Before you adopt a pet, you run through a lot of questions and possible scenarios. As people, we like to make sure that we have the details figured out in the sense of being prepared for any and everything. And while we cannot predict the future, it is important to brainstorm the outcomes of a decision and have an idea of how to resolve any problems that arise.
This is especially important when it comes to preparing for a pet. Dogs can add so much love and light to your life, as long as you are ready to welcome a dog into your home. But sometimes, dogs can create more stress if you are not fully prepared to care for a pup.
After deciding that you are in a place where a dog will improve your life, you can start focusing on the exciting aspects of a canine companion! There are so many health benefits of owning a dog, and it is rejuvenating to learn about all the ways your future pet will make your life so much better.
Some of the most common questions people wonder about dogs has to do with the effects of dogs on someone’s mental health and overall mood.
- Do dogs help with anxiety?
- How do dogs help humans?
- Can dogs help with depression?
- Can dogs relieve symptoms of anxiety?
...are very often asked by people who want to become pet parents. And believe it or not, the answer to all of these questions is that dogs help people cope with the many unfortunate circumstances that poor mental health causes.
Do Pets Have an Impact on Our Health?
Many studies have been conducted on the correlation between owning a pet and having a better life. Now, it is important to mention that not everybody has the means to own an animal, and some people do not even want a pet in the first place. If you fall into the category of people who are not interested in owning a pet, then you should absolutely not invest in a pet.
Just because studies show that pets improve the lives of their owners does not mean a pet is the answer to just anyone's life. If you do not truly and wholeheartedly want a furry friend running around your home, then a pet will only complicate your life. You will start to find yourself becoming more and more frustrated with your puppy pal because they are not what you wanted in the first place.
While dogs do have a positive effect on our health, there are conditions behind that statement. Someone who has six children, for example, is already a very busy individual. Dogs need to be taken outside quite consistently and fairly often, and this is even truer when dogs are in their early years. The parent of six kids still living at home will understand the phrase running around like a madman.
Waking up early and taking a dog out for a stroll so the little fella can use the bathroom is something that might just be more of a stressor than anything else. Making sure the dog receives adequate playtime, affection, attention, and entertainment can feel like a full-time job on its own. Trying to care for a new pet when you’re already running a household of multiple children is one of many situations in which a dog is probably not the right fit.
So please take these findings that we pulled from research studies with a grain of salt. It is most important that you welcome a dog into your life at the right time. You will not reap any benefits of owning a puppy if you are not in the position to properly care for one. The dog will not grow up in a suitable environment either, so it is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. As long as you can handle the responsibilities of being a pet parent, then these health benefits of pets for humans will improve your life overall!
So, long story short, pets do indeed have a positive impact on our health, but only if you are a situation where owning a pet is beneficial. If you are not prepared to care for a pet, you will not get to experience the health benefits that everyone is talking about.
The Health Benefits of Pets for Humans
The health concern of high blood pressure is less of a risk for people with dogs in their home. It takes people about five less months to reduce their high levels of blood pressure when they have a pet, whereas people who don't have canine companionship tend to have a harder time lowering their physical stress levels. One of the most beneficial aspects of pets is the way they relieve anxiety and depression. The symptoms of these widespread mental health issues can be debilitating. From calling out of work because you cannot bring yourself to leave the house, or backing out of social commitments because you are not feeling energetic, anxiety and depression can take some serious tolls on your life.
Findings from Studies on the Effect of Pets on People
There are lower rates of reported depression in people who own a pet. Dogs reduce the likelihood of illnesses in older people, particularly because they give elderly individuals something to care forward and something to look forward to every day.
If you have a heart attack and you own a pet, you are less likely to die early on as a result of your heart attack, compared to people who have had a heart attack but do not have a pet at home. The simple act of playing with your pet causes rapid firings of neurotransmitters known as dopamine and serotonin, both of which are involved in helping you feel more relaxed.
It has been shown that people who own pets have lower blood pressure levels than people who do not have the companionship of a pet. This is especially true when experiencing traumatic events of any magnitude. Pets bring a great amount of relief during stressful situations, and their natural ability to console humans is what makes them spectacular company during life's many trying times.
People who have reached the age of sixty-five spend less time in doctor offices if they have a pet in their lives. Once you surpass the age of sixty-five, you start realizing that your body needs more rest and your overall energy levels are far from what they used to be. As a result, many people begin to see a decline in their health around this age, hence the likelihood of booking more doctor appointments than ever before.
Dogs do not protect people from contracting illnesses or from the natural process of aging, but they certainly do add light and love to people's lives. These are incredibly important for the health of elderly people because it can be very scary to watch yourself grow older and older. But with a pet by your side, you feel less alone, and therefore, you more inclined to enjoy your life.
The numbers are significant and impressive, too. About thirty percent more doctor appointments are made by patients sixty-five years old and up who do not have a dog. Also, the health concern of high blood pressure is less of a risk for people with dogs in their home. It takes people about five less months to reduce their high levels of blood pressure when they have a pet, whereas people who don't have canine companionship tend to have a harder time lowering their physical stress levels.
How Do Pets Improve Your Lifestyle?
Now that we know dogs can boost your mood, let’s talk about all the other ways that pets can improve your life overall!
Dogs are pets that rely on you for many things that other animals can do on their own accord. For example, let’s compare dogs and cats, since they are two very popular domesticated animals. Cats do not need to let you know when they are ready to use the bathroom. They simply make their way to the litter box and do their business independently.
