Emotional Benefits for a Family of Owning a Dog
Dogs live up to their title as man's best friend. Canines have long been a trusted companion to humans, providing protection, guidance, and emotional support.
Some families don't feel complete without a furry friend in the mix. Fortunately, there are a lot of emotional benefits that come with owning a dog. Here are a few of the ways dog owners can benefit your family.
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Dogs are intuitive creatures. They pick up on underlying emotions in the room, sometimes better than humans. They also offer unconditional love and support during difficult times. It's this calming nature that contributes to reduced feelings of stress and anxiety that will benefit the whole family.
Children tend to have big emotions and don't always know how to show them. Spending time with your dog is an effective way to help them calm down and find their center. Patting your dog can even reduce blood pressure, which is ideal for children who have difficulties with hyperactivity and aggression.
Develops Emotional Intelligence
Owning a dog allows you to connect with another living creature on a deeper level. It creates an understanding of non-verbal cues and emotional expression. This is especially important for children growing up in the internet age, as emotion and tone are largely lost through online communication.
Dogs are known for being emotionally intelligent. For example, if you come home to find the garbage destroyed and Fido sitting in the corner looking guilty, you can guarantee that he knows you'll be disappointed. As your child sees your dog's emotional reactions to situations, they'll create connections that form their own emotional intelligence.
One of the overarching aspects of emotional intelligence is empathy. When your dog offers love and support after a difficult day or shows fear during a thunderstorm, it teaches the whole family how to provide comfort and care.
Increased Sense of Responsibility
Caring for a dog is hard work. Whether it's ensuring that they're getting enough exercise or training them to sit still long enough to get a photo for an Instapainting portrait, dog ownership comes with a lot of responsibility.
For children, pet ownership is a great way to develop the emotions and skills that go along with responsibility. Empower your children to be responsible for daily feedings or weekly grooming sessions. Put the onus on yourself to take your dog out for a walk each day; you'll benefit from the fresh air too!
This sense of responsibility has a resounding emotional impact on those facing depression. For many people, the responsibility of dog ownership encourages them to keep moving forward and stick with routines.
More Social Engagement
Owning a dog creates ample opportunity for social engagement. This can be extremely beneficial to shy children as well as stay-at-home parents who don't get a lot of social interaction throughout the day.
Dog ownership also creates a foothold in the dog lovers' community. When you head to the off-leash park, you'll be able to interact with other dog owners and meet new people. Dogs often attract attention that sparks a conversation that wouldn't otherwise happen. Whether you're talking to your dog or about your dog, social engagement is an integral part of emotional well-being.
Exercise and Endorphins
Owning a dog means getting your exercise, even if it's just a leisurely walk every evening. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. These chemicals are responsible for boosting your mood and creating a general sense of emotional wellness.
For families, owning a dog can mean less screen time and more physical activity outdoors for everyone. Not only do dogs improve your mental health, but they can also improve your physical health.
There are many benefits for families who own dogs. No matter the size or makeup of your family, a dog may be the missing piece of the puzzle.