For many of us, nothing beats opening the front door after a long day to see a wagging tail and a rush of excitement from our furry pals. Even if it’s just for a brief moment, sometimes giving your pup a good scratch for a while seems to make all the problems in the world melt away.
Do Dogs Make Us Happier?
According to a study researching what potential dog owners expect to experience as a result of owning a dog, increased health benefits, both mental and physical, are anticipated as a result of dog ownership. The study surveyed over three-thousand prospective dog owners in Australia, and 52% of the participants expected their physical fitness to increase as the result of owning a dog. The participants also had high expectations for the dogs to elevate them mentally as well: 89% expected to be happier, 74% expected stress to decrease, and 61% expected to be less lonely.
Our Expectations = Danger for Dogs
Judging from the data presented in this article, it seems reasonable to assume that both potential and current dog owners expect a lot of benefits as a result of owning their pet, yet the data on health benefits of dog ownership is mixed. Every year roughly 3.3 million dogs, stray and surrendered, are taken to shelters in the U.S. Unfortunately, for many people, the expectations and realities of dog ownership can be vastly different.
So, not everyone is meant to have a dog. The question is whether or not a dog is right for you, and evaluating your expectations is important before deciding if you need a pooch. If you expect the dog to make you a happier person, perhaps you should ask yourself why you think the dog would make you happier.
Studies can’t confirm that owning a dog will benefit you from a scientific perspective. The ultimate benefit of owning a dog is companionship, the feeling you get when your pet shakes with excitement and joy as you walk in from your car. It’s the feeling of comfort you receive when your pet senses something is wrong and sits by your side.
Owning a Dog CAN Make You Happier
If you are thinking of becoming a dog owner, you really can expect to be happier, less lonely, and in better physical shape after getting a dog, but you must dedicate yourself to the animal in a manner that is healthy for both of you. Unfortunately, that could mean getting up in the middle of the night for a few months trying to potty-train your puppy, but it almost always means looking forward to a smiling furry face and a wagging tail after a hard day’s work as well.
Want to learn additional benefits of dog ownership? Check out Dogs Are Incredibly Good For Your Health – Science Proves It.