If you’re here, you probably already know the joy of being around a furry companion, but there are a few other positives you might not expect. Here are 10 benefits of getting a dog you might not have seen coming.

Workout Buddy

It’s great to have a workout buddy who will always be by your side, and it’s definitely one of the surprising benefits of getting a dog. If you want to run, want someone to get in the way while you do yoga or press ups, or to chase when they make it over the garden fence, you’re in luck. A dog can help you push your workout limits.

Walking’s good exercise. It’s easy to forget that in this modern world of crossfit, bootcamp, and seeing Chris Hemsworth juiced to the gills for every Thor movie. A good old walk is actually very beneficial for the heart and your general sense of wellbeing. And having a dog will make you get up in the morning and go for a walk, starting your day off awake and energized.

It Prepares You For Parenthood

We don’t like the term ‘owner’ at Pep and Pup, we prefer the term ‘dog parents’ or ‘guardian.’ Adopting a dog is not exactly the same as having a child—do not say this to someone with children. But it does teach you some of the rudimentary skills. Getting up in the middle of the night when it’s hungry, or whiny, or scared. Understanding its moods and needs and body language. Putting another being’s needs above your own. Giving it an education and teaching manners. Keeping it well fed and healthy. Paying a lot of money towards its wellbeing. Loving it for life. Does all of this sound familiar?

Managing Money

You’ve probably gotten to the point where you understand your budget and what is disposable income. A dependent pet will teach you how to budget. You’ll have multiple pots for dog food, pet insurance, and emergency veterinary work.

Getting Out in Nature

A woman walking her little dog out in nature on a path through the woods

When you get into nature, you automatically feel better. It’s where we’re supposed to be. We’re not supposed to walk around on hard pavements, only see the colour grey and the white light of screens. Dogs push us to sniff out new places to explore, so are great buddies to have by your side and get back to nature.

Good Mental Health

Coming home to a fish isn’t going to automatically put you in a good mood, although fish tanks do promote calm. But there’s no replacement for a ball of fur that’s always happy to see you. Their presence lowers your heart rate and chills you out within minutes. Dog parents show less signs of stress and depression than people without pets.

Shrugging Off Your Perfectionism

One of life’s chief lessons is that nothing is ever perfect. The journey has its ups and downs. A dog knocking over vases, humping your leg, shaking wet hair onto your floors, smelling like a lake, and peeing on stuff can teach you this lesson and really help it to sink in.

It Can Boost Your Social Life, If You Want

A person walking their golden retriever dog on the sidewalk

Now yes, your pup gets the dog’s share of the attention. But having a dog will be excellent for your social life, if you want it to. You go to parks and walk the neighbourhood. You see the same people and they recognize you, then they stop to chat, because who can resist that furry face? They can even spark love.

It Can Ruin Your Social Life, If You Want

“I’m sorry, I forgot to feed the dog.” No one can question you, or they would be depriving your beautiful puppy of food. So you automatically have an excuse to get out of any ongoing plans that you just aren’t keen on. Check out our guide on how long you can leave a dog home alone.

Heart Health

Some studies have shown that heart attack patients live longer if they have pets. Male pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (signs of heart disease) than those who don’t. So while a puppy can melt your heart and a dog can steal it, they’re actually very beneficial for it too.

Unconditional Love

There are only a few people in our lives who will love us unconditionally. If you show love to your dog, you will always have someone to come home to who loves you, even on the bad days when you’re out of sorts, or when you don’t love yourself all that much. Dogs don’t judge, question, or admonish; they just love.

Did we miss any other benefits of having a dog that you weren’t aware of before letting one into your life?

Image Credits

Photo by Martin Dalsgaard on Unsplash

Photo by Andriyko Podilnyk on Unsplash

Photo by Magdalena Smolnicka on Unsplash

Photo by Anna Dudkova on Unsplash