Why everyone should adopt a dog

There are a lot of good things coming from owning a dog when you’re chronically ill like me. In my case, I’ve grown up with two family dogs. In fact, there are a lot of dogs in my family, most are saved out of a shelter, and most are Spanish. My dog is also a rescue, though not Spanish. I remember when I was sad of feeling sick as a teenager, my old black dog (who died this year, sadly) came to sit next to be and sniff my face, or just look at me sympathetically. When I moved out of my parents’ house at 22 and went to live together with Boyfriend, obviously we didn’t have pets (because most apartments don’t allow pets, and we were full-time students).

But I sure missed the companionship and love of a dog in the house! Now, we live in an apartment were pets are allowed, so we moved my cat in (who was still living at my parents’ house) and eventually adopted Kai, our rescue dog. One of the reasons I wanted a dog is because I’m chronically ill. Now, you can say: if you’re ill and can barely take care of yourself and your surroundings, how will you take care of a dog? It’s an extra responsibility. Which is true. But I didn’t leave the house for days in a row. I didn’t know if it was cold outside. Going on a walk on my own just wasn’t for me, I would just focus on my symptoms and feel faint. With Kai, I have to go outside several times a day. Now I know what the weather is like, if it’s cold, feel the rain on my skin and the sun in my face. I work on strengthening my body, my muscles, when I go outside and walk a bit longer everyday. There are butterflies of happiness in my stomach when I see Kai run and dance when walking outside (he really loves going out). Plus, there is the companionship I was craving. Being chronically ill can be very lonely. Especially when your partner is still a full-time student, or has a full-time job and a lot of responsibilities. I was alone most days. Even though I feel just fine being by myself (I prefer my own companionship over lots of social interactions), being alone that much wouldn’t make anybody happy. And as my friend Brian says: with an unhappy heart, you can’t heal. Today I thought about all the good Kai brings me and decided to go search the internet to find out what more advantages there are with owning a dog (yes, I’m quite the journalist lately).

1. Apparently, you get sick less often. Wow, imagine that I would be sick even more often because of not owning a dog. I think this advantage is yet to come though, because we only have Kai for about two months in which I had the flu for a full three weeks and have yet to fully recover from that (and from the holidays as well). Dogs bring germs in the house which forces your body to fight off all kinds of bacteria, which makes your body stronger in the end.

2. It turns out that children who grew up with animals in the house have less allergies than children who never had pets. This starts when you’re a fetus in your mothers belly. When your mother was around pets during the pregnancy, you have less chance of developing allergies (though watch out with kitty litter, never clean the litterbox while pregnant!).

3. Owning a dog will make you happier. Even clinically depressed people benefit from owning a dog. It’s even said to be better than medicine (debatable, and there are many, many different theories and opinions about whether or not to use medicine, and I’m not going into that now, or ever).

Having a dog around forces you to have a routine, to get out of bed, to get out of the house every few hours, soak up some vitamin D while you’re outside, and more of those little things that can make a lot of difference. And do we even need to talk about the love your dog gives you? You are his very best friend and he will show you that every day. It’s harder to stay in a bad mood when you’re dog is so happy to see you every day when you wake up.

4. Owning a dog is good for your heart. Petting a dog lowers your heart rate and blood pressure. Studies show that dog owners sleep better at night and are more likely to survive a heart attack. Now, my university schooled side wants me to be critical of this and follow up on the sources, which I am going to do, but not now. Of course, a dog forces you to exercise, and it is well known that 30 minutes of low intensity exercise is good (and necessary) for your health.

Also, you’re more likely to interact socially with other pet owners. Dogs are great conversation starters, and you may even get a friendship or a date out of it!

5.It turns out that dogs are good at detecting cancer. He can actually safe your life. Stories of dogs licking certain lumps or places on the body that later turned out to be cancerous got backed up by scientific research. So if your dog is very interested in that weird lump on your body, you better let it get checked out by a doctor asap.

6. More and more employers see the benefits of letting their employees take their dog to work. Having a dog around lowers stress levels and forces people to take more breaks, go outside and get more energized which will help them be better at what they do.

Now, what more can I say? It’s obviously a good investment to get a dog (preferably rescue one), but only if you’ve got the time. Dogs don’t like to be alone as much as humans do, so don’t have a dog if you’re not around to take proper care of it!

