Dogs bring so much joy to every home they are a part of, but they provide more than just entertainment and a little more happiness to your home. Dogs also give more opportunities for humans to pursue healthy lifestyles.
It all starts with knowing how to take care of them. When you take care of your pets, sometimes you don’t realize that you are also taking care of yourself in the process.
You find yourself in a win-win situation when your pets are well taken care of. Take care of your pets and, when necessary, visit a veterinarian for emergency care. This helps you live a long, healthy life with your pets.
How Dogs Help You Stay Healthy
Firstly, it helps to understand the simple ways in which dogs can look out for your mental and physical well-being.
1. They provide companionship
If you have a pet, you understand how spending time with them is an instant mood booster. Ruffling their fur, watching them sleep, or just being around them lifts the mood. It is also a way to show them care and affection.
A study published in BMC Public Health shows that dogs indeed help a person’s mental health by reducing loneliness. Although more studies need to be done to learn more about the mental health benefits of dog ownership, this study shows that dogs contribute to living happier lives.
2. They help you get more exercise
Keeping your dog fit involves taking them for walks and doing physical activities with them. After these sessions, you also find yourself a little tired.
When you walk your dog daily, you also put in a significant amount of steps to reach the recommended daily count, which is approximately 10,000 steps a day. You bond with your dog in the process, too.
Games of fetch and catch also require some moving around. Playing with your dog gets your heart rate up, too.
3. They provide a stable routine
There are a number of responsibilities that come with being a dog owner. You have to feed them every day, walk them every day, and groom them, too. These are tasks you don’t want to neglect because you care about your dog.
With these things that you have to do at specific points in the day, you find yourself following a regular schedule. A consistent routine adds structure to your life, especially if you are working remotely. It does the same for your dog, too.
Keep Hazards Away from Your Dog
Taking care of your dog at home sometimes puts them at risk of exposure to several seemingly safe household items that are hazardous to them. Here are things to watch out for.
1. Essential oils may be harmful
Turning on your diffuser and letting the pleasant smell waft in your home is relaxing, especially after a long day. However, not all scents are safe for your dogs to inhale. Some cause vomiting, skin irritation, and even paralysis in dogs.
Essential oils that harm your dog include tea tree, cinnamon, pine, wintergreen, and citrus. It is not limited to only these scents, so it is wisest to approach your vet for guidance.
If you want to use diffusers, only use them in areas that your dogs have no access to.
2. Certain types of food are bad for them
Food items that are safe for humans to ingest are not always safe for dogs to consume. Some food contains substances that are highly toxic to dogs.
Chocolates are commonly understood as bad for dogs, but similarly, things that contain caffeine are bad for them. This makes dark chocolate especially bad for dogs. Other food products that harm dogs are raw meats and eggs, which are home to bacteria, fruits and nuts, candies with xylitol, and more.
Bones are also unsafe for dogs. They are choking hazards and also put your dogs at risk for punctures in their digestive tract.
3. Household cleaning products are unsafe
Most of your cleaning products should be kept away from your dogs. Your laundry detergents, all-purpose cleaners, glass cleaners, and bathroom cleaners should be stowed in a place that your pet cannot touch.
These products often contain chlorine and ammonia. Chlorine can induce vomiting and dizziness in dogs, while ammonia, when used with bleach, emits odors that are poisonous to animals, including dogs. Formaldehyde, found in many human and dog shampoo products, also has asthmatic effects.
Dogs are not only wonderful companions. They are also great partners towards a healthy lifestyle. Take care of your pets and, at the same time, take care of yourself.