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How a Puppy Will Make You Happy (Plus How to Always Live with Joy!)

Profile picture of the author - Anna Lengacherby Anna Lengacher


Happiness.

 

It comes in a thousand shapes and sizes.

A run on the beach.

The perfect avocado.

A hug from your bestie.

A slam dunk to win the game.

Your dream vacay.

And puppies.  Always puppies.

 

There’s just something about a small puppy that strikes a happy chord time after time after time.

No matter your race, no matter your status, look into the eyes of a charming little puppy and you can’t help but feel a surge of happiness pulse through your veins.

 

Why?  What is it about a puppy that leaves people feeling happy and better about life?

Today we’re excited to dive into how puppies make us happy.

We’ll talk about how puppies continue adding happiness in this world.

You’ll also discover how you can secure a deep and settled happiness – we’ll call it joy – for the rest of your life and beyond.

 

Ready or not, let’s dive in!

 

How a puppy will make you happy infographic

#1. Puppies Improve Your Mood

Want to become more optimistic about life?  Meet the puppy.

Wish you could look at life from a more positive perspective?  Again, meet the puppy.

Author and animal expert Karen Winegar explains, “The human-animal bond bypasses the intellect and goes straight to the heart and emotions and nurtures us in ways that nothing else can.”

That’s right.

Puppies have an endearing way of wriggling past your brain and straight to your heart.  From there, they’ll make you feel loved, improve your outlook on life, and overall make you a better person to be around.

In fact, one study published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology informs us that, “Pet owners exhibited greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, were less lonely, were more conscientious, were more socially outgoing, and had healthier relationship styles (i.e., they were less fearful and less preoccupied) than non-owners.” (Emphasis added.)

Before we jump too far ahead of ourselves, let’s revisit that first phrase.

Studies have shown that literally by owning a pet, in our case a puppy, you become a prime candidate for enjoying higher self-esteem.  How’s that for some good news?

 

#2. Puppies Build Community

We said it before and we’ll say it again.

Puppies are excellent resources for building a positive and healthy community in your life.

First, positive communities are built on great person to person connections.

It’s all about caring for each other, looking out for one another, and feeling connected to other individuals.

Yet sadly, more and more people today are facing feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Fortunately, it doesn’t need to stay this way.

 

In a study completed by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, puppies proved to actually strengthen the bond between humans.

Specifically, the study surveyed five-hundred individuals between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six.

Among these individuals, participants who enjoyed a strong attachment to a pet correspondingly showed a stronger connection to their communities and other relationships.

In addition, the more attached a teenager or young adult was to an animal, the more empathetic and confident that human was in real-life situations.

Megan Mueller, Ph.D., and developmental psychologist and research assistant professor further expounds, “The young adults in the study who had strong attachment to pets reported feeling more connected to their communities and relationships.”

 

What does this all mean?

In short, it means that by adding a puppy to your life, you can expect to enjoy deeper relationships and a more connected and better community.

 

#3. Puppies Increase Your Social Life

If you are feeling shy or perhaps a bit introverted, that’s okay.

There’s no need to attract heaps of attention or dance onto center stage.

Yet because building connections is so fundamental to enjoying a positive community, and because a positive community is key to you living happy, it’s important to build at least some degree of social life.

Again this is where puppies are to your rescue.

 

Studies have shown that folks who have a dog are simply more likely to start conversations.

For one, you are forced into the public while walking your dog.  Hence, you are suddenly more likely to interact with people.

Also, as your dog meets other dogs, it becomes totally natural for you to exchange a few words with other dog owners.

Suddenly you have something in common (dogs!) and conversations don’t feel so difficult.

Over time, you’ll get more confident and it will become easier and easier to engage in conversations with other dog and puppy lovers (we promise!).

 

Here’s perhaps an extreme example, but we love 71-year-old Emma Cooper’s story as told to Psychology Today.

“I was out walking Surrey, my cocker spaniel and this man stopped to give him a pat,” said Cooper.  “He seemed like a nice man and told me that he used to have a blonde cocker spaniel just like Surrey.  We started to talk about living with dogs and then stopped for a cup of coffee.  Well one thing led to another and Bill and I are getting married next month — as soon as we can find a clergyman who is willing to let a dog stand in as the best man!”

