The top five advantages of owning a dog


Annie, Photo by Megan Rogers

Megan Rogers, Columnist

  1. A built-in best friend (or child)

According to the University of Sydney, “Researchers from the University’s Charles Perkins Centre and RSPCA NSW found new dog owners self-reported lower levels of loneliness within three months of getting a dog.”

I have a six-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix named Annie and I 100 percent consider her my child and best friend. I love to spend time with her by playing with her and teaching her new tricks. She truly does make me feel less lonely. I mean, human interaction is overrated anyway. 

  1. Your ticket to get out of any social situation 

This one is for my fellow introverted people out there. Are you ever hanging out with a group of people and just want to leave? With a dog, you have a guaranteed-to-work excuse to leave. Just try these; “I have to go feed my dog.” “I need to go let my dog out.” “I have to go walk my dog.” “Sorry, my dog is plotting to overthrow the government, gotta run.”

  1. Helps you get out and exercise 

While the energy and need for exercise differ for each dog breed, according to Academy Animal Hospital, “a general rule-of-thumb is that your dog should spend between 30 minutes and two hours being active every day.” 

There are tons of fun activities you can do with your dog, like biking, hiking, swimming, playing with their favorite toys and going for a walk. Or in my dog’s case, playing with her beloved tennis ball over and over and over and over again.  

  1. Better your mental health 

Dogs can help alleviate anxiety. According to Four Paws, Physical contact with an animal has been proven to rapidly reduce symptoms of anxiety. Petting a dog can help slow your heart rate, which can alleviate panic attacks.” 

Dogs can just provide an overall comforting presence when you are sad. One of the best things about owning a dog is that you can talk to them and they will listen to you with no judgment. 

  1. Honorable Mentions 

You can go eco-friendly and have your own personal garbage disposal (dog-safe food only of course). They can eat the same thing every single day and still act like it is the best thing they have ever tasted. If you have a dog with long or fluffy hair, you get to become a fancy hairstylist. They are super cute. You can make a ton of friends with fellow dog owners. What’s not to love?