Do you occasionally feel like there’s something missing from your life? Perhaps you worry that you’re not taking as good care of yourself as you could, or that you would like something with meaning to occupy a little more of your energy and time. There are a lot of answers to such a conundrum, and the answer isn’t going to be the same for everyone, by any means.

However, for a lot of people, welcoming a dog into your home can really bring a whole ton of benefits and can bring something to your life that you might not have even been aware you were missing.

Here’s six reasons why 2023 may be the year you get a dog.

One – Help Fight Depression and Improve Your Mood

If you’re dealing with the blues, then you shouldn’t look to rely on any one thing to help pull you out of that headspace. However, among other efforts to improve your mental health, spending time with your dog can increase your positively dramatically. It has been well-proven by now that playing with a dog can be great at increasing the levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, both of which are associated with feelings of positivity, happiness, and fun.

Two – Find Feelings of Isolation

If you feel like you are alone in the world and don’t have the kind of human connection that others do, it can be very isolating. Isolation is bad for the brain, and could lead to an advanced rate of neural decline that can even increase the chances of a dementia diagnosis, for instance. As your constant companions, dogs can help fight the feelings of isolation that are becoming increasingly common in the world, especially for adults who might be experiencing loneliness if they have moved away from home or seen all of their friends move away to pursue their own lives elsewhere.

Three – They’re Natural Stress-Busters

Aside from the physical health benefits, there are plenty of mental and emotional health reasons to choose a dog, as well. For one, if you have been coping with any stress, as of late, then you can find that dogs can be great for fighting it. Sure, sometimes, looking after a dog can be stressful, especially if you underestimate how much care and work you have to put into looking after them. However, from petting them to cuddling them to spending time walking with them is all proven to help reduce the symptoms and sensations of stress. If you’ve been having a bad day, you can always rely on a beloved dog to help you bring some balance back to things.

Four – They’re Good for Your Heart and Blood Pressure

One of the most fascinating benefits of dogs is their amazing ability to make us feel calm – and that has a brilliant effect on our health. Studies have shown that dog owners have lower blood pressure which is both due to the increase in exercise and that blood pressure goes down when you merely pet your pooch. It may surprise you to learn that our blood pressure actually has a big effect on our well-being too, so next time you feel stressed, or just need some time to relax, give your dog some TLC – you’ll both feel the benefit!

Five – You Can Get More Physically Active as a Result

Another of the major benefits of having a dog is that they can result in a great increase in the physical activity in your life. After all, you have to take walks with your dog every single day and you may not even fully be aware of how much activity you are getting, not to mention the exercise of playing games with your dog. Aside from offering a real benefit to your dog’s health, it’s also good for you, helping to increase your cardiovascular help, burning calories, and getting you out into the world, which is great for your mental health  This counts even more for dogs that require more exercise to stay fit, such as Dogs are great motivators for getting us moving and being more active, which can be especially helpful if it’s difficult for you to motivate yourself to exercise on your own.

Six – They Can Help You Meet People

Dogs can help fight the all-too-common encroachment of modern isolation by being fantastic companions, but they can also be great for helping you meet other people. If there are other dog owners in your area, then it’s very likely that you’re going to encounter them when walking your own pup. So long as your dog is socialized properly (something you should definitely work on ensuring), then you might find it can be a great social catalyst for stopping and talking to other people. You might also strike up a friendly relationship with others who clearly share your love of animals and shared values, too.

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