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Surveys suggest that dog owners are happier people.

Do you want to be happy? Get a dog! According to Country Living and an annual survey conducted by the University of Chicago, dog owners are very happy people. The breakdown between cat owners and dog owners is 36 percent of dog owners surveyed said they are very happy while only 18 percent of cat owners said they were happy. The surveys suggest that when dog owners are sad, dogs can tell and want to make it better.

The survey also showed that a higher percentage of dog owners reported having a close relationship with their pet. More dog owners than cat owners responded that they see their pet as part of the family and that they often take comfort in their fury friend’s presence.

When dog owners walk their dogs on a regular basis, they run in to other dogs and their owners and most likely friendships are created, not to mention that the exercise is good for both. This might be a good way to meet new friends for both dogs and humans. Socialization is great for dogs!

Dogs smile when they are happy and show affection to family members which gives everyone a warm sense of comfort. Dogs reduce stress. Numerous studies have shown that having a pet can lessen the symptoms of depression and help pet parents maintain a positive optimistic outlook. According to animal expert Karen Winegar, noted in a 2009 interview with the New York Times, “The human-animal bond bypasses the intellect and goes straight to the heart and emotions and nurtures us in ways that nothing else can.” Dog companionship can be an important, even life-saving component of self-care for people experiencing depression and other mood disorders. Dogs, especially therapy dogs, can also help improve quality of life for people with autism and assist children in learning to read.

Another reason dogs can make us happy is that they can be very entertaining. The playful, uninhibited nature of dogs generally reflects the fact that dogs have juvenile minds. Whether they are chasing their tails, drooling while watching squirrels or rabbits, racing through the house when they are excited, rolling in the mud or getting themselves in to a comical position, their silliness proves they have a great sense of humor.

In my opinion, one of the things that I like best is coming home, opening the front door and my dog, Murphy, is happy to see me. Her tail is wagging, her eyes are bright, and she is smiling from ear to ear. Maybe I had a bad day but now that I am home, the stress is gone, and my dog treats me like I am the most important person in the entire world. That makes me happy!

Contact the Heartland Dog Club about upcoming training. Next classes begin late April and continue for 6 weeks. Ask about our Canine Good Citizen (CGC) or Canine Good Citizen Advanced (CGCA). For more information, call 863 – 304 – 8582.

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