Getting a dog, whether from a breeder or from a shelter is a tremendous responsibility and it will change your entire life, from your daily routine, to simply being able to go to the bathroom in private (hint: no longer possible). Sharing your home and your life with a furry four-legged creature is a truly rewarding, beautiful experience, but many people aren’t certain whether or not they are ready for such a challenge and if it will be a good decision for them.

In case you’re considering getting a small, feisty pooch to add some zest into your life, or you’re more of a Great Dane kind of a person, all fuzzy pals will bring enormous amounts of joy to your existence. The following list will help you decide if you’re ready for this new member of your family, and you’ll know what kind of bliss to expect when you get a dog!

Attuned to our emotions

Did you know that playing with your dog and cuddling with your four-legged companion releases plenty of happy chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin in your brain? But their effect goes much deeper than improving your mood briefly.

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Dogs are deeply attuned to our emotions, and as your bond grows, they’ll want to help you feel better – they’ll approach you for cuddles, give you affection, bring you their toys, anything to help. That’s why dogs make excellent emotional support buddies and they help people with anxiety and depression, as well.

Unleash your creativity

If you have a friend who already has a furry companion, you’re likely at the receiving end of dozens of daily messages with photos and videos of their pet, right? Well, in addition to wanting to commemorate every goofy, cute, and funny thing your dog does, you’ll also find yourself playing with artistic tools such as filters on your phone to make even better photos every time.

Then again, you can take your creativity to the next level and get custom dog portraits for special occasions to add to your collection of lifelong memories with your pupper. Soon enough, you’ll have many wonderful photos, portraits, and videos to brighten up your day and inspire you when you’re feeling blue.

Amazing guardians

Due to the bond dogs develop with their fellow humans, no matter the breed, the age, or the size of your trusty companion, they are likely to defend their human in an emergency or if they feel threatened. You’ll see even the tiniest dogs in the street yapping away at a passer-by, if nothing else, then to warn them not to approach.

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Of course, if this behavior escalates into aggression, especially when your dog isn’t provoked, it’s time to see a vet or a behavioral expert to help your dog deal with the extra stress and anxiety that’s often causing aggressive behavior. However, when your dog is well-trained, they can keep you, your home, and your family safe from intruders and from any threat you might come across.

Learn to be in the moment

You might be surprised to learn that dogs have excellent memory, especially when it’s required for their survival. They will remember their commands when you give them treats, they’ll know where to find their water bowl or their toys, but more importantly, the bond you’ve built is deeply ingrained into them, which is why they’ll always rejoice when you come home from work.

Despite being able to remember so much and so long, dogs are deeply rooted in the present moment. It’s one of those rare lessons we can learn from them – to value the present and spend it in a state of mindfulness and awareness.

Appreciate the little things

Have you ever noticed how dogs respond to the smallest and seemingly insignificant positive events? When you praise them or pet them, when they get a treat, when you’re about to go for a walk – your dog will always experience gratitude and joy.

They teach us to not just live in the moment, but also to love the little things, every day. They show us how to fully immerse ourselves in something seemingly trivial as sipping a cup of coffee or sharing a meal with our families. In fact, they are amazing family pets that will also teach your kids how to be responsible, grateful, and caring. Dogs have an uncanny ability to savor life, and we tend to pick up on that mindset the more we spend time with them.

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Of course, this is a simplified list of benefits you can expect when you have a dog, but the truth is, the joy they bring cannot be summed into words and lists at all. Every dog is a unique creature and it will enrich your life beyond your wildest imagination with their character, unconditional love, and endless affection. Hopefully, you’ll find room in your home for such a loving creature, and you’ll reap the many rewards of sharing your life with a pooch.

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