Can a Dog Impact Your Health?

While food is a biggie, it’s only one piece in the complex puzzle of enjoying a healthy life!

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the mindset that a perfect diet is the most important element to health and wellness.  But something crucial to remember is… it’s not all about the food!  You could be eating the most “perfect” diet in the world (whatever that is) but still not feeling the way you want to feel– which likely could mean that it’s not what you’re eating or not eating but something else in your life that needs attention.

We’re missing a lot if we focus too intently on exactly what and how much to eat and not on the other areas of life– like ensuring quality sleep and relaxation time, pursing friendships and social connections, lightening up with laughter, treating ourselves to sunlight and time in nature, exploring our favorite creative outlets, moving our bodies, doing kind things for others….just to name a few.

Oh, and loving a DOG!!

 

 

 

 

 

Bonnie is my gorgeous almost-2-year old half-Chihuahua mutt:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She makes me laugh,

 

Waiting for trick-or-treaters.

What a stinker.

 

 

 

 

gets me walking, running and playing outside,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

teaches me to relax,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and no, having a dog is not without its challenging moments:

 

It was evident early on that she was not a fan of crates and much preferred destroying doggie beds to sleeping on them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And yoga in the living room at home is also happening a lot more infrequently.

 

 

 

 

 

The love outweighs the frustrations and I am quite certain that having Bonnie in my life has only enriched it.

 

 

 

 

Did you ever consider how dogs can contribute to a healthy life?  They can have a beneficial impact on both physical and mental well-being.

Dogs love to get out and exercise in the fresh air.  Join your pup for a walk, run or game of ball and you benefit too.

Looking into your dog’s eyes naturally causes us to release a hormone called oxytocin which creates positive feelings of bonding and love.  These feelings are good for you!  Dogs also help reduce negative emotions associated with anxiety and depression.

This graphic from PuppySpot shows a few more ways dogs can positively shape our lives:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science Says Your Pet is Good For Your Mental Health

-Times Magazine article sharing some research on how “Animals of many types can help calm stress, fear and anxiety in young children, the elderly and everyone in between.”

My pup had definitely impacted my life.  I honestly never knew I could love a dog so much.  She brings a smile to my face and lights up my heart with warmth every single day.

You don’t need a dog or a pet to be healthy of course.  But it can help!  We can learn a lot from our animal friends.  Sometimes we get excessively hung up on the effects of diet and forget to relax, trust and enjoy life more.

What we eat does matter.  But all the pieces of our lives are interconnected.  For example, have you ever noticed that when you’re in a regular routine of exercising that you find healthy eating comes more naturally?  When we do something good for ourselves it has a ripple effect.  If you’re struggling or stuck with the eating/food piece of your life, take a step away from that for a bit and really take a look at another area of your life that may be out of balance.  Shift your focus from the food to another realm of self-care and see what happens.

 

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2 Responses to Can a Dog Impact Your Health?

  1. Donna says:

    I love this post Corrine…. I often think about getting a dog but then worry about the commitment but I do see the benefits of owning one. I love seeing little snippets of your life such as your feet on the yoga mat with Bonnie. Post more things about your healthy life at home; i.e., bedtime routine, what’s on your nightstand, etc. Great post!

    • Corinne says:

      Thank you Donna! I hear what you’re saying about the commitment thing and dogs… it’s what held me back for so long but once you meet “the one” you’ll know you don’t really have a choice!

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