17 Reasons To Add A Dog To Your Family

Thinking about getting a dog? Here are 17 reasons why you won’t regret it.

Thinking about getting a dog?
Here are 17 reasons you won’t regret it.
1. They’re great for a cuddle
Dogs are warm and furry and almost always up for a hug or will happily chill out on your lap for the evening on a cold day.
2. Proven to benefit your sleep.
Dogs have been proven to benefit your sleep. In a Mayo Clinic study, people who slept with dogs in their rooms maintained 83% sleep efficiency (which compares time spent asleep to time in bed). 80% is optimal so obviously having a furry friend around is extra calming. Maybe not in the bed though as people with dogs in their beds woke up more during the night.
3. An alarm clock
You can be pretty sure that if you don’t wake up from your alarm your dog won’t let you sleep in. You’ll need to get up to let them out or feed them, or they might just come in and give you a slobbery good morning themselves.
4. Eats extra food
Kids dropped some food at dinner? Crumbs from cooking? Not enough leftovers for a meal but too much to throw out? It will be gone in seconds. Not that we want to overfeed our dogs or give them anything bad for them, but bits here and there are inevitable.
 
5. Makes you active
Keep saying you’ll go for that walk, or this will be the year you start running? A dog is a great motivation to get moving. They need to be walked at least once a day and depending on the breed and age, it might just be the trainer and motivation you needed.
6. Makes you more sociable
While you’re out for these walks you’re bound to meet other dogs owners, who are almost always happy to chat about all the things you have in common (dogs, dogs, dogs)
7. A play friend for kids
A perfect play friend for any child. Even ‘naturally aggressive’ dogs are docile around kids, especially when trained well. They provide great company and a playmate, allowing kids to develop confidence and social skills.
8. Company
Not only is it company for the kids, but for you too. Early in the morning when you’re packing lunches, late in the evening when everyone has gone to bed. They’ll never leave your side
9. Stress relief
Dogs are proven to be a form of stress relief for all ages. Studies going back to the 1980s until show how petting an animal can increase levels of the happiness hormone oxytocin and decrease the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. That’s why dog therapy clinics exist!
10. May reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
A Swedish study showed that dog ownership is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Which makes sense since they are such a good stress relief.
11. Dogs protect children from skin conditions and allergies.
Studies show that young children who are allergic to dogs and live in homes with dogs are at a lower risk of developing eczema than allergic children without a dog in the house.
12. A guard dog
The best home security system you could ask for, and an extra doorbell.
13. Manages behavioural problems
Dogs are particularly for children with behavioural problems, Autism, ADHD or Downs Syndrome. They help them develop social skills, a sense of responsibility and empathy.
14. They can sniff out cancer
There are several studies that have shown that dogs have been able to detect many types of cancers in humans by smelling skin, breath, urine, faeces or sweat. There isn’t yet concrete evidence that every dog can but there has been a high success rate with medical dogs trained for detection.
15. They’ll love you no matter what
If you’re feeling low or empty, dogs are an endless source of love and affection. Even in cases where dogs have been neglected or beaten they return to their owners with love (cry).
 
16. You can help them
You can adopt dogs from a shelter and give them a permanent loving home. Some might need more care if they’ve had a tough time and some might already be trained. You can be sure you’ll find a unique friend.
17. Test your parenting skills
Not sure about having kids yet? Getting a dog might be a way to delay it a bit (inspiration from Marley and Me) and to test if you’re ready for another big commitment. Then once your dog is trained and settled, they’ll be a perfect start to your family.
Always remember that dogs are a responsibilty and not just for Christmas. But they are absolutely worth the effort for all they bring to your life.
Written by Róise McGagh, Intern at Family Friendly HQ; follow her on Twitter @roisemcgagh

Róise McGagh

Róise is a contributor to Family Friendly HQ.

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