic style products for your dog.
// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad