This September my dog Ralphy will turn 6 and somehow I love him even more as each year passes. He’s cheeky, funny and super cute whilst sharing his endless supply of love – he’s my safe place. He was just three months old when I got him in London, this was a bit of a nightmare as he’d bark and howl – even when I stepped out to empty the rubbish. Like most Londoners I lived in a flat and as you can image my neighbors didn’t appreciate the sound of him barking anytime I needed to leave him alone. When my boyfriend and I planned to move to his native Germany and set up our company there was zero doubt as to whether Ralphy would come or not. Traveling from the UK to Germany became quite the journey as we took the overnight ferry from Norfolk to Holland and then drove for 10 hours to our new home in Baden-Wurttemburg. When the ferry company told us we could see his kennel via CCTV from the TV in our cabin I didn’t realise everyone else could too. He spent most of the time barking and the next morning as we were lining up at passport control an American girl said to her parents ‘look there’s the dog we saw on TV last night’. His current home in Germany suits him perfectly as he has more than enough space to run and do what dogs do and with the help of family he’s never alone. To celebrate the special bond between humans and dog’s I’ve researched 5 benefits to owning a pooch from this Huffington Post article.
1 We become more outdoorsy. Going for walks is mandatory when owning a dog. I soon made the most of London’s beautiful parks (especially Hyde Park) and Sunday’s on the sofa have become Sunday’s spent walking in the forest. With this comes the health benefits of exercise and fresh air.
2 Just Looking At Your Dog Will Make You Feel Happier. I can definitely attest to this one as my heart swells when I see my dog. A study in Japan found that one’s level of oxytocin (the neurohormone that elicits feelings of happiness) raised intensely after interacting with their dogs.
3 Dogs Calm Us Down In Stressful Situations. Studies have shown that during a ‘stress test’ our stress levels reduce significantly when a dog is in the room.
4 They Help Us Recover Psychologically From A Crisis. Dogs have been proven to help the recovery process of soldiers going through post-traumatic stress disorder.
5 One Study Found That Owning A Dog Could Make You More Attractive To Potential Love Matches. I’ve been in my current relationship for almost 5 years and I brought my dog on the first date which I’m sure helped break the ice. According to a study conducted by Dog’s Trust, the United Kingdom’s largest dog welfare charity, when they surveyed 700 people, 60 percent said that owning a dog can make people more attractive, while 85 percent think people are more approachable when they are with a dog.