The Power of Pups
Ahhhh, puppies. One of life’s sweetest pleasures. Their playful energy and joyful spirit are enough to melt a heart of stone. As the pup matures and becomes a dog, most families begin to forget what life was like before their four-legged family member came along. The truth is, dogs have been capturing our hearts for centuries. Owners feed, brush, vaccinate, pet and care for their dog without expecting much more than snuggles and kisses -- but did you know they are actually serving you too? Research proves that hanging out with our furry friends can do wonders for our health and well-being. Being required to pet, walk and feed a dog adds meaning, purpose and structure to the day. Regardless of how you are feeling or how poor the weather is, your pup depends on you to take them out for walks, socialization and play. The gift is that we are also reaping health benefits from walking and socializing with other dogs and their owners. It’s recommended that adults get two and a half hours of moderate physical activity every week. Dog owners are much more likely to hit that goal because of their necessary daily walks. During the winter months when most people would choose to remain inside, dog owners are more likely to get off the couch and move. Ever wonder why therapy dogs are so effective? Spending just a few minutes with a pet can greatly reduce stress. A dog’s lighthearted and judgment-free personality is proven to decrease blood pressure, lower anxiety and even increase serotonin and dopamine (the neurochemicals that help make a person feel calm and positive). Even having a dog in the workplace has been proven to help ease tension while performing stressful tasks.
Next time you pass by an adoption center, or a friend needs a dog sitter, or your child asks for the 99th time to get a cute pup, think of all the wonderful ways that “man’s best friend” will effortlessly contribute to your life.