Pet Lovers

Dog Owners ARE Happier

My dear friend recently lost her mother and while she has been on the fence about getting dog for the past year – she and her family have wanted one, but never thought it was the right time – she bit the bullet and got a dog last week. When she asked if I thought it was a good idea to get a dog – now - I said I didn’t think now, while she was grieving, was a good time to complicate her life with the addition of a new family member. She needed to care for herself, I told her, and make things simpler and easier, not harder. Well, she got the dog. He is an adorable 9 week old puppy and is bringing joy to my friend’s life during a dark time. She has something positive to focus on, is forced to go out into the sunshine for walks, and has order to her days.

Research shows that dog owners are happier and healthier than non-dog owners. They are more physically active as there is no getting out of walking your dog – it is part of taking care of your pet’s basic needs. Dog owners are more social - when you have a dog, there is an immediate topic of  conversation. You automatically have something in common with other dog owners, and contact with others is a mood elevator. Dog owners are less depressed – a dog’s no-strings-attached companionship is a stress reliever. Dog owners tend to have lower blood pressure – just the act of petting a dog has been shown to relax people. Research also shows that having a dog in your household can help children’s immune systems  – you are less likely to have allergy problems as an adult if you grow up with a dog.

Nursing homes bring dogs in to visit with their residents as they see a marked positive impact. Dogs are used in therapy with children to help them open up about their problems. Therapy dogs canvased New York after 9/11 to support people involved in the aftermath.

Dogs provide unconditional love, like you rarely experience. My friend, the new dog owner, said she knew on paper that now wasn’t the most ideal time to get a dog, but she wanted, needed something to help fill the hole in her heart; this puppy is helping her heal. Thank goodness for dogs.


24 Responses to “Dog Owners ARE Happier”

  1. Ruth Ann says:

    I can’t imagine life without my dogs and cats. I had them when I was young and I have them now that I am old. They are a lot of work and must be tended to but the joy they bring into my life is beyond explanation.

  2. Sherri says:

    I have had dogs horses and cats my whole life. I have two little dogs right now and three horses. I can’t imagine my life without them. Their unconditional love is amazing. I ride and my dogs follow along happy to be with me. I just started running and my newest little dog runs with me. We curl up on the couch for nap. Life is good. I highly recommend an animal to love. Yes, they can cost alittle money when they need to see a vet, but the joy you get from them outways the cost.

  3. Lois Hudson says:

    I think dogs and kids belong together I think there is a carming feeling for the kids .We have 3 dogs and the love they give on a day you dont feel good makes you feel better.
    We have my grandsons dog He was killred in 2008 in the Army
    and his bother has Scout and it has ment so much to him every day

  4. Linda B. says:

    Animals can be an amazing source of strength, companionship and amusement. There has never been a point in my life that I have not had a dog and would never want to imagine such a day.
    I just wanted to say that if someone is on the fence about getting a dog or adding to their canine (or feline) family, many agencies have foster programs. That gives you the opportunity to not only save a pet in need but to see if you are ready to make the leap.
    Our small rescue relies heavily on foster homes to help us save dogs from death-row shelters all over the country and sometimes the go from a foster home to a forever home.

  5. Linda says:

    I lost my mother a little more than two months ago and my dachshund Toby has been a life saver. I live by myself and have no living family except for my 10-year-old doxie. He keeps me company and is my best friend. When others leave you alone after a death a dog gives you unconditional love and expects nothing in return. I applaud the woman who got a puppy after losing her Mom. It was a wise decision.

  6. lsa says:

    I agree that kids need if possible a pet. In my house. We have had fish, gerbil, hamster , cat and 3 dogs. They lived a well loved life. When your children get older ,cell’ s computer ,friends and the most important school, who takes care of the animals? The parents do. Because I did and now my daughter is in college and of course she can not have a dog. Don’t get me wrong I do love both(not just one)One is a outside dog who is 10 and the other is a teacup size dog. Dogs out live childhood. Now that I am A empty nester I have to make plans to leave them all the time ,It is like still having kid. I love my dogs ,but think before you get one because there are alot of shelters of dogs were the family gave the dog or cat back to the shelter. We do know it may be a childs wim and that is the reason why I have 2 great dogs.

  7. I have been diagnosed with a very serious illness.
    As a result of my sickness I have had to take early retirement. My wife and I have had several dogs. We have a boxer at the present time, and she is just what the doctor ordered. She certainly keeps me busy during the day. To say that she is a handful is putting it mildly, but she really is a God send to me. She keeps me busy during the day when I’m not doing the laundry or housecleaning. Dogs really are wonderful company to people who spend their day alone.

  8. Tina Carson says:

    A dog is a great companion especially for those who live alone. They give us unconditional love and support inmore ways than we can probably imagine.

