Let’s start with an undeniable nugget of truth: DOGS ARE THE BEST. That’s not my opinion, it’s a steadfast certainty that was etched in stone at the dawn of time. What? You don’t remember that day in History class?
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Anyways. Dogs truly are the best, and there’s really no way to adequately list all the ways in which they are so awesome and why you definitely need to make one your sidekick, wing (wo)man, and partner-in-crime at some point in your life. But I ain’t a quitter, I’ll give it the old college try.
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1. Dogs Are A Living, Breathing Reality Check
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2. Dogs Teach You To Laugh It Off
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I’m not saying if you adopt a dog you will emerge a comedian the likes of Lenny Bruce or Louis C.K., but having a dog is guaranteed to give you a better sense of humor. You have to adjust to dealing with unfamiliar sights, smells, and situations — all of which will bend but not break you. You learn not to sweat the small stuff and that life is meant to be enjoyed. If the world’s not ending, it’s often the best choice to just laugh it off.
3. Dogs Tone Down Your Perfectionism
The reality of any dog parent is that their home will NEVER be perfectly clean and tidy again. Even the best behaved dog entails the occasional mopping up of muddy pawprints and endless lint-rolling of your fur-covered furniture. You can’t spend your entire life following your dog around with a Dustbuster and a container of Clorox wipes. You’ve gotta learn to let [dirty] sleeping dogs lie.
4. Dogs Give You A Reliable Routine
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Life is crazy and can pull you in a thousand directions at once — especially in your 20’s and 30’s when you’re still figuring a lot of things out and there are so many moving parts in your life. A dog depends on you and requires you to keep a better handle on everything. They need consistency and routine, which can be a great way to help tame your own hectic lifestyle.
5. Dogs Make You Less Self-Centered
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If you’re living on your own, it’s only natural that you might get caught all up in yo’self. You’re used to doing you and only you, so it’s understandable if you become just a teensy weensy bit self-centered. Being responsible for another living creature’s well-being is the best way to remind yourself that there are more important things than how many people follow you on Instagram.
6. Having A Dog Boosts Your Health
As if the lovable cuteness of a little pile of puppy isn’t enough of a gift, it’s proven that having a dog is actually good for you. They lower your blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce the risk of eczema and allergies in children. Kids who grow up in households with dogs miss fewer days of school as a result of stronger immune systems and better overall health.
7. Dogs Elevate Your Mood
Not only do pups keep us healthier physically, they also work wonders on our mental well-being. Dogs are natural-born mood lifters. I’m yet to face a bad day where looking into my dog’s loving eyes didn’t help immensely. They boost self-esteem, keep you from feeling lonely, and help combat depression.
8. Having A Dog Makes You A Better Planner
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Not only do dogs lend a sense of routine to your life, they can also make you a much better planner. You have to remember vet appointments, ration their food, make plans in advance for any trips you take, or arrange to have a dog walker come by when you’re at work. Keeping track of their schedule is a fantastic way to remind you to keep a better eye on your own agenda as well.
9. You Don’t Have To Invest In An Alarm Clock
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People don’t often talk about how having a dog can save you money — between the feeding, toys, and healthcare, it can get pretty pricey. But one way that a dog can actually put cash back in your wallet is by eliminating the need to buy an alarm clock — or a vacuum cleaner, for that matter.
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10. Never Nap Alone
As if naps weren’t already the absolute best, having a dog to share some Z’s with makes an already awesome pastime into a bone-ified bonding extravaganza.
11. Adventure Time For Life
Naps aren’t the only thing you need never do alone again. Jogging? Check. Hiking? Check. Binge-watching Netflix? Check, check, check. Whatever you’re in the mood to do, there’s a solid chance your dog is more than down to join you.
12. Dogs Can Kickstart Your Social Life
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Whether you’re new in town or just have a little trouble meeting new people, there is no better icebreaker than a dog. There’s seldom a time I take my pup for a stroll and don’t end up striking up a conversation with another dog owner or lover. Crazy dog people are one of the largest subcultures simply because of how awesome dogs are. They dissolve the awkwardness of a simple person-to-person encounter by giving you something to talk about.
13. Source of Unconditional Love
Nobody will ever love you the way your dog loves you. You are their world, their galaxy, their universe, and more. Nobody can see you through life’s inevitable rough patches the way your dog can. They always say all the right things without saying anything at all.