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Why You Should Adopt a Dog

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Why You Should Adopt a Dog
Throughout history, we have found evidence that dogs played a very special role in the lives of their human companions. Dogs have left their paw prints throughout time, even in ancient civilizations. Artists have displayed paintings and drawings, showing the bond of man and his oldest companion, the dog. Ancient burial sites displayed evidence of human love for their dogs. Canine skeletal remains, were often seen with their human remains. Many ancient graves were found to have dogs buried alongside their human, with treats, providing them with a little something to snack on in the afterlife. This evidence proves man’s best friend is not a 20th century ideal, but can be traced back thousands of years. (Lobell, J. A., & Powell, E. 2010) I have such a love for dogs, and am the proud owner of 6 rescue dogs, ages one to seventeen. I had a dog as a child, and she started the love story that I have today with my canine partners. I believe this is God’s second best creation, (behind man) and at times, I feel they are His best. I adopted my first dog from the ASPCA in New York City. Micky was an abused Poodle mix, and became my first dogs as an adult. I always loved dogs, but after adopting Micky, I became an advocate for rescue, and adoption. My life was forever changed. The sad statistics show close to 2.7million cats and dogs are killed each year in our animal shelters across the US. Many people have found it necessary to surrender their pets when faced with economic stressors such as unemployment, and home foreclosures. Many apartments will not allow pets, or place restrictions on the breed, or the size of the dog. Owners are therefore forced to make a decision between their financial situation, and pet owner responsibility and commitment.
Hirshey, G. (2008, May 11).
Adopting a dog from a shelter can save a life. Not only can you save the life of a shelter dog, but can have positive emotional and physical benefits to the person adopting! Understanding the desired breed is an important aspect of adoption. Some breeds are high energy, requiring plenty of exercise, while others are happy with a lower energy lifestyle. Owning a dog does have responsibilities, and for some, this commitment does not fit their lifestyle. Dogs require exercise, a feeding schedule, clean water, and frequent opportunities to go outside to “tend to business.” Dogs also require routine medical care, such as vaccinations, neutering, and training. Studies have shown there are many physical and emotional benefits from dog ownership. Most pet owners are aware of the joy an animal can bring but may be unaware of the physical benefits of pet ownership. The American Heart Association has linked the pet ownership, especially dogs, with a reduced risk for heart disease and greater longevity. AHA contributes lower blood pressure, decrease obesity, lower lipid levels to the increase activity and lower stress levels of dog owners. Exercising with your dog, whether walking, or throwing a ball, can also provide increase exercise for you!
The AHA research recommended:
Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably associated with decreased CVD risk (Level of Evidence: B). (Levine et al., 2013) Children raised with dogs in their family have less chances of developing allergies. Dog allergens prompt an immune response against microbes that are linked to asthma in children. Researchers also found a correlation in children living with dogs and reduced risk of eczema. Studies have also found that stroking, holding, cuddling a dog can reduce stress, ease loneliness. Oxytocin, the chemical responsible for feelings of love, and bonding, is produced when petting, and bonding with your dog. Owning a dog can provide safety and security. Barking, and the threat of physical harm, are deterrents to most burglars. Studies show homes with dogs, are less likely to be burglarized. Caring for a dog has many benefits, including a feeling of self-worth. Being responsible for another living being can bring structure and a purpose to your life.
It is hard to feel sad, or down, when your beloved dog greets you, tail wagging, at the end of a busy day. Whether you prefer a small lap dog, or a dog to lie at your feet, the power of their love and devotion will win you over. Please visit your local animal shelter when considering a dog. There are hundreds of wonderful dogs killed each day in our shelters, waiting for a home that never comes. Adopting a shelter dog can be beneficial to your physical and mental health. The bond that forms between you and your dog, can bring you joy, and provide health benefits. Dogs provide companionship, safety and security, and unconditional love. Adopting a dog can change your life. I know. It has changed mine.…...

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