  9. Armen says:

    I strongly agree with all of you here. My dog used to sleep with me in bed. That was when she was still a puppy. But now my dog Cloe loves to walk around the house and plays outside almost everytime. My dog sure knows how to brighten ones day. But everytime she barks she knows who not to trust. If she wags her tail it means the person is welcome inside and wants you to play with her. Thank God for dogs unconditional love and care. Geat site Ms. Ray! More power to you and God bless.

  10. Deb says:

    I just have one question for everyone, that sums up how I feel about my dog, and animals in general………………….HAVE YOU EVER BEEN DISAPPOINTED OR HURT BY YOUR PET?…………………..they are always there waiting and giving love…………….need I say more?
    Deb

  11. Becky says:

    My husband died of a heart attack 8 weeks ago. Three weeks ago my son called and told me about a precious little dog a girl in front of Walmart was trying to sell for ten dollars ( 1/2 chihuahua and 1/2 weanie dog). I told him to get her for me. I have a 10 year old weanie dog already. This little ray of sunshine has been a blessing to me at a very sad time in my life. Thanks Ms. Ray for your site.

  12. Aimee says:

    We adore our dogs, and of course think dog owners are the happiest people around. After all, who could be blue with a warm, furry, ball of fluff that gets so excited to see you?! :)

  13. I am a dog lovers and all of our family pets have been an inspiration to me. I wrote a book about my guinea pig and several books based on my dog, Molly, a beagle-lab mix, who is nine years old. I dedicated my most recent picture book, “The Blue House Dog,” to her. There is something about living with a dog that changes who you are. They get into your blood and become family!

  14. Dog says:

    So true, when my father passed away about a year a go we go my mother an 8 year old rescue from a no-kill shelter. This dog has been the best company for her and help so much to comfort her with dealing with the loss.

  15. virginia says:

    I hope she got a rescue. There are so many puppies and dogs in shelters and with rescue groups these days, I don’t see a new to get a pedigree dog from a breeder unless its for show purposes. I also think that pet shops should no longer be allowed to sell cats and dogs. My dog was rescued from a puppy mill where she lived a hellish life the first five years of her life in a crate, in a barn, having puppies. If we disallowed pet shops to sell puppies the puppy mills would not have a place to sell their wares.

  16. kate says:

    i love my dogs and they love me. they are both rescue’s and the best companions Ive ever had.i give myself to them, body, heart, and soul. i dont know what i would do without them. i cant stand little dogs they are always on my nerves, my dogs have to be bigger.

  17. Sally says:

    All I can say is we love our dogs. Of course my 3 yr. old blind pit-bull holds a special place in my heart. His mother belonged to my son who raised show dogs. My son passed away unexpectedly and my husband and I ended up with his male and pregnant female pit.It was about 4 weeks after his death that she gave birth to 11 puppies. Within 5 days all were dead along with the mother from a infection that the mother passed through her bloodstream to the puppies except for this one little guy. I had to bottle feed him and it was touch and go for about 8 weeks and lots of vet. visits. But he is a healthy 65 pounds of love now. But taking care of him while greiving from the loss of my son is what got me through the rough times. Some how I think my sons spirit is coming through this dog. Hes blind and has a crooked tail but we love him tremendously.

  18. AY says:

    I would be lost without my Pittie…pets are da best!

  19. Paula says:

    Rachel,
    I have a two year old pit. Have had her since she was two months old. I hate the wrap about Pits. My dog is great even with my 87 year old mother and 6 year old granddaughter. But Cheyenne( the dog) has a bad skin problem. She literally chews on her tale and rump till she bleeds. She is so miserable, I have tried everything what can I do. It is not fleas she does not have any. She stays in doors other than to play or ride in the car. Can you help us. I also have her on a Lamb and rice dog food.
    DESPERATE FOR RELIEF,
    Paula and Cheyenne.

  20. Alexa says:

    my little dachshund means the world to me! She makes me laugh every single day, and loves me more than anything. My father died a few years ago and our family dog helped me get through that. Dogs are amazing creatures with huge hearts and I couldn’t imagine my life without them! I’d have quite a few if I could afford it! I’d love to be able to help rescue shelters if I had the money.

  21. Kathy says:

    My husband and I adopted a beagle blue healer from a no-kill shelter, and he had been there for 14 months before being adopted. He is such a good match for us, very cute and a little bit of a character. When we first adopted him after 5 days he ran away and came back after the 7th day to wait on our front porch. He came home on an injured back leg and is able to run and walk again as it was nursed back to health. Because he found his way home we feel like he is our little miracle dog, and was meant to be with us, since he chose to come back and live with us. He is a great little buddy and a wonderful companion.

  22. lydia says:

    My son died and left me his two dogs. they kept me getting up in the morning and did not mind all my tears. A year later one of them died. the other dog and i greived together. She is still here and gives me the connection i need without asking for anything.

  23. lydia says:

    dogs are angels

  24. Debbiestarnes says:

    Hey ray . I have dog.2and have cats.and have.to.have.to.for.the.oconee.county.animal.shelter.&.humane.society.towi have .a dog and a.cat ………………………………
    Thank you
    Debbie Starnes

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