Thursday, July 20, 2017

Reap The Benefits Of Dogs

Growing up my sister and I had every animal we could possibly want, bless my mother, even though she is a pure animal lover I am sure she felt like she was living in a zoo/day care at times. Wild bunnies, domestic French floppy ear bunnies, for a period of time a chipmunk that need a little extra care, again for a period of time a small wild bird with a broken wing, goldfish, hamsters, a guinea pig, cats, and of course dogs – my family truly has run the gamut when it comes to pet ownership. Now that I’m older I can safely say that I am personally a dog and cat person, but if I had to choose one I would definitely choose dogs; they are man’s best friend after all.
I'd like to share all my positive experiences and health benefits of owning a dog. However, I will start out by saying that puppies and dogs are very cute and easy to fall in love with, and make for wonderful companions,  but they are a 10 – 16 year commitment of giving your time, love, and energy to, especially from puppy age to about age two. Honestly, just because you want a dog does not necessarily mean it is the right time to adopt one. You want to make sure you are in a place where you can devote the necessary time and attention to them or be able to make alternative arrangements such as dog walkers and doggy daycare.
That said, I have had a dog since the age of 4 and I honestly could not ever imagine living in the house where there wasn’t a little furry friend walking around. After checking out this PuppySpot graphic I never really thought of the health benefits dogs provide, but have always noticed the love and joy they add to life. But looking at the graphic I can say without a doubt that dogs definitely reduce anxiety, reduce feelings of loneliness {because you are never alone when you have a dog}, help to get more exercise, and I have my fingers crossed that there is truth to dogs increasing longevity.
Currently I have a teacup yorkie named Coco, a Cavapoo {Cavalier/Poodle mix} named Ella, and up until a couple years ago I had a Black Lab named Samantha, and my childhood dog was Bonnie, an English Springer Spaniel. I can say from first hand experience that springer spaniels and labs make for wonderful childhood/young adult dogs and I can also say with 100% confidence that if you have young children a teacup yorkie or other tinny size dog is probably not for you at this point in time.
Probably not the best thing to say {I feel like I am picking a favorite child} but my lab, Samantha, is probably the dog that I felt most bonded to. I had her from the age of 12 to the age of 29; I was so obsessed with her when I was younger that I even made her a baby/puppy book, paw prints and all. She definitely kept me active from running, playing around with a soccer ball, to practicing my tennis serve and her retrieving the balls. During the trying years of middle school {there is seriously nothing worse than a middle girl} she was sometimes my only friend for a couple weeks here and there, and something about her made me feel more confident at a young age. Labs are one of the sweets dogs, cutest puppy hands down, easy to train, but they have a huge amount of energy and truly have a puppy quality throughout their lives, but they make for the best family dogs.
Coco and Ella, a yorkie and cavapoo, are more less high energy dogs {both do however bark a lot}, and are perfect for the point of life I am currently in. They are pure companion dogs – they both could spend all day cuddled up next to you, be happy with a few minutes of fetch here and there, and they both have a giant personality that is beyond entertaining. There really is nothing like having a long day and having your dog to come home to to hug on and shower with love, it is truly amazing how fast they can make anxiety go away. Ella, the cavapoo, would be a wonderful dog for what ever point of life you are currently in, but again, a small yorkie like Coco or other tiny dogs are probably not the best idea for a young family.
If you don’t already have a dog and you are at a point in life where you are able to commit to having one , I would strongly look into it. Dogs add so much to ones life and once you have had the experience of a dog you will never want to be without a fur covered family member