Social interaction is great, but sometimes hanging out with your dog is the better choice. If you’re not sure if you should dedicate your day to interactions with people or puppies, consider the following arguments for spending more time with your dog.
1. Dogs are great listeners
Need to vent about something going on at work? Perhaps you’d like to gush about the new person you are dating that all of your friends are sick of hearing about already. You might just want to work through some of your ideas about the universe and what it all means. No matter what the topic, your dog is ready to listen attentively. As long as you’re willing to give them a good scratch behind the ears or on the belly, your dog will be happy to act as your silent therapist for as long as you’d like.
2. Hanging out with your dog can help ease depression
Studies show that dogs help ease depression in a variety of ways. Everything from petting your dog and getting the healing effects of physical touch to basking in their unconditional love can help treat depression. Studies also show that caring for a dog creates a sense of responsibility that in turn helps build up an owner’s self-esteem. Every time you feed your dog, play with them, and make their well being a priority, you are proving that you are capable of love and responsibility.
3. You could use the exercise
Hanging out with your dog is a great way to sneak in some exercise and have fun while you do it. If you skip happy hour and take your dog to the park instead, you’ll save yourself all those calories from cocktails and appetizers while you run around playing fetch with your best friend.
4. Your dog will never judge you for hitting “continue watching” on Netflix
Of course, there is also no shame in RSVPing “no” to a party so you can spend the night on the couch watching Netflix. Your dog will happily snuggle up beside you while you marathon your favorite show. Not only will your dog always let you pick what to watch, you’ll never get any judgment for clicking “continue watching” late into the night.
5. Dogs are natural mood boosters
When your dog excitedly greets you, your body actually goes through some physical changes that boost your mood. Studies show that when you spend time with your dog, levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, decreases and the production of serotonin, a chemical associated with happiness and well being, increases. In fact, the simple act of watching your dog can cause these changes and make you feel happier.
We’re not saying you should shun all your friends and only hang out with your dog, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to opt for more quality time with your furry friend. If your social calendar is full, you can also bring your dog with you! Just remember, parties and coffee dates can be disappointing, but when’s the last time you regretted hanging out with your dog?