Recently my family adopted a puppy from a local shelter. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a puppy in the house and I forgot how much energy they have. Not only is our puppy young, but he’s also an Australian Cattle Dog mix, a breed well known for its never-ending energy as the dogs have traditionally spent their days running out on the ranch all day. Now that we’ve had our dog “Finley” (AKA “Finn”) home for two weeks, I am realizing some of the great benefits of having a dog in our home.
More Love, Less Stress
Ok, yes, a puppy can be stressful when you first get it and you’re trying to teach it the rules of the house, but it can be a great family member too.
Do you know that the “love hormone” Oxytocin is released each time you give your dog a hug?It’s the anti-anxiety drug which allows us to feel good, loved and bonded. The animal also benefits the same way too! If you’re feeling sad, stressed or lonely, companionship from animals can be a wonderful way to feel better.
Increase in Physical Activity
Since Finley is so active, I knew I needed to step up my game or I was going to find him chewing my couch. Every morning we take a brisk walk around the neighborhood together. We started out small and added blocks over time. Not only have I tired him out a little but it has been so great to get some fresh air, listen to the birds and see all the beautiful flowers blooming in the neighborhood. Our dog is improving the health of our family! Exercise is considered a chore by many, but it can be a lot more enjoyable to step outside with your pet.
Needless to say, Finley has impacted our family in many ways in just a few short weeks. I look forward to taking him on a run with me as we build up his stamina over time. I imagine him going with me on hikes, to the dog park, and camping with our family. He has given us an unexpected source of excitement and motivation when it comes to daily physical activity.
What if you aren’t able to adopt a pet?
If you don’t want to adopt a pet, consider going to an animal shelter and walking the dogs. Most places love for people to volunteer their time and allow the dogs to get the exercise they need. Not only that, you will be getting some exercise into your day too!
Now its your turn: Would a dog make exercising more fun for you? Tell us in the comments.
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