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July 31, 2016

7 Reasons to Get A Dog

Whether you are trying to persuade your other half or parents to let you get a dog, I’ve 7 great reasons to get a dog which will help you.  Leave the web page open on this page, print a copy out and put on your best sad eyes.  You just never know, they may say yes!

A couple of weeks ago, Katie, Paul and their family had booked in a visit to Millie, my now infamous ice-cream themed beach hut for hire.   They had booked afternoon tea and a picnic but as my caterer was tied up that afternoon, I decided to take the opportunity to deliver both myself

Millie was of course with me and whilst setting up their picnic for them, Katie mentioned that Paul would love a dog. He’d been working on persuading her to let the family get a dog but had yet to succeed.   As you’d expect, I couldn’t help but support to his arguments to get a dog and despite some tough times with training and her diet, I wouldn’t be without Millie.

So firstly apologises Katie – you might want to keep my 7 reasons to get a dog away from Paul or you’ll find him quoting these to you!


7 reasons to get a dog


7 Reasons to Get a Dog:


#1   You are forced to get outdoors, automatically increasing your exercise

I really did go all in on this one getting an English Springer Spaniel.   Talk about choosing a highly energetic breed, though they have amazing characteristics and I love them.

As someone who spends a large part of their day behind a desk, staring at a laptop, it was always going to be a huge change for me.

However, if you take this morning, I was awake around 7am and my first thought is always “I need to get out and walk Millie”.  Today was one of those days, where I could have easily snuggled back down, under the duvet and had a movie day.   I was far from motivated to get outdoors.

Just 20 minutes later, I spent a lovely 90 minutes walking around The Lookout near Bracknell.  The sun was out and it was starting to get warm. At 8am, its always so peaceful and the woods and paths were quiet in advance of the busy Sunday mountain biking crowd.

By the end of the walk, I felt energised and I was ready for my day ahead.   Oh, and I notched up nearly 5000 steps.

As a minimum, I walk Millie twice a day which is in addition to her Mon-Fri day-care.  Just think how much healthier and fitter both you and your family will feel adding daily walks into your day.   It’s actually quite fun too!


7 reasons to get a dog

#2 You’ll find yourself exploring places you’ve never been to before

Well, I like change.  No, I really do and nothing would drive me more insane than walking in the same places day after day, week after week.  Whilst I think Millie would still enjoy it, have you ever seen a dog in a new place, going mad over new sounds and smells? It’s amazing to watch and really does help tire them out both mentally and physically.

I’ve found walks, beaches, woods that I’ve never been to or heard of before.  Thanks to a few local Facebook dog groups (yes there really is such a thing), I even collate a little list of recommendations and have been working my way through them.

If I didn’t have Millie, I wouldn’t have found these stunning places and explored the beautiful scenery on my very doorstep.


7 reasons to get a dog


#3 Crazy dog people make the best friends

Ok, I’m officially admitting I am one of them and thus could be biased.  But really they are.

I dare you to go on a dog walk and not speak to anyone.  I promise you, that you can try but you won’t succeed!  Dog owners suddenly come out of the woodwork when you become a dog owner.  You find yourself, having conversations with people at work about holidays, dog treats and general dog owner’s problems when previously you had no idea they actually had a dog!

A love of dogs really does unite people and I talked about making amazing friends through new activities too in an earlier blog – What is Canicross.  Who else will put up with all your social media pics of your new addition the family?


7 reasons to get a dog

#4 No need to worry if the doorbell stops working

It’s well known that from an early age, dogs learn to watch and be aware of anything coming your way that they think could be a threat.  Whilst I wish Millie would bark less (she loves to do so to demand you play fetch at the moment – adorable but also sometimes tough going!), a potential burglar could be deterred.

Failing that, if the batteries die on the doorbell, you won’t’ miss that special delivery.


7 reasons to get a dog

#5 You can’t feel sad for long

I think we can all recount a time when we’ve been frustrated, angry, sad or disappointed.   I’m not sure how, but your dog just seems to know when you are very upset or not feeling well.

When I found myself having to tell everyone that I was being forced to sell my original two beach huts for hire after months of hard work, I felt devastated.   Millie’s response was to climb up onto the sofa and lick my tears as I read the amazing responses and support back through the social media sites.  When a dog is licking your face, it’s hard not to feel tickly and laugh.

It’s not the only time when I’ve felt Millie has a had a huge impact and changed my life.

But you don’t have to just believe me, there is also lots of scientific evidence that spending just 15-30 minutes with your dog can help increase your happiness.   It’s suggested playing with your dog can increase your brain’s level of dopamine and serotonin, both of which are neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and tranquillity.

So don’t worry, you don’t need to get your dog to lick your face to help you be happy – just playing with them will help you when you are feeling down.


7 reasons to get a dog


#6 They help you destress

I’m going to be really honest and tell you that I also talk to Millie.   We have great chats and she doesn’t judge me, even when I talk jibberish.  There is the odd side tilt to her head but well with those ears, she just looks cute doing that.

On the same basis as helping you when you feel sad, playing or petting a dog can also reduce stress.   It can do so by increasing levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease the production of the stress hormone cortisol.

If you’ve heard of Pets at Therapy (PAT) dogs then you’ll also know that it’s suggested that petting dogs can also help reduce blood pressure and offer improved recovery time with patients, such as after a stroke.   They are wonderful!


7 reasons to get a dog

#7   Kids can also benefit too

As well as helping destress adults, its also suggested that a child’s self-esteem can also be improved by having a family dog.

From helping children develop lesser pet allergies and less sickness to being a loyal faithful companion, the list of benefits to children is huge. Just google!

But for me, it really comes down to one thing.   As an adult, I love being around animals and I know a lot of that is due to the fact that I’ve grown up in a house that also had dogs and cats.   From Flash (originally my gran’s dog) to Tess (our dopey but loving Great Dane/Irish Wolfhound) to each of our rescue cats.  They gave me companionship, laughs, and memories.    Those childhood memories are the ones that made me who am I today.
7 reasons to get a dog


Do I need to say anymore?

I could go on and one about many more benefits of getting a dog but do I need to say anymore?

The question is now – what breed will you choose?  I’ll be covering that in a blog soon, I promise!  But in the meantime you could always fall in love with Springer Spaniels – there are 10 reasons why I love them and I’m sure you will too after reading.

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