Dogs, on the other hand, are not trained to use the bathroom indoors. Since they use the outdoors as their personal restroom, they are reliant on their owners. So there is an element of actively assisting your dog with their basic needs. While you might not always feel like waking up at six every morning and heading directly outside so that your dogs can relieve themselves, it is actually a blessing in disguise.
The same goes for the fact that dogs need to be walked multiple times everyday, especially when they are youthful puppies.
Dogs provide unconditional companionship. Through the eyes of your dog, you are the best person on the planet. Dogs can truly help to turn a bad day into a good one. If you had a long and tiresome shift at work, coming home to a dog with a wagging tail and a huge puppy grin will make you feel loved beyond belief.
Dogs can also pick up on your emotions in seconds. Whenever you are feeling low, or if you are crying in your bed, you can bet that your dog will cuddle next to you just to remind you that you are not all alone. Dogs are not called a man’s best friend for no reason. They form such a deep and meaningful connections with their owners, and that is enough to boost anyone’s mood!
Even more examples of the ways that dogs can boost your mood include…
- Lowering stress levels
- Reducing your anxiety
- Helps you create structure in your life
- Keeps you in a routine
- Encourages you to maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Keeps you young
- Gives you a purpose outside of yourself
Finding the Pet that is Right for You
A very important step in adopting a dog is making sure the breed is compatible with your lifestyle. For example, if you bring a big dog home to a small studio apartment, then the dog will not have adequate space to run around and simply exist.
Likewise, if you are eager to have a dog that will be able to join you on your adventurous hikes, then a geriatric pet is certainly not going to be well-suited for your lifestyle. They get winded very easily, and as you can expect, older dogs are going to move at a much slower pace than their younger counterparts.
There are many different things to take into consideration when thinking about adopting a pet, but age and breed are definitely two of the most important things to think about. Let’s look at dogs from the perspective of purebreds and mixed breeds. The goal is to give you insight as to what breed of dog is best for boosting your mood!
Should You Get a Purebred or a Mixed Breed?
As always, we heavily encourage you to look for your next pet at the local animal shelter. There is a very popular phrase out there and it goes a little something like, "Adopt, don't shop." The shop part of the catchy slogan refers to purchasing dogs directly from a breeder.
While you have more of a say over what kind of dog you bring home when you buy from a breeder, you are supporting the process of breeding dogs, which is a practice that leads to overpopulating. Then, the dogs that are not purchased from the breeder tend to wind up in animal shelters anyway, leading to overcrowding and more dogs without homes.
Plus, you can find both purebred dogs and mixed breed canines at animal shelters. You are definitely limited to the dogs that are at the shelter, rather than having your pick from the different types of dogs that a breeder specifically breeds for, but the animals in the shelters need homes, too.
At the end of the day, a purebred is not likely going to improve your life more so than a mixed breed dog. It's more about the breeds in question, rather than if a dog is one breed or a mix of a few breeds.
Introducing a Pet into a New Home
Once you meet the dog of your dreams and decide that your home is suitable for the canine companion, you’ll want to think about how to welcome your new friend into your living space. You cannot really know how a dog will react to an unfamiliar environment, so the key is to take it very slowly.
While we all hope for the best possible outcome, the nervousness and anxiety that can stem from being rehomed presents itself in the moment. If you find that your dog is uncomfortable in your home, we want to let you know that you don’t have to watch your pup shiver and whimper as a result of the distress.
If your pet is exhibiting signs of anxiety, consider looking into CBD oil for dogs with anxiety! There are many health benefits of CBD, and even more impressive is the fact that cannabidiol for pets has little to no side effects. This is an excellent thing to know because it causes you to question anxiety medications prescribed by veterinarians.
While your dog’s vet definitely has your pup’s best interest in mind, man-made medicines pose a lot of dangers. There are so many risks involved, such as worsened anxiety symptoms, which is completely counterproductive. The absolute worst outcome of CBD for dogs is exhaustion. Other than that, you won’t have to be concerned about your dog reacting negatively to CBD. If anything, cannabidiol will probably end up being your dog’s saving grace.
CBD for Pets
Cannabidiol for dogs that are exhibiting signs of anxiety is one of the very best solutions to the incredibly uncomfortable experience. CBD is a naturally-derived remedy for anxiety in dogs. Though it stems from both the cannabis plant and the hemp plant, cannabidiol does not have any ability to get your dog high.
Instead, CBD brings your dog’s anxiety levels down to a manageable place. The move from a foster home, to an animal shelter, and then to another new environment can really stir up a lot of anxiety in your pet. And if you are a very anxious person by nature, your already-anxious dog will not help the situation. You’ll feed off of one another rather than working together to combat the anxiety.
You won’t ever have to worry about giving your dog a substance that induces psychoactive reactions in your pup. There is such a small, if nonexistent, amount of tetrahydrocannabinol in CBD for pets. Cannabis products that fall below the threshold of 0.03% of the total makeup will not make your dog feel high.
If you are curious about CBD for dogs with depression or anxiety, then you should look no further than Innovet! We offer so many cannabidiol products for pets that need help with managing their symptoms. From dog treats and CBD oil, to cannabidiol creams and capsules, you’re certainly going to be able to find something that suits your pup!
Sources:The Effect of Dog-Assisted Intervention on Student Well-Being, Mood, and Anxiety
Mood-Boosting Power of Dogs
Dog Ownership Could Reduce Loneliness: Study
Health Benefits of Human-Animal Interactions