Newer is better, right? And what’s newer than a newborn bundle of joy that you call “puppy.” Even though they require lots of attention and training, the fun we have with them is totally worth it.
So what are some of the biggest and best benefits of bringing home a puppy? Here are the top 7 that come to mind.
1. Health and Exercise
There are a plethora of health benefits that go along with having a dog as part of your family. That goes double for puppies.
Any newbie to this puppy paradise will find out very quickly how much exercise they require. Between training, playtime and multiple daily walks there isn’t a lot of time to rest on your laurels.
It’s a balancing act between them motivating you to get up off the couch and you motivating them to become better dogs when they’re older.
The American Heart Association found that dog owners are 54% more active than non-dog owners. The folks at Nature.com report that dog owners also walk more than four times the amount of those who don't own a dog. Everyone seems to agree that in the presence of a puppy, you will spend more time on your feet.
A puppy won’t just live metaphorically in your heart, they also literally help strengthen your heart. In another review conducted over nearly 70 years, dog owners lived longer. Not only that, but any person who had a heart attack or stroke was a third more likely to recover successfully.
And while you’re living longer, you’ve strengthened your immune system through constant exposure to pet dander and other germs being introduced into their human microbiome.
Puppies equal better health overall and a more structured exercise regime.
2. Social Skills
Puppies will draw you out of your shell, whether you like it or not. That's because puppies require socialization.
Every day as they grow and learn, they’ll need to meet and introduce themselves to others in the neighborhood - both people and pets.
In an analysis of a survey provided by Harvard University, of 2,700 men and women queried, 60% said that they knew the people living in their neighborhood versus those that were non-pet owners.
It doesn’t just stop there. Even outside of interactions you have while you’re with your pet, another study showed that around 40% of pet owners have received help from new friends that they've made.
Having more friends could be directly correlated to you having a wonderful, adorable puppy.
We know that the single person who gets picked up in a dog park is a little cliche. But it’s a cliche for a reason. If you carry your puppy around town, you are scientifically more likely to be more attractive to the opposite sex.
This isn’t just a trend on TV or in the movies. This has taken the internet by storm. Just ask those users of Tindog and Wowzer, dating sites specifically built for those with dogs.
3. Avoiding Separation Anxiety
Let’s not beat around the bush. Death is a part of life. And losing those that we hold most dear can be a serious struggle.
While there are some days when we as dog owners can get annoyed at this loving creature ALWAYS needing our attention, it’s that same need and reassurance that they’ll share with us that will release neurotransmitters such as oxytocin and norepinephrine. This could curb or prevent anxiety or depression.
A study from Purdue University showed that there was a significant benefit for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who shared their lives with a dog. Those vets that are housing a service dog saw higher levels of cortisol when they woke up, otherwise known as the cortisol awakening response or CAR.
This CAR helped them manage their anxiety and anger as well as prevent them from relying on depressants like alcohol.
4. Benefit from Safety in Numbers
Puppies grow into dogs and dogs are a part of our family. They know it too. It’s this same knowledge that can make them territorial. They will protect what’s theirs if it ever comes to it.
Don’t look for a puppy to choose between the red wire and the blue wire if you ever decide to defuse a bomb. They will, however, tell you when something is lurking in the shadows or just generally out of the ordinary.
Depending on whether you’ve got a watchdog, guard dog or something similar, not all puppies are going to know how to handle each and every problem. As they progress into adulthood, your affection and trust could mean a barking fit that saves life and/or property.
5. Early Development
Puppies are fast on their feet. Especially those untrained specimens that don't know what kind of trouble they could get into running away.
We don’t just train our puppies though. Puppy ownership trains our children at the same time. These interactions require quick decisions and lightning-fast response times. This allows bipeds and quadrupeds alike to practice making these decisions.
From educational to emotional or cognitive intelligence, a puppy that is part of the household can serve the children in that same home. Puppies help them gain a better grasp of the laundry list of responsibilities adults have.
And for those children out there, a four-legged friend can help them lead a more stable and fulfilling life.
6. Aging Gracefully
The elderly can feel lonely and isolated due to a host of different reasons. While we won’t recap in full, a puppy can assist in making sure those twilight years aren't so bad. Pets in general can help with much needed social interaction for seniors.
We all want to seize the day. Those words can carry a wholly different weight to those who are living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These same people who are in the early stages of each of these diseases can adopt a dog that could assist in helping them focus.
And if for some reason they fall down, their dogs can warn others and get help.
7. Love and Happiness - the Best Advantages of Dog Ownership
Unconditional love is so hard to come by. But a puppy can certainly provide that.
Oxytocin and dopamine, both natural chemicals that boost your mood, are released by simply looking into your dog’s eyes or petting them on the head.
Not to say too dirty of a word… but - stress. It’s a daily battle to shed or keep it at bay. Petting your pup comes in handy (no pun intended) here as well. How excited are you when you get off a long hard day of work to rush home and find your furry forever friend waiting at the door?
We could quote some scientific study here, but just ask any pet owner - the results don't lie!
Almost every point on this list leads to feeling and giving love to your puppy. The same goes for health and happiness. The road to a better tomorrow is chaperoned by your puppy.
While we’ve outlined seven benefits from the wonderful world of puppies, there are probably millions more.
Why not start a checklist of the best parts of dog ownership yourself by bringing home a new pup today? The best way to do this is by filling out an application to add a Doodle to your home.
Jenna and the JLDD Team