How A Dog Makes Your Life Happier Or Fuller

Everybody needs companionship. It doesn’t matter if you’re the most staunch introvert or the biggest social butterfly, human beings thrive on interaction. This is why we have pets. Pets allow us to live a communal life with them in the best way possible. It’s part of the primal connection that we, as beings on earth, have with the animal kingdom. 

The most popular pet to have is, of course, a dog. But what is it about dogs that connect with us so well? How is it that an animal that can’t even talk to us brings out so many beautiful emotions? Here, we’ll explore how dogs make our lives happier and more fulfilled. We’ll also explore how dogs contribute to making all lives happier and healthier and have done so for centuries. 

Pure Trust

The relationship we have with dogs is one that evolves over time. It’s not that a dog immediately shows affection. That’s not how it works. Dogs may be friendly, but it can be in the nature of the breed or the individual pup. According to the experts at yourpuppyfl.com, a relationship has to be built. You have to feed your dog and house your dog. You have to show your dog you’re a reliable source for sustenance and shelter. That, over time, builds trust. Your dog trusts that you’ll be able to provide and protect. In turn, a switch flips in our heads. Our openness to provide for another living thing is immensely powerful. That exchange of trust is the bond that grows. It is ultimately a bond between friends. 

Inspiration and Community

Having a dog to love and care for has been shown to have wonderful positive effects on our mental health. But more than that, dogs inspire us to give back. Passion for volunteering and providing health services to animals is a calling that most dog owners share. We join groups to help. That community built around helping is one of the most fulfilling things you can do as a human being. Not only is the bond between our dogs strengthened, our friendships in the neighborhood are also reinforced. There’s a common good we share as people. We love animals. We love our pets. We can come together on that point no matter what our beliefs. That sense of community that having a dog opens us up to is priceless. 

Staying Active

So many of us spend our time sitting in front of a screen. That’s most of our lives. Heck, the past few months that’s been our only lives. We have meetings and classes. We have emails on top of emails. It feels as if our backs are permanent question marks. In some places, gyms–the primary means of staying physically active for a vast number of people, have been shut down. Having a dog around reminds us to stay active. How can we keep a dog around and look at its sad face wondering why it can’t play outside? We’re too tired?  Did work bog us down? Those are all excuses. Weak ones, at that. Having a dog keeps us accountable to ourselves. Go out and play. Throw a ball around. Run in a field. Toss a Frisbee. You have the perfect partner for all of those things. Let’s work out those kinks and posture issues in our backs. Let’s get the blood flowing. We’ll be a better fit to face the digital day because of it. Dogs? They’re built to run, jump, and love doing it as much as we do. If all else fails, those droopy eyes wanting some sunlight ought to do the trick. 

Stress Relief 

We all get stressed out. It’s a natural part of just being alive. It’s an inevitable state that we all experience. It’s also the biggest killer in the world. The physical consequences of stress are astounding. It’s the “confounding” factor in physically healthy people. It’s also a magnifier for those with certain health risks. Because of this, we tend to seek means to lower our stress. Some of us eat. Some of us drink. Some of us smoke. But there’s another thing that keeps our stress levels down that not a lot of us talk about: pets, particularly dogs. Dogs have this amazingly keen ability to sniff out stress and, with their owners, neutralize it. Have you ever gotten home from a ridiculous day at the office looking for junk food and any other means to feel better? We all have. What do our dogs do? They get up, walk towards us, and get as close as they can to us. That’s a quality that’s not often seen in the animal world. The interspecies link is strong with dogs. They give us the feeling that things are going to be okay. We’re going to be able to make it through. There’s a transference of that warm, fuzzy feeling. Dog owners know how real that is. It’s invaluable. 

Dogs for Veterans and A Better Society 

Who are we without the people who have given their time and lives to keep us safe? Who are we without the brave volunteer men and women in our military? They uphold the structure of our society. For that, we owe them the world. But sadly, many come back having seen horrible things. Sometimes we feel as if there’s not much we can do. In recent years, various organizations have been pushing for pairing up dogs for adoption with veterans coming home. This is, although simple in nature, a wonderful gesture we can show to our brothers and sisters who gave us their everything. Dogs, for all the qualities mentioned above, give people a massive dose of oxytocin. When we care for our military, we become a better society. Often people come back broken. Dogs help fix that. Dogs help us by taking away the cloud that keeps us from seeing the broken pieces. We can give our furry friends a big hug, let out that knowing sigh, and start to pick up the pieces. 

Support Dogs

In our society, we all need to be a bit more caring. There’s this notion that radiates in most modern societies: “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”. That’s an incredibly pervasive yet very callus perspective on life and hardship. Some of us cannot. Some of us need help. The variables of the human condition are as deep as they are wide. So it makes sense as a compassionate society that we provide what we can to those most in need. Dogs have been around to help us since the better part of the 20th century, especially for those with sensory disabilities. Dogs for the blind have been a staple since the beginning. In fact, we need more. Dogs are the only breed with the resolve and the focus to be trained in such away. They also have all the instincts necessary to keep the person they’re helping safe. We owe it to dogs, really. The lives of the blind have been massively helped by this addition. They’ve been the source of accessibility for those living with challenges like blindness. Because of this, they’ve massively contributed to the betterment of our modern, compassionate society. 

Dogs For The Sick

Dogs help us in more ways than we can count. Most of the time, we really don’t know the mechanism by which this happens. We just know it works. This is why we see dogs in hospitals. When we go through treatments in a hospital, especially for very serious diseases such as cancer, there’s a sense of anxiety and deep depression that comes with it. We all want to see our loved ones fight. We want them to be strong. It’s almost like an added thing the sick have to endure: a brave face for others. It’s draining. We see ourselves in the bathroom mirror after chemo and lose it. Dogs are introduced to these situations because they uplift us. They bring us back to a baseline of beauty and understanding in the world. Things could be bleak, but a dog always brightens us up. The therapeutic value of having hypoallergenic breeds present in hospitals is still being studied. But we all know that it works on an individual level. It gives us a reason to be a bit more optimistic. When things are bleak, they brighten our day. For a lot of the sick, that’s all one really needs to last the day. 

Getting a furry companion is not something everyone should do. Having dogs around naturally releases neurochemical signals that keep up young, active, and fulfilled. They’re our best friends for a reason. We came up together through the generations. We helped each other out. There’s an inseparable bond we have with dogs. People tend to complicate the world around us. We tend to set obstacles for ourselves and for others. Most of the time we don’t know why. Dogs are instant meditation. We become at\ the moment. People keep telling us to stop and smell the roses. We can stop to pet a dog. You won’t regret it. 

Tim Hanson

Tim Hanson (32)

Contributing writer at Preferable Pups!