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How Having a Dog Can Improve Your Health!

How Having a Dog Can Improve Your Health!

Growing up I was mostly a cat person. Plus I lived in apartments for the better part of my life and dogs were not usually welcome. But once I bought my first house I was ready to take the plunge and get a dog. While cats are awesome, they are so different than dogs.  Everyone knows that dogs are loyal, funny, and (usually) smart, but did you also know that having a dog can improve your health? 

How Having a Dog Can Improve Your Health

Dogs are loyal, funny, and smart, but did you also know that having a dog can improve your health? Here's how! Click To Tweet

By Golly, It’s Ollie!

I always had cats growing up and I felt like I understood them. You basically feed them and occasionally they’ll let you pet them. Simple.

My cool Siamese cat, Miko. Occasionally he'd let you pet him.
My cool Siamese cat, Miko. Occasionally he’d let you pet him.

But I also always wanted to have a fluffy dog that I could teach how to do tricks. So when I saw this gorgeous Shetland Sheepdog puppy, I instantly fell in love.

He was a purebred and I named him Ollie. Actually, since he was a registered AKC dog, we gave him a full name of “By Golly, It’s Ollie” because I’m cool like that.

By Gollie, It's Ollie! My very first dog.
By Golly, It’s Ollie! My very first dog.

Ollie was super smart. He even went to obedience and agility training and could do all kinds of party tricks. He wasn’t much of a snuggler, but he was extremely sweet and so much fun!

Who Are You Calling A Harry Wiener?

Next, a small tan dachshund mix with a cute little pink nose came into our life. His name was Harry Wiener.

Get it? Because he’s hairy. And a wiener dog. And we have a 5-year-old’s sense of humor.

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Harry Wiener had an adorable pink nose.
Harry Wiener had an adorable pink nose.

Harry was so chill and super lovable. All he wanted to do was snuggle (kind of the opposite of Ollie).

Hubby even called him the tumor since he would practically attach himself to us when we slept. He always wanted to be touching you at all times. The dog – not my hubby.

Archibald Nibbler

When Harry passed away, we decided to take a trip to the local animal shelter and find our current bundle of joy. That’s when I saw this mess of matted fur with the sweetest brown eyes.

How could you resist that face?
How could you resist that face?

And when we got to interact with him one on one, he was the only dog that jumped right into my lap. I knew this dog was special.

We could tell he was still young because he was a bit of a nipper. So we named him Archibald Nibbler (Archie for short). And after about a day or two, we discovered just how “special” he is.

You see, Archie is kind of dumb.

Archie all cleaned up. Can you believe it's the same dog?
Archie all cleaned up. Can you believe it’s the same dog?

When he follows us around (constantly), he bumps into our legs and walks into walls. He barks at his reflection in the window. Hubby likes to joke that the former owners probably let him out on purpose.

Whenever Archie does something stupid, my hubby always says “You picked him!”

While he is a little clingy, he is trainable. I have taught him how to sit, stay, and lie down. So there’s still hope!

Not to mention he loves when I sing silly songs to him – that’s more than I can say for my hubby and kid.

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No matter how annoying Archie is, we love having a dog in our life. Even more now knowing that just having a dog can improve our health!

How Having a Dog Can Improve Your Health?

There are lots of ways having a dog can improve your health!

For example, did you know that simply petting and playing with your pooch can help reduce stress and lower your blood pressure? And the companionship alone can boost self-esteem and reduce feelings of anxiety.

Here is a great little infographic from PuppySpot showing some of the many ways having a dog can improve your health: How Dogs Improve Our Health

So not only can a dog improve your heart, mind, and body but they can also sniff out cancer?! How the heck can I get my dog to learn that?

What kind of dog is your favorite?

Whether you are into tiny dogs that can fit in your purse, or large dogs that you can ride like a horse (I’m kidding. Don’t do that!), there’s sure to be a dog out there to fit your personality and lifestyle.

If I could just train Archie to sniff out illness instead of walking into walls...
Now, if I could just train Archie to sniff out illness instead of walking into walls…

If you are thinking about getting a puppy, be sure to check out the extensive database on to learn how you can find your very own dream dog. Or just visit the site to drool over the adorable photos and videos of puppies!

I still love cats, but there is nothing compared to the loyalty and companionship that a dog brings to your life. Now if I could just get my dog to stop nibbling…

If you could have any type of dog, which one would you choose? What are the most important qualities you look for in a dog? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for writing this post, but it does contain affiliate links which means I may be compensated a small amount if you click through and purchase. Full disclosure policy here.

