Your best training buddy*

Wednesday, 25 October 2017, By Jo Hurst

Everyone loves a pug, a spoodle or an old brown lab. Have you ever considered the positive benefits of having a dog in your life? 40% of Australians own a dog and over 80% of people have had a pet at some time in their lives. They are a great source of wellbeing and provide us with companionship and love.

These top 5 reasons for life with a pet may just help you decide if a dog is the right pet for you.

Emotional support.

Who greets you every time you enter the room with a tail wag and a joyful celebration? Your dog does that's who. Doesn't matter whether you're tired, cranky, stressed or just sad, your dog will be excited every time you walk through the door. It lifts your spirits knowing that you mean so much to another creature on the planet, and once you give them a pat, or a cuddle they will continuously reinforce their love for you. When I was bedridden with Cancer my dog snuggled up with me every day and was so gentle and loving. I knew he would never leave my side whilst I wasn't well. Made me feel loved and cared for.

Physical Health and wellbeing

You never need an exercise buddy when you have a dog. They are always ready to head outdoors and get active. Establishing a routine of walking the dog can help you increase your cardio vascular fitness. You can increase your distance or increase speed over the weeks. Just a quick walk around the block will provide you with a great start to your day or a positive finish to a stressful day. Most dogs love swimming at the beach or in the river, so take them with you during summer months and enjoy the water together. You can also see if there is an opportunity to bring your dog to walk group or find other clients who would like to walk their dog at a mutually convenient time. My dog loves the beach and always digs in the sand and comes home wet and ready for a bath.

Develop social skills and positive relationships

Dog owners are generally most welcome for you to pat their dog and it's a great way to overcome shyness for you or your kids. Dogs are a great topic of conversation and can break the ice in awkward moments, although it can be very awkward when your dog sneaks up on a picnic and steals the BBQ chicken off the plate - very embarrassing. We all laughed about it at the end when we offered to pay for a replacement.

Pet therapy

Therapy dogs provide opportunities to people who may need some extra assistance. The benefits they provide are researched to show they can lower stress and blood pressure, can stimulate memory in dementia patients and also lift the mood of the people in the vicinity. This can work not only in aged care settings and schools but also in homes and workplaces.

Someone to love 

Who greets you every time you enter the room with a tail wag and a joyful celebration? Your dog does that's who. Doesn't matter whether you're tired, cranky, stressed or just sad, your dog will be excited every time you walk through the door. It lifts your spirits knowing that you mean so much to another creature on the planet, and once you give them a pat, or a cuddle they will continuously reinforce their love for you.

SO, if you are thinking of getting a pet, now you have even more fun facts to help you make the decision. There are many rescue dog agencies and the RSPCA who can help you rehome a cute canine and you will be happy every day together

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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