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do dogs make you healthier?

I’ve always heard that pet owners, specifically DOG owners, tend to be healthier overall. Many factors play into this, so I decided to take a little looksy myself and see how beneficial it really was to be a doggy-mama. Not to be prejudice to the feline lovers out there, but today’s blog post belongs to the canines. (Unless you can prove to me that taking your cat on a 3 mile run is either A. possible and B. you actually considered it?!)

I’ve had dogs my whole life, and honestly can’t remember a time when we didn’t have a dog. Except maybe when I was 4. I do remember when my dad brought home our first family dog, a wild golden retriever mix named Bear. Bear was the best dog ever, too. But I guess everyone’s first dog is 🙂

 I do strongly believe that having a dog makes you more active, and even happier overall. There are tons and tons of articles online to support my theory, so I scanned thru a few and elaborated on my favorite points for you!

1. Unless your dog is really a cat and is trained to use a litter box, you better believe you will be taking that animal outside at LEAST 5,000 times a day. And most likely, it will be via a leash. And even better, your furry friend will insist that it sniff out the whole yard, thereby encouraging you to walk in multiple aimless circles until the deed is done. And by this point, you will have burned at the very least a handful of calories! Woohoo!! Now if we step up this process a notch on the intensity scale, if you take said furry friend up and down the street a couple times in search of that perfect potty spot, you’ll burn even more calories, and maybe even get your heart rate up! Double whammy! But really, dog walking can be great for lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol, and if it’s sunny out you’ll be able to soak up those lovely Vitamin D rays. Just adding a few extra steps in your routine (such as taking your dog on a walk) can really help increase the total amount of calories you burn throughout the day. Getting your blood pumping on a walk is a good way to get your metabolism going, loosen up those stiff muscles, and instantly improve your mood. Not to mention, walking your dog has all of the benefits of walking– it’s low impact, can lower your risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, etc.

2. YOUR dog will of course be ‘the cutest dog ever’ and spending an exhorbetant amount of time cuddling, loving, and petting him/her can in the end lower your blood pressure and help reduce your stress levels. There’s a reason why dogs are often used as therapy dogs- it’s because of their natural calming effect. Loving on a dog has a way of taking your mind off things- which is one of the best things about coming home from work to your dog! They’re pretty perfect- they will always listen, can’t argue back, and will always agree with you.

3. Dogs provide a sense of companionship. I will be the first to admit that if I’m ever home alone, if my dog is there too I don’t feel nearly as ‘on edge’ as if I were REALLY alone. Also, you’d be lying if you said you didn’t have conversations outloud with your dog. Oh, just me? Ok then.

4. Some things me and Adam have enjoyed about raising a puppy together is that it’s brought us closer together, made us work together in ways we never had to before, and it’s brought us more joy and laughter than we thought was possible. There’s a sense of pride that comes with having your own dog- you want to take care of it, and make it happy, and keep it healthy for as long as possible! It’s definitely made us more responsible!

5. Having a dog makes you WANT to get outside and be more active. When your dog pulls you up the hill, or beats you to that toy, and you feel out of breath? Talk about motivation to get back in shape! I love that I can keep up with my dog and race her up the street. When you’re the least bit motivated to get outside, sure enough your dog will give you the ‘sad eyes’ and you’ll be up in no time. Having a dog I think makes you get more creative with HOW you decide to be active. We’re constantly thinking of places that are dog friendly where we can all go and have fun- walking trails, hiking, down by the river, dog parks, playing frisbee, etc.

If none of these things sound good to you, then maybe you’re a cat person. Meh.

Or, you could try Dogi.

A few of the articles I read are here, here, and here.

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