A new puppy

‘Live as puppies do; like everything in life is an adventure’ – anonymous

For those of you who know me, this may come as a bit of a surprise, but then maybe it won’t! Who knows? For those of you who don’t me, I can tell you that I have never owned a furry pet. As a child we had tortoises and, as my own children were growing up, we had goldfish and even a snail for a while. I’m allergic to animal hair and have never been a big fan of dogs in general, in fact I’d go so far as to say, I am scared of them, particularly big dogs. But now we are getting a puppy! I say ‘we’, but it’s not really. It’ll belong to my son’s girlfriend but as we live in the same house, it’s still a big deal for me!

It’s also a bit of a departure from the Tiny Tweaks. Or is it? Certainly the puppy we are hoping will become ours (a miniature Schnoodle) is tiny. At 4 weeks old, he isn’t ready to leave his mum for a few weeks yet but we are visiting today for the first time. In theory any one of us could say ‘no’, but in reality, I know as well as anyone that is never going to happen! So it’s tiny and it’s definitely something I haven’t done before, so does that make it a ‘tweak’?!

Puppy (Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com)

So, given what is going on, I thought I’d do some research on our furry friends and how they can support both our mental and physical health. There is certainly plenty of evidence out there.

There’s the obvious health benefit of owning a dog – plenty more walking! More exercise = better physical health. Exercise is good for our heart health, managing our weight and reducing the risk of serious disease. All pet owners, not just those with dogs, have been shown to have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels and it’s even been proven that pet owners over the age of 65 make 30% fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

Walking the dog (Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com)

There are also plenty of benefits for our mental health – reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, whilst easing loneliness and encouraging us to be more playful and to smile and laugh more. Animals don’t worry about what happened yesterday, or what might happen tomorrow, they live in the moment and that attitude can help us do the same. As we’ve talked about before, living in the moment, being more mindful, really helps us to appreciate our lives and be more joyful. The happier we are generally, the better for us and everyone around us. Animals also provide companionship and help us to feel needed, both of which can add years to our lives.

Then there is a dog’s ability to understand our moods by interpreting our tone of voice, our gestures and our body language. They will even look into our eyes to try to understand what we are thinking or feeling. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time, it’s probably to work out if we are going to feed or play with them or take them for a walk! But even so, that understanding is good for our soul.

A furry companion (Photo by Sebastian Coman Travel on Pexels.com)

Whilst owning a dog or cat is certainly not a tiny tweak and takes a lot of time, effort, money and commitment, it is still possible to get the benefits they can bring. We probably all know someone who owns a dog that we could take for a walk to get the exercise boost, or a furry animal that we can stroke or cuddle for the soothing benefits that brings. But, even if we don’t, we can visit a farm or a zoo, book an alpaca walking experience, or even just watch YouTube clips of animals to bring a smile to our faces. There are plenty of benefits for mind, body and soul. I’d love to know what you think!

Until next time xx

1 comment

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: