Moomin, my canine companion, has actually helped me grow and be more healthy both physically and mentally over the last 5 years… here’s how:
A responsible dog owner will bring his or her dog out for at least 1 hour a day. This will automatically increase your basic physical activity on a daily basis. If you are like me, you will also take the opportunity to do an actual workout such as jogging, active playing with your dog, squats, lunges, cardio exercises, etc.
Thanks to having 2 or 3 walks during the day, it creates a mental fragmentation of my day which clearly structures the time I have dedicated to work, fun, dog walks, sports and other responsibilities. Knowing my day is structured has actually increased my confidence, reduced my stress and gave me an extra validation that my life is going in the right direction.
Thanks to the structured day principle mentioned above, this forces me to be as productive as I can for each activity and completing my tasks well and on time. I cannot allow myself to say “I will skip my sports/my dog walk or stay late at work on something I can actually finish quickly” because of my responsibilities and objectives. Basically, it never makes me feel lazy.
A lot of people are getting ill due to lack of exercise and fresh air. Going out during all the seasons with my dog has allowed me to build my immunity thanks to mentally & physically coping with all kinds of weather, clearing my mind, increasing my physical activity and getting me out from crowded environments.
We have all heard that we should take 10-15 minutes break every hour when working (some also refer to the 52-17 rule). Having to walk my dog 3 times a days further gives me this opportunity to clear my mind & change my setting away from any electronics to reduce my stress levels. Furthermore, playing with my dog or seeing how cute/silly she is, actually make me smile and feel joy during each break I take!
Although I do not have children of my own, I believe that since dogs are not the cleanest animals and bring back elements from the outside world into our homes, children who grow up with them must be conditioned to strengthen their immune system for a healthier and sturdier future.
Having a dog is not all fun and games… there are instances that really test you as a higher being or a barbarian :p Your dog will certainly test your patience to deal with circumstances which you do not find amusing… the silver lining is that this increases your patience for other situations such as the workplace or your relationship!
I would not hire anyone who does not like animals, simply because caring about a non-human indicates compassion and empathy towards people of different backgrounds and cultures. In my mind, this would reduce the chances of colleagues thinking they are “superior” to others, have a more “human” personality in the work place and to think of others when working in a team.
Having a dog has definitely increased my sensibility and enthusiasm towards ecological issues and pushed me to do more for others and the environment.
In the end, humans are animals. Dogs can give you an insight on how certain people, especially children, behave. We have recently realised that some children also cry and scream when parents leave the house not because they are scared of being left alone, but simply because they wish to go out with you to explore the world! Another example is a dog doing something wrong but keeps try to seek forgiveness to move on with their lives and not stay miserable.
When you meet other dog owners, it seems that we have a free ticket to chat with them whenever your dogs cross! I have met a lot of friends and contacts through doggy encounters which allows you to even coordinate dog walks or get drinks together since you live in the same neighbourhood.
This unfortunately does not apply to everyone. I have the privilege of being able to bring my dog to the office which really livens up the place much more than plants! Just the fact that she interacts with people and it’s surroundings actually forces you to take important micro breaks throughout the day with a smile.
You may be able to! Have you ever thought of asking your office? Remember that the worse that could happen is that they say no!
Last but definitely not least, dogs simply make all of us and others HAPPY (most of the time :p)… that is all! *mic drop*