There’s a reason they say dogs are man’s best friend. They are calming, mood-lifting, and empathetic. They also help keep kids active by forcing them to go outdoors for daily walks! Having a puppy will become part of the family’s routine, and the entire family will be responsible for caring for their new furry friend.
While there are a lot of different definitions of love, unconditional love is one that many people believe in. This type of love is where you love someone wholeheartedly without condition, whether a parent and child or a dog and their owner. A 2009 study found that unconditional love activates the same brain as romantic love. It’s no wonder many pet parents report feeling more loving toward their pups. And the perks of unconditional love extend beyond just your mood; studies show that people who own dogs like the ones from Pawrade are more likely to get more exercise. Walking a puppy is great for cardiovascular health and lowers blood pressure. When you cuddle or play with your puppy, oxytocin and cortisol levels increase, helping to reduce stress. Although, it’s important to note that petting or playing with your pup doesn’t necessarily shield them from pain or discomfort. Part of loving someone unconditionally means allowing them to experience all that life offers, including the occasional rough patch.
There’s a reason they call dogs man’s best friend; pets are mood boosters, stress reducers, and natural conversation starters. They are calming, comforting, and empathetic towards their owners. Taking care of a pet also helps build kids’ responsibility and self-esteem. Stroking a dog can increase the release of the hormone oxytocin, also known as “the love hormone,” which helps to boost your mood. Petting an animal reduces blood pressure and increases serotonin and dopamine levels, which are feel-good neurotransmitters. In a study, couples who owned pets showed fewer physical signs of stress when their heart rate was measured. They also had lower resting heart rates, to begin with. Having a pet adds structure and routine to your daily life, as they require a consistent feeding schedule, walking, exercising, and grooming schedule. A routine can help ease depression and anxiety for people with mental illness. Pets also provide a distraction, motivation, and a sense of purpose.
Many people feel like their dogs are a part of the family. This sense of belonging can combat feelings of loneliness, especially for those who live alone or work from home. A study found that pet owners often feel less lonely because they have someone to talk to, play with, and care for, which can decrease depression and improve social interactions. The bonding between dog and owner releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which can lower blood pressure and reduce stress levels in healthy adults. Stroking a pup can also increase serotonin and dopamine, two chemicals that promote relaxation and happiness. Plus, the daily walks your puppy needs can help you stay active and get some exercise! A 2019 study found that owning a dog was associated with a 24% reduced risk of dying early. This was mainly due to pets’ effect on physical health, including improved cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure. These effects were augmented when the dog owner exercised and socialized with friends and family.
Whether you enroll in puppy classes or take your new dog for frequent walks through busy neighborhoods and parks, introducing your pet to many positive experiences while they’re puppies will set them up for a lifetime of happy socialization. However, protecting them from fear-provoking situations is essential so they don’t develop deep-rooted anxieties and fears. Socialized puppies are less likely to develop behavior problems in adulthood, like fear and aggression, because they’re more comfortable with change. They are also less likely to develop health issues, like Cushing’s Disease, depression, GI upsets, skin conditions, and heart diseases often caused by stress and anxiety. The saying “a tired dog is a good dog” rings true, and that’s because active dogs spend time playing physically with others and on their own, which burns off their energy and reduces their stress levels. Proper socialization also helps dogs tolerate changes in their environment, making them less prone to destructive behaviors, such as barking at others or cars on their walks.
Bringing a puppy into the home is a great way to teach children about responsibility. Depending on their age, have them help with daily tasks such as feeding, bathing, and playing with the dog. This will give them a sense of accomplishment and help raise their self-esteem as they have a real-world, non-human responsibility they can feel proud of. While a dog is a joy to have around, they will not train themselves, so it is essential to take the time to learn how to teach them basic commands like sit and stay. Like clicker training, positive reinforcement training is the best and safest way to get your puppy on the right track. When interacting with the puppy, supervise them closely and teach them not to bite. If your puppy begins to play rough with a child, use a high-pitched noise to tell them that biting is not allowed and immediately put them in time out. This will prevent injury and help the puppy learn to play gently.