Living with a dog is good for you only if it’s good for you and the dog.
I very often get asked whether living with a dog is really beneficial. Sweeping headlines often make it seem like it is, and unless people read between the lines, it appears like choosing to live with dog is a panacea for all sorts of situations and conditions. It isn’t. And surely, the dog has to be part of the equation, because her or his quality of life has to be taken into account.
While existing data show that there are, indeed, some health and social benefits for some people who choose to live with a dog including getting out and taking some exercise (please see: “Dog ownership supports the maintenance of physical activity during poor weather in older English adults: cross-sectional results from the EPIC Norfolk cohort(link is external)” and references therein), I choose to answer the question of whether living with a dog is good for people by clearly saying something like, “Living with a dog is good for you only if it’s good for you and the dog.” Sometimes people giggle when they hear me say this, but I say it very seriously and with all my heart.
Continue reading the full article: Psychologytoday