It probably comes as no surprise, but I really couldn’t imagine my life without dogs. My gran got a tiny little black lab just a few months after I was born. He was my first best friend. He put up with baby me crawling all over him, and as we grew older together, I would pretend he was a pony, or curl up and rest my head on his furry little belly. I always knew he was there for me to nestle into if I was having a bad day because my friends had fallen out with me, or if I just wanted someone to keep me company until my mum came to pick me up. He was always there. He was the first dog that I had bonded with, and he is probably the reason I love dogs so much today.
Since then my family have had dogs of their own. We now have two Akita’s called Kodi and Nala, and they are literally my pride and joy. In all honesty, they are the only reason I get out of bed most days. If I didn’t have to force myself awake to walk the dogs, then I would probably be left to moulder away in my bed and my day would never get started. Getting up and having just 30 minutes of exercise in the morning really sets me up for the day in a way that I know wouldn’t happen otherwise. It doesn’t let me slip into any sort of self-enforced depressive episode, which is so easy to entertain when you have no reason to even leave your bed. Having dogs is a benefit to me, both mentally and physically by kick starting my day and getting me exercised.
My dogs are also a great stress relief for me. Some people turn to eating, or drinking too much alcohol, but for me I just like to spend time with my dogs! During exams especially, when emotions are running high, and your head is all over the place, I always find myself longing to spend time with my dogs. So I always make sure to take breaks to cuddle with Kodi (Nala isn’t a cuddly dog) and I feel so much better afterwards. Just taking some time to breathe, and hang out with my dogs can make me feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
Puppyspot.com list a whole number of ways that owning a dog can positively impact your health, for some it goes well beyond the mental impact that my dogs have had on me. Owning a dog can truly change your life.
If you are interested in finding a dog that is right for you, puppy spot are linked up with the American Kennel Club to help you avoid atrocious puppy mills and find the right breeder for you! You might find the right dog for you here. Alternatively, if you are looking to adopt from a rescue service – look locally! My family are personally involved in Akita rescue, and that is how we found our two. But you never know where, or how you will meet your new best friend!
** I was contacted by Puppyspot to help spread their campaign on health benefits provided by owning dogs
*** Photos by Euan Kinloch (@euankinloch insta)