 

#4.  Puppies Get You Fit (and in Shape!)

Young family walking their dog at the beach.
Young family walking their dog at the beach

Bring home a puppy and it’s likely your exercise life will enjoy a happy boost.  For dog lovers, once you get a puppy, research has proven that your growing dog will keep you more active than folks who don’t need to get out and walk their dog.

One Canadian study showed that dog owners walk an average of 300 minutes per week, while non-dog owners walk an average of only 168 minutes each week.

The result of this study was obvious.  Dog owners are simply more likely to engage in moderate physical activity than those individuals who are not doing life alongside a furry companion.

 

Going a step further, there are multiple reasons why dog and puppy owners enjoy more regular exercise.

For one, dogs need regular exercise that’s preferably out-of-doors.  This means you’ll have a pressing need to go on walks several times each week to keep your puppy healthy and thriving.

Second, you’ll want to spend time playing games of fetch and other favorite doggy games in your backyard, so cue more exercise here.

Third, after getting a puppy, you’ll be more likely to visit dog-friendly parks too.

All these combined serve to supply you with ample reasons to get off the couch, get outside, and start exercising on a regular basis.

The result?  You’ll obviously be more active, and your mood will enjoy a positive spike too.

Plus, thanks to all this exercise, clinical studies have also shown dog owners to display lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, along with a reduced risk of heart-related illnesses.

How’s that for a win-win?!

 

#5.  Puppies Lower Your Stress

High stress enjoys a direct correlation to low levels of vitamin D.

Believe it or not, today it’s estimated that approximately one billion people worldwide suffer from a lack of vitamin D in their bloodstream.

Cue high-stress levels here.

Or not.

Instead, it’s puppies again to the rescue.

 

Thanks to going on dog walks and playing doggy games outside, dog owners increase their time spent outdoors after bringing a dog or puppy home.

This time spent outside, specifically on sunny days, increases one’s exposure to the sun and subsequently leads to higher levels of vitamin D.

So what’s the bottom line?

By getting a puppy, you’ll spend more time outside on sunny days, which will increase your vitamin D levels, which will ultimately lower your stress and leave you feeling more positive about life. (How’s that for a real mouthful!)

 

In addition, studies have shown that by simply cuddling with a dog or rubbing a pup’s belly, people’s level of oxytocin actually increases.

Oxy-what, you ask?

Oxytocin is considered people’s “feel-good” hormone.

Some folks like to think of it as the love hormone.  It’s what relaxes you and causes your nervous system to calm down.  It also increases your trust in others.

So by simply enjoying your little pup, your oxytocin automatically spikes and leaves you feeling better about life.

 

Not to mention, these same behaviors don’t just stop with amping up your oxytocin.  They go a step further and actually decrease your level of cortisol.

Cortisol is your unwelcome stress-inducing hormone.  So yes, lower levels are always a good thing.

The take-away?  Chill with your puppy and enjoy both a decline in cortisol as well as a spike in oxytocin.

Or putting it another way, feel your stress melt away when making memories with your pup.

 

#6.  Puppies Increase Your Sense of Belonging

Who doesn’t crave belonging?

Every healthy human wants to belong with someone or somewhere.

Again, consider a pup to your rescue.

Studies have shown puppies to increase people’s self-esteem, while also helping pet owners to better bounce back after experiencing social rejection.

Whether it’s a friendly puppy wag, a brush against your leg, or an affectionate lick, puppies are excellent candidates for making you feel needed while providing a sense of belonging.

 

#7.  Puppies Help You Appreciate the Simple Things in Life

Man & dog enjoying the sea together.

Because your relationship with your dog is unmediated by technology, dogs help us slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.

There’s no scrolling through your phone or responding to emails when spending quality time together with your Fido.

Instead, while spending time with your little pupper, you can relish in a quick hiatus from your normal demands.

Put away the smartphones, ignore the emails, pause the texting, hold-off on those video chats, and simply pause.  Look around and take a moment to be grateful for the simple things in your life, and enjoy a bit of quality time together with your furry four-legged pal.

