The best kind of love is unconditional—it flows even when you’re not asking, it thrives even when you feel like you’re not worthy of receiving.

And sometimes, that kind of love doesn’t always need to come from another human being. Sometimes, the source of unconditional, life-changing love can be a four-legged furry friend.

Health Benefits of Dog Ownership
Photo Source: Tumblr

Studies have shown that pets, especially dogs can do wonders on one’s physical, mental, and emotional health. If you’re not yet convinced, below are just some of the many reasons why pups can have a ‘paws-itive’ impact on your overall well-being.

They’re good for your heart. Literally.

Dogs don’t just help their owners feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, owning a four-legged fella’ can also substantially aide in the recovery of heart attack survivors.

Health Benefits of Dog Ownership_French Bulldog
Photo by Jay Wennington via StockSnap

Numerous studies have shown that pet owners are less likely to develop heart complications. Being around pets can lower one’s blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

In a study conducted by researchers at Brooklyn College, pet ownership ranked the highest among the factors that helped in the recovery of heart-disease patients.

They can be your workout buddies.

Health Benefits of Dog Ownership_Photo Source: Barkpost
Photo Source: Barkpost

Pet owners are also more likely to engage in physical activities, according to the American Heart Association.

Long walks and jogs would seem less exhausting with an eager husky leading you on the tracks.

They’re like easygoing fitness coaches, pushing you to go out and get to work, without the usual pressure you’d feel when you’re on your way to the gym.

Health Benefits of Dog Ownership_Camping with Dogs
Photo Source: Campingwithdog Instagram

Related: What’s in Her Bag: The Yogi Edition

They can help ease the struggles of socializing.

Health Benefits of Dog Ownership_Dog Marathon_Dog Park Singapore
Photo Source: Vanilla Pup

If you’re not much of a social butterfly, a pooch can be the perfect wingman.

Dogs can be a catalyst in forming bonds in neighborhood settings, facilitating incidental social interaction and forging new friendships, according to a published study.

Dog Park Malaysia
Photo Source: Malay Mail Online

Many people don’t normally strike up a conversation with random strangers they meet, but pups have a power that can help transcend that invisible shield of awkwardness or shyness. They’re the common ground that connects pet lovers.

They help develop your personality.

Health Benefits of Dog Ownership
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Pet owners generally tend to exude an amicable personality. By association, they instantly seem more warm and approachable.

Most kids who grew up with dogs in their immediate family tend to develop more empathy and gentleness. Studies have indicated the significant influence of pets in one’s upbringing – children who were highly attached to their pets were more empathetic (Daly and Morton, 2006) and the presence of pets at home increased the chances of interaction, nurturace, and affection (Melson, 2003).

They can be a natural source of therapy (and reliable cuddle buddies).

Health Benefits of Dog Ownership
Photo from Pinterest

Dogs have a natural ability to turn a dull or tense day into a colorful, relaxed one.

Ask a dog-owner what their simple joys are and I’m willing to bet that one of their top answers would be this—lounging at home and snuggling with their pups after a long day at school/work.

Health Benefits of Dog Ownership_Cutie and the Beast
Photo Source: Cutie and the Beast

The best thing about dogs is that they can both be an outlet and a source for genuine love and affection. With them, it will always be a two-way thing.

Owning a pet can also give you a sense of purpose, motivation and drive. The effectiveness of therapy dogs have shown how pets help enhance the quality of life of those who have depression, those who suffered a traumatic event, and those who are in their golden years.

Dog Pool Party
Photo Source: Metapicture

They can be an instant cure for the blues. After all, they are unassuming, undemanding companions. Always there, always willing to give, always open to receive.