“Poetry saved my sanity and prevented me from killing myself. My dog saved my heart from turning into hatred to the world. These are the two things I live for and what I wake up for every morning. I am extremely grateful.” — Vivid Vega
They are called Man’s Best Friend, despite being a friend to all. Dogs have proven themselves the most loyal and loving companions in the world who you can always rely on. They occasionally have been named the best choice for a pet due to their innocent nature and protectiveness over their owners.
One living thing who I love all the world is my dog, Buster. He’s been my best friend since I was ten years old. Buster has become a huge part of our family. He joins us on holiday, we celebrate his birthday and give him Christmas presents – as well as his own Christmas dinner. When I hear people say they want a pet, I always agree with them. However, I am biased in telling them that a dog is the best pet, now I know cats nice companions, but I am going to talk about why people should get a dog.
1. They get You out the House.
The fresh air and sunny weather improve your mood, not only that but the sun helps your Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps fight both mental and physical problems, including Depression, Cancer, Obesity and Heart attacks. But even Engaging with nature improves your mental health, as you’re away from technology and calming down with the wind in your hair and sun on your face. Not only that but it also helps you keep fit and lose weight as you have to walk them every day, and even if you since walking for an hour you can help you burn roughly 180 calories.
Not only that but it helps you keep fit and lose weight as you have to walk them every day. Exercise, no matter how little, can improve your physical health. Even if it doesn’t help you lose weight, it can strengthen your heart. Walking reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke as well as being great Cardio for you, it also lowers your LDL cholesterol and raises your HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is really bad for you, while HDL cholesterol is good for you. According to The Stroke Association, if you take a brisk walk for 10 minutes every day, it can control as well as prevent high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to strokes and the walk every day, but daily walks will help reduce the chances by 27%.
2. Fussing Them Reduces Your Stress.
Whether brushing their fur or stroking them helps you to de-stress as this is a form of connecting with them. Connecting with your pet, whatever creature it is, helps create oxytocin. Oxytocin is the hormone that is connected with anxiety relief. When Oxytocin enters your system, it reduces blood pressure and lowers your cortisol level. This, in turn, which helps improve your health. This is because due to the possibility of cortisol can being able to affect you later in life, particularly if not taken care of properly.
It honestly is good for your physical health, and dogs want attention. Cats? While I like cats, they don’t want attention that much, at least not the cats I know. They are solitary creatures and don’t need to rely on people like dogs do, so dogs grow to love us in return and want attention because of that.
Plus, is there anything nicer than fussing a dog as he nuzzles his head further into your hand and whines happily asking you to continue giving him your attention?
3. You Can Talk to Them.
It sounds strange to some people, but dogs do and should become active members of the family. You talk to them and get them used to your family environment. You can sit there and talk to them about whatever you want, knowing it will go no further than the pair of you, and there is no judgment or repercussions.
As I mentioned, Buster is a part of our family, and I fully believe a dog should be part of the family, as “If you can’t love a dog like a family member, don’t get one. Dogs see you as a member of their pack. To them, that is family”. Sadly, I don’t know the author of this quote as if I did I would fully credit them for such an honest truth.
Buster is a confidant for me. I’ve spoken to him about everything. Whenever exams were getting stressful, I spoke to him. Whenever there was something bringing me down, I spoke to him, and it made me feel better. He laid there and looked at me, and even though he couldn’t tell me his thoughts or give me advice, I felt so much better just being able to express my thoughts to another living thing.
4. They Have Proven that Dogs Do Work Well as Therapists.
They also have research which shows that having a dog helps in the reduction of anxiety, pain, and depression. This has been proved so effective that there is now Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) so people suffering from mental illnesses and PTSD are given dogs to help cope. Even people who are undergoing Chemotherapy, as well as other things, can benefit from pets, commonly dogs as they can go most places now. Even physical therapy patients have dogs to help them on their fine motor skills.
Miami University has been known to allow dogs on campus for their students. Since dogs can also ease homesickness, as well as depression, which is higher in students it improves their mood. This commonly happens around Midterms and Finals as this is when those feelings are often at a high amongst students.
5. They Make You Smile.
Who here has seen an animal do something cute or funny, then smile at it? Pretty much everyone, am I right? Thought so.
Many studies have shown that whether it’s your dog placing their paw in your hand, or doing something completely stupid which makes you laugh, it all triggers your neurotransmitters. This then, in turn, raises the Serotonin and Dopamine in you. These, for those who don’t know, are nerve transmitters in your brain that raises your happiness and calms you down.
I cannot count the times Buster has made me smile or laugh because he’s done something to make me laugh. Watching him playfully chase the light reflections from the glass black door always makes me grin. Feeling him rest his head on my knee in the car after a long day always brightens my mood.
6. It Encourages Smokers to Quit.
After getting a dog, Smokers have been shown to give up their habit. This is because the second-hand smoke which is produced has been shown to harm animals. 28% of smokers have quit after seeing the effects of smoke on dogs.
This motivates them to kick the habit sooner than they would have before, or would have encouraged them to quit when they would never have considered it before.
7. They Ease Loneliness.
Recent studies have shown that having a pet helps a person’s sense of feeling as though they belong.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published a paper in 2011 which stated that pet owners had higher self-esteem than those who didn’t have pets. They even reported that pet owners felt more conscientious and coped with social rejection better. Another study showed that single adults, particularly women, had benefited their mental health by owning a dog as they felt companionship with the dog.
So, Dogs are possibly the best pets to get if you’re lonely as they will constantly be by your side. Buster is a perfect example of this. When I get in from school he is always there to greet me and gets extremely excited to have me home. In the evenings when he’s tired he likes resting his head on my arm as I fuss him. In that moment when it’s me and him, I feel content and happy as I know he wants to be around me.
8. You Form an Unbreakable Bond with Them.
Joke all you want about people uses dogs as a replacement for children, but new research shows that the bond between dog and owner is the same as child and parent.
Dogs will behave to their owner like infant children to their parents as they form a secure base bond. This is where children use their parents as a safe and secure base when interacting with environments to make them more confident, and the same applies to a dog.
And as I have a dog myself, I can assure you that this is true. Having my dog has been the best experience of my life, seven years old and still greets me in the mornings with the same love he always has. I love him even more than when I first saw him at ten. He’s my best friend and I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world, and I love knowing the both of us still have lots of memories to make.