Keith's Rescue Dogs

Registered Charity No 1093211

What are the benefits of owning a dog?

What are the benefits of owning a dog?

Dogs are many things to many people. Exercise buddies, adventure pals, listening ears and chill-out chums. They make lots of people’s lives better – but is a pet pooch right for you?

Friendship and company at home and outdoors

Few things beat a greeting from your faithful friend, first thing in the morning or when you get back from work.

A dog can provide company and friendship, turning your house into a home. You can go on walkies with them and chill out together, and they’ll become a much-loved part of your family.

Children, like adults, often develop strong bonds with their dogs. The family pooch can take on many roles, from garden games buddy to star of their stories.  

They can also be a source of support in tough times. In a 2020 study, more than 90% of owners said their four-legged friend helped them cope during the first lockdown.  

If you find a dog that’s a good match for you and your family, it’ll be great for them as well. Dogs are social animals who generally enjoy spending time with their humans. The benefits go both ways.  

Getting fit and keeping active with your faithful friend

Every dog, big or small, needs daily exercise. When you become an owner, this will give you an extra push to keep active, boosting your pet’s health and yours.

Your dog might need a couple of local walks every day or something more challenging.  

Taking your pooch walkies is something you can enjoy as a family, and it’s a good reason to explore your local area. If you’re already a keen outdoor explorer, having an energetic dog by your side will make your adventures more enjoyable.  

Playing with toys is a great way to get active, use energy, enrich our dogs’ lives and have fun. There’s lots you can do to keep their mind and body busy, such as making them a snuffle mat.

Training classes are a hands-on way to bond with your dog while you both learn new skills.

You can also do fun training sessions together at home. There are lots of ideas on the Dog's Trust YouTube channel.

Getting active with your pet can make you feel good. It may also help provide longer-term health benefits. A 2019 study found that dog ownership was associated with a longer life, especially among heart attack and stroke survivors.  

Having a dog can help you feel happier, calmer and more connected

Dog ownership can bring many advantages for your mental health.

Hanging out with your new pet can boost your mood in the moment and help you feel better longer term.

If you’ve had a tough day, then snuggling with your pooch can help you unwind (just make sure that they enjoy it too). Having a dog to care for can help you focus on something outside of yourself.  

Watching your dog’s antics, like playing in puddles or chasing leaves, can help the whole family laugh together and bond.

And the evidence shows that owning a pet can help people with mental health conditions.  

Pet ownership can also help you build better connections within your community. A 2015 study found that pet owners were more likely than non-pet owners to get to know local people. A new dog could bring you a wider circle of friends and more happiness.

This content is reproduced with kind permission from the Dog's Trust