The Health and Social Benefits of Owning a Dog

Rejoice Denhere

They go beyond devoted companionship

As soon as I hear the sound of tinkering bells outside my window I know that it’s six o’clock in the evening.

I don’t need to check the clock to confirm this because I know it’s Mary from down the road. She takes her dog for a walk round the neighbourhood at six o’clock every single evening. He wears adorable tinkering bells around his neck that chime as he and his owner waddle along their well-trodden path.

Last week I bumped into Mary on the street in the afternoon and stopped for a chat. As I was playing with her dog, Barny, I asked her how often she takes him out for a walk.

“At least three times a day,” she replied. “When it’s time for his walk he goes up to the door and goes, woof, woof. Then he comes to me and goes, woof, woof again.”

“I know that’s his way of telling me, ‘it’s time for my walk, lady’,” she says with pride in her voice.

Mary clearly adores her four-legged companion. He keeps her company, helps her stay fit and listens sympathetically when she talks to him, she tells me.

As Josh Billings said,

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.

Taking care of Barny not only keeps Mary busy but she has less time to worry about things. Overall, Barny is good for her health and well-being.

Fortunately, we live in a neighbourhood that is close to woodland where there is a small river. Many dog owners in Redbridge Village take their dogs there for a run and a cooling swim afterwards. Professional dog walkers can also be seen with packs of up to six dogs, clearly having fun.

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Image credit: Author

For dog owners who are not too keen on walking in woodlands, there is a local park with open spaces. It has a playground for children and one can often see football lovers practising their game or people walking and running with their dogs.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) it has been scientifically proven that owning and taking care of dogs is beneficial for mental health and well-being.

Dogs are not our whole life but they make our lives whole. - Roger Caras

The health and social benefits of owning a dog go beyond devoted companionship. Dogs can make people’s lives better.

  1. They are a distraction to life’s problems which can in turn reduce stress levels.
  2. They help their owners feel safer as they can protect them from intruders or warn them of impending danger.
  3. They give meaning and purpose to life. As they need to be taken care of, their owners are obligated to be more active. It gives them a reason to get out of bed each morning.
  4. They can help owners meet and connect with new people which reduces social isolation and depression.

If you’re feeling lonely, owning a dog could be your answer. Above all, owning a dog is good for your overall well-being.

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Lifestyle writer | Published Author | Business owner I write about leadership, personal development, life lessons and wellness. My goal is to inform as well as inspire readers.

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