Benefits of Dog Companionship During Covid-19
1. Dogs Can Get You Into a Routine
Some days, you may just feel like staying in bed and sleeping the day away. Well, with you have a dog, you can’t do that. You’ll have to follow a routine and take your dog on walks, all of which can be hugely beneficial for helping your mental health.
Plus, if you’re struggling with falling into bad habits during quarantine, like drinking alcohol or eating junk, taking care of your dog can help keep you on a healthier track.
You’ll need to take your dog out to relieve itself every morning, which means you’ll have to actually get up at the same time every morning. You will have to make sure your dog has plenty of food and water at regular times throughout the day. Of course, your dog will need to be walked regularly, and played with at regular intervals.
Having to follow a routine for your puppy will also give you something to focus on other than the pandemic and other bad news in the world, which is really helpful for shifting negative thought processes.
Following a routine for your dog can really help you get yourself in a regular routine, which will in itself make you feel better and improve your mental and physical health.
2. Dogs Can Improve Your Physical Health
This may be a surprise, but having a dog may help improve your physical health as well as your mental health. The CDC says that among other benefits, having a pet can lead to lower cholesterol levels, lower levels of triglycerides, and lower blood pressure.
A study in Sweden found that dog owners were generally less likely to get cardiovascular disease, which is one of the biggest causes of death in the world. Other research has suggested that children who grow up with pets may have fewer allergies later in life.
If you’re someone who needs a service animal or emotional support animal, then getting a dog has some clear implications for your physical and mental health.
There can be complications with getting a service dog, and the process can be confusing, but there are resources out there to help explain the process to you!
When deciding whether or not to get a dog, you should also differentiate between service dogs, emotional support dogs, and therapy dogs, so that you know what hops you’ll need to jump through and what the differences are.
3. Getting a Dog Helps You Get More Exercise
It’s probably not surprising to hear that dogs improve your exercise levels. After all, they need to be walked and played with! Especially during COVID-19, when it can be really difficult to get enough exercise, dogs can be really helpful in getting you out and about in the world.
Dog owners walk, on average, twenty-two more minutes per day than people who don’t own dogs. You also walk more quickly when you’re walking with your dog (you have to keep up, after all) which helps increase your heart rate!
Getting regular exercise is really helpful for maintaining your physical health. People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of obesity and other associated issues. Plus, getting more exercise helps make you happier, which is really needed during this particular moment in time.
Just make sure you don’t get too energetic a dog if you have physical limitations that may prevent you from walking your new dog for long periods of time, and do your research into what will work for you.
4. Animals Reduce Your Stress Levels
It’s been pretty well documented that having a pet can help reduce your levels of stress, which helps keep you healthier. Petting dogs releases oxycontin, which reduces stress levels in your brain.
That’s why schools, care homes, and other places where people may be having stressful times bring in therapy dogs, to help lessen people’s stress levels and make them feel better!
Studies have even shown that interacting with these therapy dogs brings down people’s cortisol levels, the hormone that’s responsible for stress. So, having a dog is scientifically proven to reduce stress!
5. Having A Pet Just Makes You Happier
It may sound silly, but in itself having a pet that provides you with unconditional love seems to make more people feel a lot happier. Interacting with your dog in any way can help keep the oxycontin flowing, which helps ward off depression and other mental health problems.
Plus, dogs don’t get bogged down with all of the problems in the world. A dog doesn’t care about the pandemic! That’s a major reason why dogs just help make you feel happier.
And, one day when this lockdown is over and the COVID-19 pandemic is a thing of the past, having a dog can really help expand your social life! People always stop and pet a cute dog, and you can meet and socialize with other dog owners at the dog park or while out on walks!
6. Dogs Can Help Your Family
If you’re stuck inside with your kids during the quarantine, well, having a dog may help distract them! Dogs can help gives responsibility, and it can distract them from everything that’s going on.
Plus, all of the other benefits of having a dog during a quarantine will also apply to your kids!
