Dogs make good pets because they provide therapeutic and health benefits to their owners. They can help reduce a person’s loneliness, decrease stress and encourage exercise.
Dogs offer wholehearted love and affection that bring physical and mental health benefits to people, states Helpguide.org. Dogs provide companionship that diverts their owners from problems and makes people feel needed. The American Heart Association has associated pet ownership, particularly dogs, with a lower risk of heart disease and longer life. Studies also reveal that pet owners have lower chances of suffering from depression compared to people without pets. The main reason taking care of a dog has therapeutic effects is that pets usually satisfy the basic need of humans to touch. Stroking or holding a pet animal can quickly calm a stressed individual.
Dogs also help people maintain an active lifestyle, as owners usually have to take their pets for a walk. Researchers have found that dog owners have a higher likelihood of meeting their daily exercise requirements than people without dogs. Pets also promote social interaction, as dog owners often greet and converse with each other while taking their pets for a walk. Moreover, dogs bring pleasure and give a sense of self-worth to aging adults, especially people who choose to adopt a dog from a shelter. Pets allow seniors to stay healthy by encouraging exercise, playfulness and laughter.