15 Ways Your Dog Makes You a Better Person

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Who's a good boy? Or a good girl? Your dog, for sure. But man's best friend is also making you a better two-legged friend. Everything from your physical health to the way you treat your close relationships is enhanced by having a puppy around.

There are so many little ways dogs make your life better every single day. There's nothing quite like walking in the front door after work, only to be greeted by a drooling face filled with boundless excitement at your arrival. It can make every day feel special! And who doesn't want to be greeted by a dog's dorky grin after a long day? There's nothing like a wagging tail and an attack of kisses to bring a smile (and a little dog drool) to your face.

Dogs make great companions. They can help the elderly find a friend in their old age. They teach kids valuable lessons in responsibility. And they can always lend an (especially floppy) ear anytime their owner needs someone to listen.

Your dog loves being home. Your dog loves you! You feed your dog, you give him or her attention... As much as you take care of your dog, you might not realize that there are lots of ways your dog takes care of you as well. Hanging around man's best friend can make you into a better person - here are 15 ways you improve when you have a dog at home.


Having a dog teaches you responsibility

It's hard work taking care of a pet! Dogs can be especially time-consuming, so you want to make sure you're choosing the right breed for your family. Your canine is counting on you and no one else for clean water, food, a bath every once in a while, and a ton of other things. Fido is also relying on you to play! It's just irres-paw-nsible not to give your pup the love he or she deserves. Sometimes it'll feel like a chore. But the responsibility you learn taking care of your pet can be taken with you to all other aspects of your life.


Your dog keeps you active

Dogs need exercise - some breeds more than others. And they're counting on you to give them the opportunity to run around! Sure, you could just take them to the dog park and let them run free. But you could go for a run with them as well. Even if you don't like running, your dog will get you moving. You'll be taking your bud for walks - and walking has more health benefits than you might think!


Dog people are happy people

Look at that adorable face and try not to smile. We dare you. But the evidence is beyond anecdotal - a study from BarkBox actually shows that people who own dogs are happier because of it. (We bet the dogs are happier having a home, too!)


You become more affectionate

Showing love to little Lottie can help you learn to show love to the other special people in your life as well. According to the same study, around half of dog owners report becoming more affectionate people after getting a dog. Who can help but show affection to those furry, eager faces?!


Your dog's friends can make you some human friends

Feeling lonely? Your dog can help fix that: first, with their valuable companionship, and second, by getting you out of your comfort zone to meet other dog owners. Your dog needs to socialize, too! Chatting with other humans at the dog park or a meetup can help you make some human relationships while your dog finds friends.


Taking care of your dog teaches patience

Caring for a pet takes some serious patience. Your dog could get sick. He or she could rip your couch to shreds. Your furry little friend might even wake you up in the middle of the night, just craving attention! There will be times when you'll want to yell and scream, but you know deep down that your dog doesn't mean any harm. The process will teach you lots of patience. But a little patience reaps a big reward!


Your dog makes you healthier

The science is overwhelming - owning a pet makes you into a healthier human being. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that pet ownership can decrease blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and reduce triglyceride levels, among other huge health benefits.


Having a dog forces you to keep your house clean and organized

If you let your clothes and other belongings be thrown astray, your dog just might get to them before you do. Dogs need clean, safe spaces. To protect your stuff and keep your area dog-friendly, you'll end up keeping a cleaner house. And when you have a dog, vacuuming is much harder to forget. Tumbleweeds of fur will clue you in that it's time to clean!


You get more practice budgeting

You're not the only one relying on your bank account. Having a dog involves various costs, including food, vet visits, and other potentially unexpected needs. Factoring these things into your monthly budget will help you become smarter at spending by necessity.


You feel more confident

Forget getting a makeover. All you need for a little self-esteem boost is a little unconditional love from your adorable best friend! Surveys show that people who own dogs actually report having higher self-esteem than people who don't.


You live longer

Cats are the ones with nine lives, but owning a dog can give you extra life. A 2017 study showed that dogs could decrease their owners' risk of death by 33 percent.


Having a dog makes the heart grow stronger

The strength of your love - and your vital organs - will increase over time for your furry friend. Your heart literally will get stronger. According to Harvard Health Publishing, multiple studies suggest that having a dog can reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and decrease your risk of heart disease. On the flip side, your dog's death might literally break your heart.


You gain a new sense of humor

Say what you want about how messy, not-so-smart, and clumsy canines are - you have to admit they're incredibly goofy! When has your dog failed to bring a smile to your face? Whether it's his dorky grin or rambunctious personality, your sense of humor can only grow when your dog's around.


Dogs are like therapy

Hanging out with a cute canine feels therapeutic, and research shows that in some ways, it actually is. Mental health treatments involving dogs are consistently shown to be effective. While getting a dog won't rid of your depression for good, it might help ease the pain on some of your toughest days.


Your dog will get you out of bed in the morning

No joke: 71 percent of the people surveyed who own dogs reported that waking up to a devoted dog made them feel better about facing the day ahead. Life just feels better with a dog by your side! And the easier you wake up, the more regular your sleep patterns will be. Good thing, too - because a messed-up sleep schedule can seriously mess with your health!

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