Love, Loyalty, and Laughter: Benefits of Adopting a Dog

Dogs are some of the most dependable companions a person can count on. They don’t get angry when you forget to wash their socks or underwear, they don’t require a fancy dinner every night, and they are content to sit by your side when all you want to do is enjoy a peaceful moment. Dogs are like spouses, without any arguing. They love you unconditionally, and they stay by your side in sickness and health. All they ask from you is that you love them back, and maybe give them a scratch behind the ears once in a while.

According to the ASPCA, there are 5,000 animal shelters nationwide, and approximately 6 million pets in these shelters waiting for a home.

Reasons to Adopt a Dog

They help cope with loneliness. A service called C.O.P.E. provides service dogs for people with a range of difficulties. According to the C.O.P.E. Service’s homepage, dogs as companions benefit people incredibly because they are able to “decrease loneliness; inspire people to smile, laugh and have fun; foster feelings of safety and acceptance; offer unconditional love and acceptance; and provide comfort.”

Dogs encourage you to exercise. Because most dogs require exercise to stay healthy and happy, they encourage the owner to go outside with them and walk, run, hike or bike. This can lead to a healthier lifestyle. According to a Health Guidance article by Mack LeMouse entitled “Ways Exercise Reduces Stress,”, exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happier, produces testosterone to improve confidence and to relieve stress, and also helps to improve cognitive functioning, including memory.

Adopting a dog from the shelter discourages puppy mills. Puppy mills are successful because they sell purebred dogs to pet stores and on websites that appear to be legitimate. People see these dogs as superior to other dogs because they are purebred, and so the demand for puppy mills continues. The Humane Society of the United States documents how the dogs living in these puppy mills have extremely poor living conditions and often have no human contact. After the dog birthing all the puppies reaches a point where she is no longer fertile, she’s often killed. Adopting a dog from the shelter instead of a pet store discourages the cruel and corrupt production of puppies in puppy mills.

You could save the dog’s life. According to the ASPCA, five out of ten dogs held in shelters are euthanized because there is simply not enough room for them. Perhaps one of those dogs waiting for a home is the one that will bring you laughter, unconditional love, and many years of happiness. Bringing a dog home from a shelter could potentially save the dog from being killed just because someone else couldn’t take care of it.

So Consider This….

If you’re looking for a new pet, or if you’re looking for something to bring a little more meaning into your life, consider making a visit to your community animal shelter and adopting a dog. If you do, you can rest assured that it will never nag at you to do the dishes, compete with you for the remote, or judge you for your beliefs. All your dog will do is beg you for a little attention, and maybe some scraps from the table.