Of course we can’t forget about how much dogs play an important role in the lives of the disabled. For some children with special needs, a dog is there go-to for social interactions. For others with visual impairment, a dog is their only reliant source of getting places and knowing where to go. There are many people with disabilities, both physical and mental, who rely on dogs to get along with their every day lives.
Dogs are typically known for being the responsibility of an adult rather than a younger child. Although, adults are the main care takers and owners of the dogs, children actually receive lots of positive effects from the presence of a dog in the household. It gives the children a companion and a responsibility that they would not otherwise have. It also creates for an emotional attachment and can help them better express their feelings and emotions towards another living being.
Along with physical health, dog can provide for an additional mental health benefit. Dogs can help decrease stress and anxiety for the owners. While dogs decrease stress it is said that human relationships can increase stress. In different nursing home settings dogs have shown to provide for a decrease in depression among the patients (Witmarsh, 28).
Dogs can also be a trigger for social situations. Strangers tend to make conversation with other strangers if they have a dog and would usually walk right past them otherwise. Dogs are an immediate talking point between to people who don’t know each other and a simple phrase such as “can I pet your dog?” can spark a continuing conversation and lead to a possible friendship.
For most single or divorced individuals, owning a dog could be the best idea they have had. These individuals tend to be lonely and in need of some company in their lives. A dog is the perfect companion and best friend for them. This sense of responsibility and commitment to the dog would enable them to fill that part of their lives that they may feel is missing. Also, for newly married couples, a dog can be the perfect start of responsibility before deciding to have a child.
The benefits of owning a dog doesn’t stop at having a companion, or helping save animals. In fact, dogs have a huge impact on the physical well being of the owner. Dog owners are forced to spend at least 2 more hours than normal a day, walking, running or just playing outside with their dogs. This can, for some, be more than they would normally ever get. This can help improve the overall quality of life, and help maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.