10 Benefits to Have a Dog in the Family. If you have a dog in your family, you will have your own reasons why you adopted them in the first place. Once they become part of your family, you will learn many more as their character and nature reveal themselves.
However, even people who have shared their lives with dogs for years may not know some of the less obvious ways dogs can benefit you. Whether you have a big family or you and your dog are the only family you need, here are some benefits of having a furry friend that may surprise you.
1. Dogs are very cute
There are plenty of reasons why dogs make great companions for families. They’re cute, which obviously makes them great to have around, but there are also scientific explanations for why we love them so much.
The “biophilia hypothesis” by Kellert and Wilson suggests that human beings have an innate need to relate to other living beings, due to our highly social behavior.
This leads many people to be attracted to dogs because they provide us with that social interaction that we crave.
2. Dogs help us to learn
Before anyone decides to adopt a dog, they need to think about the responsibility that comes along with it. Dogs are cute, but that can never be a reason at the expense of their well-being.
Dogs need the right level of care and attention to lead a happy and healthy life. For this reason, they are a great way to teach members of a family responsibility.
Not only do dogs need practical care needs met, but they also need education guidance. Knowing how to teach basic orders is not only good for the dog, but also for their guardian.
Dogs provide us with so many benefits, one of which is that they help us to stay active and healthy. Depending on the breed and health of the dog, they will need 2-4 walks a day. Some dogs may even need more specific or intense exercise.
This is great for us because we also have to be active in order to keep the dog healthy, resulting in us staying fit as well. For people with heart problems, walking a dog is an ideal way to get exercise without overexerting ourselves.
4. Dogs help us sleep in winter
The phrase “three dog night” is used in many different cultures to describe a cold night. The phrase is a little esoteric, but its meaning is fairly straightforward.
When living somewhere very cold, some communities would have their dog sleep beside them to keep warm. On a particularly cold night, one dog wouldn’t be enough.
Therefore a three dog night is a night so cold, you need three dogs a your side to stay warm. This brings us to our next reason. One of the often overlooked benefits of having a dog in the family is their coziness.
5. Dogs make us happy
Dogs have been shown to help us out in a number of ways – from reducing stress before exams to lowering anxiety levels and blood pressure.
A lot of this has to do with the calming presence of dogs, as well as the physically reassuring act of petting them. If you’re looking for a scientific reason to owning a furry friend, there you have it!
6. Dogs help us to be sociable
Walking the dog has a lot of benefits that go beyond just getting some exercise. It’s also a great way to be sociable.
When we go to our local dog park, walk around the block or even attend dog related social groups, we’re giving ourselves a chance to be social and meet new people. Even when we’re not feeling particularly sociable, our dogs give us a reason to go out and engage with the world.
7. Dogs can improve our immune system
Zoonotic diseases are those which can be transferred from dogs to humans. Fortunately, these are in the minority of ailments which affect dogs. However, even healthy dogs have levels of bacteria which can be beneficial to us.
By their nature, dogs will want to explore and interact with almost anything in their environment. For this reason, although we need to be considerate of their safety, the bacteria they pick up can help keep our own immune system in check.
8. Dogs help people with autism
Dogs can make great companions for people with autism, both children and adults. Because each person with autism experiences the condition differently, it’s hard to say how dogs might affect them behaviorally.
However, one general characteristic of autism is difficulty relating to other people. For many people with autism, dogs can provide a sense of stability and calmness that is very reassuring.
The reason people with autism often find it easier to bond with the family dog is due to the dog’s predictable forms of communication.
In general, this favors positive social relationships, decreased anxiety, positive physical contact and improved self-esteem for the person with autism.
While there are scientific reasons to get a dog for a person with autism, it is also important to consider the two individuals in each case to make sure it is the right fit.
9. Dogs are our best friend
There are plenty of great reasons to have a canine companion in the family. One of the best is that we get to learn their personality. A well-socialized family dog should bond closely with their human family and become a great friend.
We get to learn their rhythms, traits and individual characteristics. sharing experiences with our dogs can lead to memories we cherish forever.
10. A dog’s love is infinite
Even in families where there is a lot of love, it is still easy to have problems and tension. Dogs remain by our side during these tough times – they don’t leave us when we’re shouting or having mood swings.
Dogs have an infinite capacity to love us, and their love is always sincere and unconditional. One of the best reasons to have a dog in the family is because of their ability to spread love.
Having a dog is one of the best things you can do for your family. Not only do they provide companionship, but they can also help teach children responsibility. If you’re thinking of adopting a dog, be sure to watch our video on why it’s best to adopt a stray.
See More: 5 Reasons to Adopt a Cat