Today is National Dog Day, and that makes it a great time to talk about the benefits of adopting a shelter dog.
Did you know that only 31 percent of cats and dogs that enter shelters are actually adopted? The rest either live out their remaining days in shelters or rescue centers, or worse, they’re euthanized.
Obviously it’s in a shelter dog’s best interest to be adopted, but what’s in it for YOU? Below I’ve compiled a list of 7 reasons to adopt a shelter dog and how it can make your life better.
7 Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Dog
1) Dogs can help alleviate depression. Therapists often recommend that patients suffering from depression adopt a pet. An animal will love you unconditionally and also be a great friend and listener. People with depression often benefit from having a pet, as the animal can help them get out of the house and give them a loving connection that they might otherwise not have.
2) Dogs can help reduce stress. Some studies show that people begin to feel less anxious after spending less than an hour with an animal. While the things that we find stressful in our lives are sometimes hard to eliminate, adding a pet to your life can help.
3) Dogs are good for kids. Having a dog in the home can build confidence and manage anxiety and stress in children. Children who struggle with reading or math can gain confidence when reading aloud or reciting multiplication tables to their dog. Helping to care for a dog will also help teach children to be responsible.
4) Dogs keep you physically active. Training and playing with your dog provides mental stimulation (for them and you!) and helps unleash creativity. Having a dog will also encourage you to exercise as you’ll need to walk your mutt regularly.
5) Dogs help you establish a routine. Having a daily schedule reduces stress for any individual. Having a dog that relies on you at specific times each day (feeding, walking, and sleeping) can help establish a routine that will help you manage your time more efficiently.
6) Dogs are good for your health. Many studies show that owning a pet has a positive impact on cardiovascular disease, hypertension, infection control, allergies, blood pressure, and psychological issues.
7) Dogs help keep you engaged. A key to a healthy mind, especially for older people, is staying engaged with others. A pet is often a conversation starter and being out with a pet often warrants questions or comments from passersby. Bringing your dog to a dog park is a great way to meet new people with similar interests.
These are just a few of the benefits that people might have when they adopt a shelter dog, and there are so many more.
Have you adopted a shelter dog (or cat)? Leave a comment below telling me how you have benefited from that relationship, or join the conversation over on our Facebook page!