Published inProducts for PetsRants and Rambles


  1. Totally resonate with this post!! I have a rottie/golden retriever puppy and he makes me the happiest I’ve ever been! :)))

  2. A golden retriever. That’s what I’d get. I am a cat person but I want my kid to have both a cat and a dog.

  3. Ohhh Archie he sound so funny! I am cat person but after reading your post I kind of changing my mind! Having s dog is aswesome! Look of what they can do! Amazing!

  4. I have always been a dog person. To me they have so much more personality than a cat. We have a ShihTzu – Derby and couldn’t have asked for a better companion.

  5. Jessica m Jessica m

    Dogs are pretty entertaining..i used to have a dog..a terrior mix, but i moved and couldn’t take him, but i do have 2 ferrets, they are my little comedians. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Really great information for pet owners, sadly I have no pets.

  7. I love all kinds of dogs ( cats too to be fair ) and yes, I can totally see how they can be beneficial to ones health both mentally and physically! Now if you’ll excuse me I need to show this to my boyfriend who doesn’t allow dogs in the house, thank you very much

  8. Great article. We used to have a cute little half dachsund half terrier dog named Brandy. It was so relaxing to just cuddle her. Now we have cats because they’re easier.

  9. The Motivated Mom The Motivated Mom

    Great post! I think this is true. My hubby has had a dog all of his life…and he is much more healthier than I.

  10. how timely is this for me! im actually planning to own one and this just confirms that im making the right decision

    • Good luck with your new dog search. I hope it brings you lots of joy!

  11. I totally agree having a dog can do so many great things for anyone. I have 2 dogs and they are the best.

  12. I am in love with Ollie. But honestly, I am just dying here with “Harry Wiener”. That name is just plain funny and pretty smart.

  13. thetennisfoodie thetennisfoodie

    That nibbler looks so cute! Dogs are really stress relievers! They are so adorable!

  14. I’m of the firm belief that a home isn’t a home until there’s a pet in it. Personally, I’m more of a low maintenance cat person, but we had loads of dogs growing up – I remember loving them fiercely. 🙂

  15. ann ann

    Wow! These photos are adorable and makes my heart melt! I’ve never had a dog because I wasn’t allowed to, but it was my biggest dream as a child. I don’t know if I have a favorite, but I remember LOVING dalmatians due to their spotted coats!

  16. I know a dog/cat can reduce your stress so much. We have two dogs and I am in love with them!

  17. Sohaiba Irfan Sohaiba Irfan

    I’m scared of dogs lol

  18. We have a springer spaniel an she has changed our lives. She has helped my daughter who is on the autism spectrum immensely. Dogs can change your live in so many positive ways.

  19. Anne Yedlin Anne Yedlin

    I don’t think I could ever see my life without a pet. I have a dog and 2 cats and they definitely make a difference! They are amazing.

  20. I totally agree! We got our puppy a little over a year ago and I can see the difference she’s made on our family as individuals and as a whole!

  21. Rosey Rosey

    I heard of a program once where you could give a dog to a senior. The purpose was for them to live healthier and happier (The dog and the senior). 🙂

  22. Having a dog has been so good for me. Not only for the extra exercise but the peace of mind and the companionship that a dog can bring. They sense your emotions and help in ways that can hardly be expressed.

  23. Hannah Marie Hannah Marie

    I think with proper way of grooming them and petting them anyone can benefit from keeping pets. Take them out for a walk or simply play with them keeps stress levels low.

  24. LOL! I used to be scared of dogs too. I’m still scared of big dogs sadly.

  25. I know first hand how having a dog can improve your health. My dog keeps me moving even when I have a fibromyalgia flare up I still have to walk her and take care of her. They know when you don’t feel good and they try to make you feel better. Thanks for sharing the information.

  26. Oh, dogs are the best! 🙂 I totally believe that animals are therapeutic. Great post!

  27. CourtneyLynne CourtneyLynne

    Omg I so believe it!!! I swear having any pet is good for you!!!! I love my furbabies!!!

  28. Dogs are such a cute creatures that keep their owners happy and relaxed.When we know how to relax,it is always good for the health.Thanks for these ideas…

  29. I agree pets make life great. They are great companions. And best of all they are great for your health.

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