Dog owners live longer, have less stress, and are happier than others. There are three key ways that dogs boost your health, and many other side benefits of being a dog owner.
Owning a Dog
Not ready to take the plunge? Become a dog-sitter via Rover.com, or sign up to be a dog walker in your free time. You’ll soon find that your outlook on life and your physical well-being have undergone a transformation–and you won’t want to go back.
Spending time with a dog regulates cortisol levels, the primary stress hormone. We need cortisol to get out of bed and live our lives, but when it’s too high at the wrong times of day, it takes a drastic toll. Elevated cortisol is associated with mental illness, heart disease, autoimmune conditions, and many other illnesses. Ultimately, it makes us susceptible to whatever comes our way.
Scientific research has demonstrated that just a few minutes in the company of a pup can reduce cortisol levels and other indicators of stress. What’s more, the daily routine that you get into with your dog can help you manage stress in healthy ways, and take control over your cortisol. Waking up early to take your dog outdoors and going to bed at a reasonable hour will shift you away from the tired-and-wired cycle that can wreak havoc on your long-term health.
Dog owners don’t just have a handy excuse for a daily run or walk. They engage in active play, an essential form of movement that most of us leave behind in childhood. Sitting for hours each day is hardly what humans evolved to do, and it’s no surprise that it affects every aspect of our health.
With a dog in your home, any and every moment is an opportunity to play. Your pet will entice you to get off the couch for an impromptu tug-of-war session, or to venture out into the backyard to run around together. You’ll go to the dog park, take walks in inclement weather, and reconnect with your love of nature and love of play. These qualities are inherent to humanity, but most of us actually learn to forget these passions as we grow. Soon, you’ll find yourself enjoying weekend hikes and weekday romps like never before.
Mindfulness is all the rage, and there’s a good reason for it. Becoming fully engaged with the present is the key to lasting joy and peace, which take hold far deeper than the latest “happiness” trend. Dogs are truly present wherever they are, no matter what they’re doing. They’ve already detached from the past and future because they don’t rely on memory and planning the way that people do.
Observing your dog in nature will teach you something essential about letting go of worry and just being. As your dog gets excited about a squirrel or chases a butterfly, you’ll be able to reflect on the simple pleasures of life in a whole new way. Everything weighing you down will feel a little lighter. And you’ll be able to reach the place of tranquility you never knew you were looking for.
Don’t be afraid of the responsibility that comes along with owning a dog. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but you’re not alone. Rover is a community full of dog-lovers who will provide support, guidance, and camaraderie on your journey. If you feel ready to adopt a dog, you can look to Rover for reliable pet-sitters who can assist you with everything from training to socializing to daily walks. Anyone can benefit from dog ownership, and the results will last a lifetime.