If you’re thinking of having a dog at home then let us tell you that dogs are the most popular domesticated animals the world over; their popularity is only mildly contested by cats. It is believed in some quarters that they began to play their role as friends and companions of man about 12,000 years ago. Other studies suggest that dogs may have been domesticated over 30,000 years ago. Despite the confusion about the exact period dogs began to function as domestic animals, one thing is certain; dogs have walked and lived closely with man for many thousands of years.
In ancient times, they served as hunting companions and guides and even helped to watch over other domesticated animals such as goats, sheep and cattle. Over the years, while many dogs are still used for these purposes, dogs have become an integral part of so many families offering companionship and so many other benefits.
According to statistics shown by Statista, approximately 17 million households in India keep dogs as pets. This figure is a huge increment to the figures for 2014 – 11.84 million. Some families even have more than one pet dog.
Why do all these families feel the need to keep dogs as pets? Why should you consider keeping a pet dog? These reasons vary from individual to individual and from family to family.
10 scientifically proven benefits of having a dog at home:
Dogs keep you physically active and help you maintain your weight
As a pet owner, you will be mandated to take your pet dog on walks to keep them strong and healthy and also engage in games and playtime with them. Several studies have shown that pet owners are more likely to lose weight steadily or maintain healthy weight even without altering their diet. If you struggle with controlling your weight or maintaining a regular exercise routine, this is one way your pet dog can help you.
They help you meet and interact with new people
For a lot of people, going out with their pet to events and public spaces is enough to set the tone for engaging conversations with other people. Pet stores, training classes and clubs also offer you the opportunity to meet new people with similar interests more often.
They help you control stress and anxiety which would in turn help you maintain a healthy blood pressure
Just stroking your pet dog can help you relax and calm your nerves. For people dealing with high blood pressure, this is very helpful. The regular exercises with your pet would also contribute to lowering your blood pressure.
Dogs are great companions
It is said that dogs are man’s best friends and there’s no lie in that. Having a dog around to cuddle with and engage in fun activities would help to take the edge of the loneliness you might feel.
They help you develop a daily routine and structure
Dogs need to be fed, walked, groomed and played with. All these activities can help to put a semblance of order to your daily life, especially if there is none.
They teach kids responsibility and compassion
Keeping a pet dog requires a certain level of selflessness, consistency and responsibility. If you let your kids play an active role in the care of your dog, these are some of the life skills they would pick up in the process. Even adults can benefit from this.
They help kids build a positive self-image
There’s some satisfaction that comes with being responsible for someone else and taking care of them properly. This experience can help kids build their self-esteem.
Dogs are great for children with learning disorders
It’s been observed that children on the autism spectrum and those with other learning disorders connect really well with animals. This can help kids in this category regulate their stress levels and express themselves.
They can provide security
Dogs can be trained to raise alarm when they sense danger and even disarm intruders where possible.
Cope-up with health issues
Dogs often help people with mental problems and sicknesses associated with old age such as Alzheimer’s to cope with their stress and live happier lives. Older dogs, specifically, are recommended to help ease the stress suffered by older people and those with mental disorders.
Having a dog at home can bring a lot of joy and fun to you and your family. Keeping a dog is not all rainbows and sunshine, but they are definitely worth the effort.