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DOG OWNERSHIP: A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE

Written by Vilita Cruz

stretching with dog

If you know me, you know or have seen a picture of my furry partner in crime, my beloved dog Whiskey. We enjoy spending hours on the trails, but we can also have a good time at a whiskey distillery, or even deal with more mundane tasks like shopping. So what are the benefits of owning a dog?!?!?

In addition to having this amazing being whose unconditional love warms your heart, you have companionship and a connection to the outside world. Physical exercise is important, and socialization is just as important for our emotional and mental health. As any good dog owner knows, you have to take your dog out multiple times a day for them to do their necessities and to exercise them. While doing this task, a few things tend to happen: first, you find yourself walking with your dog and getting exercise in yourself—always a plus. If you are already an active person, say a runner, then you instantly scored a running buddy. Secondly, you are exposing yourself to fresh air and vitamin D, which helps regulate calcium and phosphate in the body to help keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

dog at coffee shop

And last but not least, you and your dog become social butterflies – dogs enjoy sniffing each other while people talk to each other. I admit that when I’m out and about, I’m in my own world and I’m pretty sure I have “Resting Gym Face,” because it’s rare that anyone will say anything to me. When I’m with Whiskey, though, it’s a totally different story. People will ask me questions and want to pet him, and I literally see the smiles Whiskey puts on their faces and how petting him instantly puts them in a better mood. He really is a great ice breaker of sorts.

As we continue to deal with the pandemic and life in general, which we all know can be stressful, dogs come to the rescue yet again!! Snuggling with your dog is a great comfort for them as well as us humans, as it lowers our blood pressure while simultaneously providing companionship. Our dogs become part of the family, especially for those of us who do not have our family nearby. Dogs love routine and this means you will be on a routine as well. To this day, Whiskey is the best alarm clock, and even on cold mornings when I want to make an excuse to stay in bed, Whiskey ensures that I get up and take him out for a walk/run. He is my cardio trainer!

jumping ropeDogs are able to help people who suffer from anxiety as well as other numerous medical conditions. People who have a tough time in crowds find comfort in having their dog by their side – it relaxes them and provides them with a sense of security. Some dogs are trained to warn their owners of an upcoming seizure. This warning helps the individual prep accordingly, get in a safe space or notify someone to ensure their safety. Other dogs are being trained to sniff cancer in its early stages. This would significantly help their humans seek treatment early and have an overall better prognosis.

I consider myself fortunate to have grown up with dogs in my household and recognize the important contributions they make in our daily lives. I just felt the need to share why indeed dogs earn the title of “Man’s Best Friend!”

 

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