Do you have a dog or are you more of a cat person? What benefits does your pet bring you? Please comment, share and like if you like it! 🙂

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  1. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are
    not already 😉 Cheers!

    1. admin

      Thanks! 🙂

  2. If I didn’t have dogs and cats, I don’t know what I’d do! Ok, you are now officially freaking me out, because your last three blog posts are striking a chord with me! (My other blog is travelingdoglady dot com.)

    1. admin

      Aww thank you! Going to read your blog asap!

  3. I got a dog 6 years ago, and she’s the best decision I’ve made. Definitely happier and in more of a routine because of her!

    1. admin

      I’m glad! Dogs are such a blessing 🙂

  4. I’ve had a dog all my life, but now that I live on my own with my husband, I am dyyying to get a puppy of my own! Unfortunately with the amout of traveling I do, it probably wouldn’t be the responsible choice right now. Instead, we are considering fostering puppies! So we still get puppy love, but don’t necessarily have the same amount of time to commit.

    1. admin

      Oeh, be careful though! I got mine through fostering and he will never leave again. Many people told me: that dog is going nowhere! But if you are strong enough to let the dog go when you find suitable owners, then it is a lovely thing to do!

  5. LOVE this post! I’ve got my new puppy and I certainly feel happier and so proud to have him. We’ve almost always had dogs in my family, well since I was 16 and before age 5. In between we only had cats. I was always drawn to dogs in other people’s houses too. They are much easier to relate to than people sometimes lol, plus they help when things are awkward or you’re getting your bearings in a new environment. I also agree as someone who deals with chronic issues, pain and otherwise, that having to get out with your dog can be a benefit. It can certainly be a pain sometimes though lol, but most of the time it is a good idea!

    1. admin

      Hi Bonnie! They are easier than people sometimes, I totally agree! :’) Yay, how is Jasper doing? You named him Jasper right?

  6. Yes! I adore our dog and I am so glad that our daughter has such a great relationship with him!

    1. admin

      I think it’s great when kids grow up with dogs. You learn so much from them, even if it’s only how to deal with animals the right way!

  7. Jolina

    I did grow up with a dog but when I moved away from home, I never got around to getting my own. Living in a condo and working all the time, I just figured I’d be happy but my dog would be very lonely! One day, perhaps! 🙂 Can’t wait.

    1. admin

      It’s great that you put the dog’s interest before your own! If he is alone all the time, that’s no good. Maybe later! 🙂

  8. I love dogs, and I adore my canine menagerie. One of my beasties is having surgery tomorrow for a torn ACL. Sigh. Love her to pieces.

    1. admin

      Aww goodluck with the surgery, I hope she’ll be okay!

  9. We have two rescue dogs and I agree with you! I do not think our family would be complete without our dogs. I work at home and they are my constant companions. I walk them every afternoon.

    1. admin

      My rescue is the best thing we ever decided on! I’m grateful for him every day. I’m home pretty much always, so having a little (traumatized) rescuedog to take care of and love to pieces is a blessing!

  10. It’s not that I don’t like cats, but I am definitely a dog person! I have one handsome 8 year old golden retriever named Roy!

    1. admin

      Oh I love that name! Should have thought of that myself!

  11. I absolutely agree! Dogs are amazing creatures. My girl, Laila, does the same thing you described when you were feeling sad. They have this incredible way of standing by your side when you’re feeling down and making you not feel alone. They’re beautiful animals.

    1. admin

      Sometimes you wonder what humans did to deserve dogs, huh? We sure can learn a lot from them!

  12. Dogs are the best. I grew up with dogs. Once I moved out of my parents house, I adopted a rescue dog and it was the best decision of my life.

    1. admin

      Mine too! Best. Decision. Ever! I hope he’ll be around for a long time. I’m sure I will always adopt a rescue from now on.

  13. Wow, this is crazy! I never would’ve thought. Especially the part about getting sick less often. You would think that would be common sense, but I’ve seriously never thought of that. Thanks for the education 🙂

    xo Kathryn

    1. admin

      You’re welcome! Interesting huh?! I was surprised too, especially about the cancer detecting part. But they are very sensitive animals, so I guess it does make sense.

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