Ranging from small to large to mutts in between, dogs are family and part of our lives. They help us learn and understand unconditional love. Dogs bring devoted companionship, constant entertainment, and love to the home.
Every dog lover and fan knows why life is better with a dog. And it is not just a pure feeling we have. We base that premise on science as well. Recent studies prove how the canine-human relationship benefits all of us. Dog owners love their dogs because they are companions that share their lives with us. We often even make pins from personalized dog pins service for our dogs.
Today, we will talk about the benefits of owning a dog and how to pick the right breed for you.
Benefits of Owning a Dog
We base these benefits on science. There are lots of proven studies and research on the canine-human relationship recently. They prove scientifically the benefits of having a puppy in your home.
- According to a study in the late 1980s, dogs relieve stress. Just playing with a dog or petting a puppy will lower your blood pressure and heart rate
- According to the American Journal of Cardiology, pet owners have a higher rate of survival from a heart attack than non-pet owners
- Dogs make us feel happy. Simply looking at their eyes stimulates the release of oxytocin, the love hormone. Dog owners have a lower risk of depression, and that applies even more to older people
- Research shows that people over 60 years living without a human companion, but with a pet have a much lower risk of depression than non-pet owners
- Dogs make us social, as we often talk to people we met in the park. Dogs are a great conversation starter. And at the very least, you have to walk your dog two times per day. Think about the people you meet on your daily walk
- Dogs also keep up in good shape. Dog owners engage in moderate physical activity, walking an average of 300 minutes per week. Most dog owners walk at least an hour per day with their dog
- And this is a huge benefit as well, dogs make us look more attractive. One study in the UK people look more attractive and more approachable when they have a dog
How to Pick the Right Dog?
It is not easy to pick the right pet for you. Picking the right dog is a process you have to approach with the right mindset. A lot of dog owners pick the wrong breed for them. And as a result, we have more dogs on the streets. Before adopting a pet, try to answer a few questions.
- How long will the dog live?
- What does he eat?
- How much does he eat?
- What about veterinary costs/expenses?
- Does he thrive in an environment with children?
- How much exercise does he need?
- What type of habitat does he need?
These questions will give you a sense of what type of dog you need. And what can you afford to have in your home? Let’s take a deeper look into the factors playing a role when choosing the right dog breed for you.
Size matters. Some people live in a tiny apartment, and they can only offer a home to a smaller lap dog. They want to carry their dog around. Other people have their heart set on a large dog breed.
And more often than not, people opt for a medium-size dog. It is the best middle ground. Small dogs are great but vulnerable. You might step on them or mishandle them and cause serious injury. Toy breeds and apartment dogs are sensitive to cold temperatures. For example, some breeds like Maltese do not go outside during the winter months. They do their business inside in a designated area.
And with small dogs, you also have the challenge of obedience training. Smaller dogs often carry the “big dog” attitude. That means they might be more stubborn than their large friends.
Large dog breeds need more space to move around. They also carry higher veterinary bills. The larger the dog, the more food he needs.
How much time can you spend daily with your dog? Dogs are not toys or decorations we put in our homes. They need activity and lots of it. Some dog breeds need more activity and exercise than others.
You cannot rely on breed always. There are pugs that go hiking with their humans. And then there are retrievers that turn into lap dogs. It is all about training.
But generally speaking, there are high-energy dogs and low-energy dogs. You have to adjust your time accordingly. If you get a Jack Russell terrier, you have to prepare yourself for a lot of activity and exercise. On the other side, French bulldogs spend most of their time sleeping.
Your dog requires exercise, but also physical maintenance. You might fall in love with a Poodle. But how much maintenance does it need? All dogs need basic grooming, but some need a bit more love and effort.
Dogs with long, floppy ears are also prone to ear infections. They need regular ear cleanings.
Some people love taking care of an elder dog. They want to give the elder dog love in his last days. But if you want a dog to stay longer with you, get a puppy. We just have to warn you. Puppies need a lot more training. They know nothing about this world. Prepare yourself for some housebreaking, accidents, chewing, and destruction in your home.
Patience is a must with young puppies.
Keep a healthy environment
Now that you have a dog, it is important that you keep a healthy environment for you and your dog. Whenever you play with your dog, feed him, or clean after, wash your hands. Practice good hygiene to stay healthy. Running water and soap is just fine. Sometimes, you can use hand sanitizer until you have running water available.
Keep your pet healthy as well. Provide regular veterinary care. Talk to your vet about how to keep your dog healthy. Often, that includes regular exercise, food, fresh water, clean bedding, and some maintenance.
At the end of the day, you also have to practice good hygiene. If you live in a house with a big yard, this is even more important. That means cleaning after his feces. Remove his feces from the yard to prevent parasites and germs. If you have a cat, that means cleaning sandboxes.
Last, but not least, teach children how to interact with animals. Children under 5 years can act aggressively toward the dog. And you might encounter an incident. That is why you should never leave a child without supervision close to your dog.