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by
Revel HQ
,
September 8, 2022

Why Every Woman Over 40 Should Own a Dog

Let’s explore why having a four-legged friend is so darned good for us!

The routine of having a dog also lends much needed stability to our days.

Having a four-legged friend by our side is a downright blessing. Dogs are loyal and furry companions, givers of love, and having them around bestows innumerable benefits on our lifestyle and well-being. As women (and men!) age and embark on new chapters in our lives, everyone should consider having a loyal friend by our side; it can make all the difference in our happiness and health.

Caveat: it’s also true that owning a pet is a huge responsibility, and there are financial obligations to consider. Being able to afford vet bills and even pet-sitting is crucial, so we encourage you, before you get too excited, to verify that you’re ready to adopt a dog to make sure that this big decision feels manageable for you.  

Next, you should consider breeds. What’s right for you? Large, or small? Hypoallergenic, or insanely furry?  One that needs lots of exercise or prefers to sit on your lap all day? Looking at popular dog breeds is a great start and allows you to determine your preferred type of dog. Whether that be a protector of your home (German Shepherd?) or an adorable toy breed (Chihuahua?), either way, you will be gaining a new best friend.

Once you’ve established that you can afford a dog and have honed in on what type you want, let’s explore why having  a four-legged friend is so darned good for us!

Physical & Mental Health Benefits

Adulting isn't always easy and sometimes we forget to give ourselves a break. Dogs have an uncanny ability to sense our tension and intuitively know how to comfort us. Dogs are there for us on our lonely days and help keep us active. Having some downtime with a dog allows us to take a pause from our hectic day, and elevates our serotonin and dopamine levels, alleviating stress, anxiety, and depression. Being able to receive touch and loving looks from a dog gives us an essential need we may sometimes lack..

The routine of having a dog also lends much needed stability to our days. Sometimes as we get older — as kids leave, jobs change, romantic partners come and go — we can lose the routines that have long been familiar, and a dog helps right the ship. Three times a day (at least!) you have someone to take care of, to feed, to walk, to love. This kind of structure is reassuring for most of us.

Physically having a dog can be demanding but that’s almost always a good thing. Don’t we all need more motivation to exercise? Dogs help us stay active because they want us to run and play with them. It’s important to find time in our days to take care of our health even when it seems impossible, and heading outside to throw a ball in the sunshine for 20 minutes can be both fun and invigorating. Taking 10-15 minutes out of your day to walk your dog has been proven to help increase your heart rate and burn calories. It’s necessary to take those pauses throughout your day and having a new dog will help you do so.

In the same way, dogs allow us to better our physical and mental health, we should ensure that their health is also a top priority. Consider looking into the benefits of how pet insurance works to ensure you are prepared in the event of any unexpected medical event. Pet insurance is a great way to take control and will also give you the sense of responsibility you may be looking for.

Added Protection

A dog may also offer us a sense of security and protection at home, which may feel even more necessary as we age. Home should be our haven at all times —  a place of safety and comfort —  and having a dog can provide some additional peace of mind, particularly if you live alone. Dogs can sense danger and will usually bark when someone is near their territory. They are often protective and have a tendency to remain wary and alert to their surroundings when something is wrong.

Socialization

Having a dog is an automatic conversation starter. Taking your dog to the dog park is a great opportunity for socialization for you both, and particularly important for younger pups. Making new friends can be harder as we get older, and other dog owners are almost always happy to chat as our pets frolic. Doggy playdates are a great way to break the ice. An essential aspect of owning a pet is allowing it to interact with others. There are many benefits to socializing your dog, ensuring that your dog is able to interact with other pets and humans safely. Socializing makes visits to the vet smoother as it eases any anxiety your pet may feel around new people or in new environments.

If you decide to get a dog, we hope this has helped inform you on some of the considerations, and we wish you luck and joy as you add a loyal, friendly, companion to this next phase of life!  We all need companions in our lives, and perhaps never more so than as we get older.

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