 

The Ultimate Secret to REAL Happiness

Dog’s bring so much happiness, it’s true.

They are considered man’s best friend.

They are loyal and excellent friends.

Dogs seldom judge and are quick to snuggle.

They’ll teach us patience, compassion, and kindness if we let them.

Yet at the end of the day, dogs aren’t perfect.

You could have the best dog in all the world and still encounter a deep ache within.

You see, there’s this deep, core need that not even the cutest puppy or most loyal friend can fill.

This?  This is where we get really excited.

 

Because there’s an answer and a remedy for your deepest and loneliest ache.

Christmas is past and before you know it, we’ll be into the new year with another holiday season behind us.

Yet this doesn’t nullify what Christmas is actually about.

Thanks to the truest meaning of Christmas, today you can enjoy a solution for your deepest ache after all the hustle and bustle of the holidays are past.

 

Better than any dog or puppy, there’s another absolute perfect example of true, unconditional love.

He’s a best friend who never fails.

He is the perfect and ultimate example of real compassion, patience, and kindness.

He’s also the greatest example of what it means to fully love while being equally just.

His name is Jesus.

 

More than what any dog or puppy could ever do, Jesus can and will give lasting joy to all who believe and call on His name.

It’s because of Jesus that we celebrate Christmas.

It’s also because of Jesus that we can experience joy all through the year, even after the last carol is sung and the last gift is opened from under your tree.

 

The Take-Away

Few things make us happier than a furry little pup or a favorite growing dog.

They are loyal, patient, and have a way of believing the best in you.

They foster community, encourage positive connections, increase your social life, and can get you back in shape.

They’ll lower your stress levels, increase your “feel-good” feelings, and amp up your sense of belonging.

Like it or not, they’ll get you to pause and slow down and really cherish the small things in life.

 

Yet at the end of the day, dogs aren’t perfect.

Deep within every human being is an ache that only Jesus can fill.

Jesus alone is where true and lasting joy is found.

He is the answer to deep life questions, and when you are left floundering and wondering where to turn, He is the answer for a joy-filled, forever life.

So as the holidays blaze past in all their glory, let’s pause and take a moment to worship Christ, the ultimate Giver of all true joy.

And all throughout the year, let’s not stop giving thanks for His many good and joy-filled gifts.

 

If you’re still waiting to bring home your own little puppy, whether you are in Arizona, Indiana, or somewhere in between, simply visit us here to buy a puppy online and find your perfect puppy match.

 

Today we’re grateful for you.  Thanks for being a part of this puppy-loving, joy-seeking community.

We’re thrilled to be a part of your world.

 

Until next time,

VIP Puppies

 

P.S.  What’s something you are especially grateful for this season?  We’d love to hear in the comments below.

 

References:

Coren, S. (2009).  Health and psychological benefits of bonding with a pet dog.  Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/canine-corner/200906/health-and-psychological-benefits-bonding-pet-dog.

Golde, K. (2015).  The 11 science-backed reasons you need to get a puppy.  Retrieved from https://greatist.com/grow/ways-dogs-make-you-healthier#1.

Jacques, R. (2017).  13 Reasons why a dog will make your life so much better.  Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dog-health-benefits_n_4683351.

Newsonen, S. (2018).  Why dogs make you happy.  Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-path-passionate-happiness/201809/why-dogs-make-you-happy.

Pets for Patriots (2017).  Why do dogs make us happy?  Retrieved from https://www.petsforpatriots.org/dogs-make-us-happy/.

Spritzler, F. (2018).  8 signs and symptoms of vitamin d deficiency.  Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-deficiency-symptoms.

Unknown (2006).  Relationship among dog ownership and leisure-time walking in Western Canadian adults.  Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16459211.

Your pets are actually improving your life.  (2014).  Huffpost.com.  Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pet-social-connectedness-young-adult_n_4703790.

 

Profile picture of the author - Anna LengacherAs the Editor in Chief, Anna Lengacher helps dog lovers learn the ropes of finding, raising, and caring for their dogs so they can enjoy many happy memories together.

 

 

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