Why should every family have a dog? Ask any pet parent that question and they’ll readily share stories that are full of the sentiments and frustrations of dog ownership.
Can it be challenging sometimes? Sure. But would they give the dog back? Absolutely not — they’re furry members of the family! In fact, 69 million households in America have made the decision to welcome dogs into their homes.
If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to get a dog or perhaps have children nagging you to adopt one, here are six reasons that answer the question: Why should every family have a dog?
People who aren’t used to being around dogs often get annoyed when dogs bark at them. What they may not realize is the dog is only protecting its humans against perceived threats.
The best guard dog breeds often bark to alert their owners of possible dangers around them.
In addition, dogs also like to hover around their owners. They’re by nature protective and will keep an eye out for your child’s safety, strangers on your property, and other sudden and unfamiliar activity.
ALSO READ: How to Introduce a New Dog as a Family Member
For Reducing Anxiety and Depression
Want to know why everybody should get a dog? From being warm cuddle buddies to their silly antics, dogs are some of the best therapists you’ll ever meet. Countless studies have established that our four-legged friends have quite the ability to relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
If you’ve noticed that dogs seems to pick up on their owners’ moods, it isn’t a coincidence. Dogs can be surprisingly intuitive. They may not understand what you’re saying but they’ll instinctively bow their heads in shame when you sound angry, welcome you with licks and jumps when you enter the door, or gently nudge you with their heads for attention when you’re upset.
Dogs’ heightened sense of smell allows them to tell when our levels of cortisol and adrenaline are high. That’s why emotional support dogs and therapy dogs can effectively identify and respond to those experiencing mental and emotional distress.
Teaches Responsibility and Selflessness
Why should everybody get a dog? The potential to learn about the meaning of responsibility and selflessness has to be among the best reasons. If you have kids who are at a developmental age, you’ll find this reason to be particularly compelling.
Owning a dog means being responsible for another life. You’ll need to feed it, play with it, take it on walks, give it baths, and more. In return, owners are rewarded with unconditional love and friendship.
Watching your child grow up with a dog may be one of the most fulfilling experiences you’ll have as a parent. Seeing them learn to take care of each other and put each other’s needs before their own is a great way to teach responsibility and compassion.
Watching your child grow up with a dog may be one of the most fulfilling experiences you’ll have as a parent.
Helps Maintain Good Health
Is getting a dog worth it? Dog owners have lower risks for high blood pressure and heart disease. The mere act of engaging our dogs in play or petting them increases our production of dopamine and oxytocin — neurochemicals that have been linked to bonding and positive feelings.
Because of these by-products that come with owning dogs, it isn’t surprising that they allow us to be more mindful, calmer, and more in-the-moment versions of ourselves.
Since owning a dog also means taking it on walks, your family also gets more exercise and greater motivation to go outside.
For Comfort and Companionship
Dogs provide constant companionship and comfort to their owners. This is particularly relevant for older members of the family who sometimes become isolated with age.
Dogs provide senior citizens with opportunities to bond with another creature, go out for walks around the neighborhood, and give them something to care for.
These balls of fur will be curious and enthusiastic regardless of what we’re doing. They are inherently interested in you and want to be part of every activity whether it’s traveling, camping, or just going about your daily routine. Even if you’re just lazing around on the couch watching TV, they’ll want to be where you’re at.
Who can resist such devotion?
If you can commit to taking care of a dog for the next several years, you’ll be rewarded with unconditional love, friendship, and many happy memories.
Help Manage Behavioral Problems
From autism to ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and more, dogs have been known to have positive effects on children with behavioral problems.
A study involving autistic children had one group read to therapy dogs every week for 30 minutes while the second only read to puppets that looked like dogs. The children who interacted with real dogs exhibited improved social skills, were more likely to share, volunteer, cooperate, and had fewer behavioral problems.
The researchers believe that the unconditional acceptance provided the children with a calming source of comfort that led to better behavior.
ALSO READ: How to Enrich Your Dog’s Life & Stop Them Getting Bored
Why should every family have a dog? There are many good reasons to get a dog. They provide protection, promote mental and emotional health, teach responsibility, help us become more sociable, and offer us companionship.
Before owning a dog, however, we should also make sure that we have the means to take care of one and are willing to make the commitment. Far too many dogs end up in shelters from families who decided to go ahead and changed their minds for various reasons.
If you do decide to get one and can take care of a dog, you’ll be rewarded with unconditional love, friendship, and many years of happy memories.