Owning a dog is a balance between responsibility and reward, and the pendulum tends to be in a constant state of flux so that at times dog ownership feels like a joy and at others, a millstone!
Knowing about the potential limitations that dog ownership places on your life and the ways in which it can cramp your style is important to explore before you get a dog, not afterwards; and many first-time dog owners don’t really think this through, or only consider such limitations in the abstract.
However, as well as resulting in quite the upheaval to your lifestyle and adding a number of restrictions to your life (such as being unable to stay out partying until all hours on impulse if your dog is expecting you home) dog ownership can also broaden your horizons in many ways as well.
Finding out about how dog ownership can limit you is vital; but it is also of course nice to find out how dog ownership can change your life for the better, introduce you to new things, and broaden your horizons too!
With this in mind, this article will tell you five ways in which owning a dog can broaden your horizons and enhance your life. Read on to learn more.
Even if you are already pretty fit or are gym-fit, owning a dog means you’ll spend at least an hour a day walking them if you’re conscientious about taking care of them properly, and potentially even longer!
Even if this is just a gentle stroll whilst your dog hares around, it will have a positive impact on your fitness and wellbeing, both physical and mental too.
If you intend to run, jog or ramble with your dog, the impact will be even greater, and if you want to get involved in canine sports, the sky is the limit!
Being out walking with your dog also means that you’ll get up close and personal with the local flora and fauna, and you’ll start to notice things in your local area that you might have passed every day for years but never really registered before!
Being out and about at different times also means you’ll see different things and of course, the same is true when the seasons change as well. You might see wildlife you never even knew thrived in your area like foxes, badgers or even otters, red squirrels or weasels if you’re really lucky!
This can become a passion and a hobby all of its own, and taking your dog to new places to explore other regions can be a very rewarding part of this.
Owning a dog for the first time is a steep learning curve, however well prepared for it you think you are. You will develop an intuitive as well as theoretical understanding of dogs and canine body language, become attuned to the subtle changes and moods of your own dog, find out just how fast an errant Husky that’s spotted a friend can run, or learn how enterprising a Labrador retriever that’s found a discarded pile of chips can be about wolfing them down in the time it takes you to grab their collar!
You will also learn a lot of more tangible things, such as how dogs interact and socialise with each other compared to how they interact with people, why and how different types of dogs need to be fed, and what each individual dog needs in terms of care and lifestyle in order to thrive.
As well as learning a whole host of new things, many of which you might not even have imagined, you will also develop new skills as well; such as training and motivating a dog, how to get the best out of your dog, and how dogs of different breeds and intelligence levels can differ in terms of their needs and how to handle them.
Interpreting canine body language to tell if an approaching dog is friendly or a threat is a valuable life skill that could keep you and your dog safe today and remain invaluable for the remainder of your life, for instance. Dog ownership as a whole teaches you a whole host of practical skills as well as training and management… Like how best to get mud out of carpets and the fastest way to dry out a soaking wet dog without transferring the water to yourself!
Dog ownership is the great equalizer; the Queen is a dog owner, and many homeless people have dogs too, the latter of which are commonly some of the best trained and most conscientiously well cared for dogs you will ever meet.
There is no race, gender, religion, income bracket or social background divide in terms of people who like dogs and those who don’t, and the same is true for preferences on a breed-by-breed basis.
Owning a dog means walking said dog and allowing them to socialise with others, which in turn means meeting and socialising with a wide and diverse range of other dog owners too.
Having a dog will allow you to have some fascinating one-off conversations with people you might never run into again; and it can also mean both you and your dog making firm friends for life as well!