Many of us are aware that owning a dog has many health benefits. They keep us moving, can reduce our stress, and even help us meet new people and make new friends.
What isn’t always so obvious, however, are the life lessons that canines teach us.
Being a dog owner has rewards that go beyond participating in fun physical activities with your pooch. You’ll see the world in a whole new way when you love a dog.
Here are ten things that owning a dog will teach you.
1. What Unconditional Love Is
It doesn’t matter what you look like or if you get a little grumpy or down on yourself from time to time; your dog thinks you’re the greatest thing on two legs.
That’s unconditional love.
Dogs have seen us at our worst moments and still love us. Sometimes it requires a lot of strength for humans to see past our flaws and still love and accept us in the same way an animal can.
2. How To Live In The Moment
While no one’s really quite sure if animals are aware of the past or future, we do know that pets tend to live in the present moment. To them, that’s all that’s matters and that’s all any of us can do is live in the current moment.
And if that current moment includes a romp in the dog park or a treat, all the better.
3. How to Let Grudges Go
Pets don’t tend to hold grudges as humans do and your dog won’t be angry because you didn’t give him a biscuit the day before.
Holding a grudge can be emotionally exhausting, and people tend to stay upset over insignificant things that don’t matter in the big picture.
Be more like Fido (and Elsa) and let it go.
4. Make Time For Fun Physical Activities
Forget the Cindy Lauper song; dogs just want to have fun. Dogs love nothing more than to run and play; they relish any chance to run, explore, and interact with their human or other dogs.
For people, playtime doesn’t necessarily have to mean getting exercise (although it is certainly good for us.) We can take a cue from our furry friends by taking a breather from our responsibilities.
It means having fun for a few minutes whether it’s doing a little online shopping or taking a walk during our lunch break.
Schedule a few minutes to do something fun every day just to give yourself a small reward and to refresh your mind. Dogs show us the importance of having a healthy life/work balance.
5. Show Your Happiness
You’ll never doubt when your dog is happy; they wag their tails, pant, and literally jump for joy!
We’re not saying you should do the same when someone gives you a present, but it’s healthy to display a little happiness from time to time, even if it’s just sharing a few words of gratitude on your social media page.
Expressing your happiness is a positive feeling that can leave you feeling good for the rest of the day, so why not try it?
6. Be Loyal
Loyalty seems like an elusive trait these days. We ghost dates or unfriend people on Facebook. We can also lose our job in the blink of an eye no matter how many years we stayed with an employer.
Dogs demonstrate loyalty to their owners; chalk it up to the pack mentality that’s been with them since ancient times. What are some areas in your life where you could be a little more loyal?
7. Accept Yourself
You’ll never see a Rottweiler look in the mirror and express displeasure at his appearance or that he’s carrying a little extra weight. Dogs teach us how to love and accept ourselves. Part of this comes from the fact that dogs have no awareness of whether they’re perfect or not, but much of it comes from the unconditional love they demonstrate.
It may time to ease up on yourself, especially if there’s an area of your life where you don’t think you’re “enough.” Trust us; your dog views you as more than enough.
8. The Importance Of Greeting People
No matter how awful your day was, doesn’t your dog help make up for it the way they greet you when you arrive home? Chances are they wag their tail, bark, leap up and down, or try to stand up so they can give you a hug and a kiss.
It makes you feel valued as a person.
We can greet our loved ones when they arrive home to show them how much we care as well. Slobbering all over them would depend on if they’re a romantic partner and how receptive they are to that kind of affection.
9. How To Show Compassion
Dogs intuitively know when someone is sad or upset; that’s why they make wonderful service and therapy animals. When you’re having a rough time of it, your dog can probably sense it and tries to comfort you by jumping on your lap for some snuggles and kisses.
And many dog owners find their own compassion when they rescue a homeless canine or help an abused dog learn how to love again.
10. Enjoy The Journey
There’s not a dog alive that doesn’t love sticking his or her face out of a car window while traveling.
Dogs love the journey and getting to explore new surroundings. And perhaps that is the greatest lesson they can teach us, because life is all about the journey, never the destination.
Adopt a Dog And Love Life
As you can see, dogs have a lot to teach us about loving life.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we can burn a few extra calories by participating in fun physical activities with our furry best friend. However, dog ownership can help us have a more positive outlook on life and not take it so seriously.
Check out our archived life posts for more insights into the benefits of pet ownership and healthy daily habits!