Ok, those are not my dogs- but they did give me a lot of love while I stayed with them, or they stayed with me? One can't be so sure... Anyways, currently, I do not have a dog, but the other day I was explaining to a group of friends of mine why 'having an animal' is actually good for your well-being. So, here is why:

I am not going to list the long list of amazing therapeutic roles that animals can play on a human's life such as detecting seizures, but I will remark on their ability to tremendously impact our quality of life! 

Some research studies have found that people who have a pet have healthier hearts, stay home sick less often, make fewer visits to the doctor, get more exercise, and are less depressed. Pets may also have a significant impact on allergies, asthma, social support, and social interactions with other people.
— Dana Casciotti, PhD and Diana Zuckerman, PhD National Center for Health Research

According to the NCHR, having a pet can:

  • reduce levels of pain & anxiety as well as increase focus & interaction among children with developmental disorders.
  • Improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and regulating the heart rate during stressful situations.
  • Help single-child children generate empathy, higher self-esteem, and increased participation in social and physical activities. 

Perhaps after all, there is some rhyme and reason behind going weak at my knees every time I see a long haired spaniel!

The presence of a nonjudgmental living being like a pet soothes us and lets us feel in a gentle way the powerful self-acceptance...animals have an incredible ability to be completely there and completely devoted. How many of us can say that we are totally devoted to someone else’s well-being? Animals are, and we respond to that unconditional love because it feeds our souls.

Twelve months after a heart attack the mortality rate in homes with a dog was 5%, and in homes with no dog, 26%.
— Bernie Siegel, MD


So, there you have it! To live a healthy and happy life with unconditional love, perhaps its time to commit to that spaniel after all. If you have a pet, what are your feelings on this topic?