But, what kind of dog should you adopt if you have children running about? Here are some dogs that are recommended for living with kids:
- Golden Retriever
- French Bulldog
- Border Collie
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Labrador Retriever
- Boston Terrier
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- A mixed dog
These are just a few dogs that are recommended for kids! Ask at your local shelter or rescue center. The breed of the dog isn’t the only thing that matters, the personality and previous life of the individual dog does as well, so it’s important to meet the dog first if possible, and ask for the recommendations of people familiar with the dog.
This is true even if you have children with disabilities. Studies have shown that having a pet can be super helpful for kids with autism. You may even be able to get a service or emotional support dog for your child with disabilities!
As long as you’re careful and do your research, you’ll certainly find a great dog to distract your kids during quarantine!
7. Dogs Make for Good Companions
If you live alone, dogs can help keep you company during this difficult time. Dogs make for excellent roommates and can be very distracting if you’re struggling during the quarantine. You can do activities with your dog, cuddle in bed, take Instagram selfies, and so much more. A dog can be an even better friend to you than most humans tend to be, and are certainly much happier!
If you’re not sure what dogs are best for people who live alone, good news! Here’s a list:
- Golden Retriever
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
See? There are tons of dogs out there that fit the single and free-wheeling lifestyle. And you shouldn’t worry if you think that the dog you choose won’t like you; you’ll be able to meet the dog in advance, so you can pick a dog that clicks with your personality!
8. Dogs Are Fun!
If you want a dog, to be honest? You should probably just bite the bullet, go out, and pick up your adorable new furry friend today. There are plenty of dogs out there looking for a good home, and if you’ve got one to provide, why not?
If you’ve thought enough about it to read this far, then you have probably done quite a bit of research, and you probably have some idea about what you’re facing.
There are so many activities you can do with your new dog, and that can help you amuse yourself (and your dog) during this quarantine. If you’re feeling stuck, here are a few cute suggestions for activities you can do with your dog:
- Have an Instagram photoshoot
- Take a nap together
- Go hiking out in nature
- Go for a ride in a car, preferably with the top down
- Do yoga videos with your dog!
- Play hide-and-go-seek
- Teach your dog some tricks, like shaking hands and rolling over
- Make a doggie agility course
- Have a costume party
- Make a puppy puzzle and have your dog solve it
- Take your puppy out on the water (in a boat!)
These are just a few of the many, many activities you can do with your fun new puppy companion. When you get a new dog, the world is really your oyster! And it’s difficult enough out there right now — you might as well get a dog and enjoy your life with your new puppy as soon as you can!
Worried About Dog Behavior?
Are you concerned about making sure you have an appropriately behaved dog for you? Are you looking for a therapy dog in particular, and aren’t sure where exactly to start?
Well, good news! You can purchase a specially-trained therapy dog, to make sure that your dog is compatible with your needs. And, you don’t need legal paperwork or qualifications to get a therapy dog, which you do need for a service dog or an emotional support animal.
Therapy Dogs Do Need to Meet Certain Requirements
There are certain requirements that are needed from a therapy dog, though. Therapy dogs can be basically any type of dog, but they are required to be friendly! The dogs are actually tested to make sure they have the right personality to be a good therapy dog, and they’re usually tested more than once to make sure that the first test wasn’t a fluke.
Therapy dogs are trained and tested to make sure that they are good with little kids and older people, and that they remain calm with people who have physical or mental differences. They are also trained to ensure that they can stay calm in crowded places, public spaces, and other places or events that might be too scary for your average puppy dog.
Therapy dogs have a number of benefits for you and any other people living in your household. Therapy dogs can benefit you by providing you with social interactions, the feeling of comfort and safety, motivation, and other positive emotions and benefits. A therapy dog may be a great choice for your needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and afterward.
The Benefits of Dog Companionship Can’t Be Underestimated
Clearly, adopting a dog can be really helpful during the COVID-19 lockdown. If you have the time and resources, why not give it a shot? Just make sure you’re committed to the prospect.
A dog is forever, not just for now, and you shouldn’t get a dog if you are not prepared for the full scope of the situation.
If you want more information on dog training and getting a service, emotional support dog, or therapy dog, you should reach out and contact us today!