A big part of life, to love and be loved, can only be fulfilled in healthy, balanced relationships. At some point, we will experience the opposite of this ideal. During times of hurt and pain, during times of isolation, the healing presence of unconditional love can have a tremendous impact. This is where a canine companion can make a world of difference.

19th-century humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw, best known under his pen name Josh Billings, famously wrote, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” If you can relate to that sentiment, chances are you’ve spent your fair share of time around these amazing creatures. 

Dogs aren’t called “man’s best friend” for nothing. Few things on this planet exhibit the kind of unconditional love that a canine companion can provide. No matter what mood one is in, regardless of one’s financial status, religious background, gender, or race, a dog will stay by your side through thick and thin — loyal to the very end. They truly are a gift from above.  

The therapeutic value of being a dog owner is being increasingly recognized by researchers who are discovering that a canine companion can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. These furry friends have a remarkable ability to ease loneliness and encourage exercise and playfulness, which in turn improves our cardiovascular health. 

One study, published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that the positive effect a canine companion can have on lowering blood pressure was greater than the effect even a good friend could have. This is because the dog was perceived as less judgmental than the friend. 

If you, or somebody in your home, are experiencing loneliness, stress, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, or similar ailments, why not explore the idea of a canine companion? COVID-19 has caused more and more people to become unemployed, and shelters are receiving more and more animals as a result. Thousands of dogs with wonderful temperaments await adoption in pet shelters throughout the country. Here are just a few reasons to consider adopting from a shelter:

  • 6–8 million animals end up in shelters each year, half of which will probably not be adopted.
  • 25 percent of pets in shelters are purebreds. Breed-specific rescue groups always have purebred dogs and puppies looking for new homes.
  • Most pets end up homeless through no fault of their own — “moving” and “landlord issues” are the top reasons people give for relinquishing their pets, meaning shelters and rescue groups are full of wonderful, family-ready pets.
  • Pets adopted from shelters and rescue groups typically cost less than pets purchased or even acquired for free — once you add in the cost of vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, microchip, dewormer, and other “extras” included in your adoption fee, you’ll probably be surprised what a bargain an adopted pet really is!
  • Most shelters and rescue groups conduct thorough behavioral analyses of each pet to ensure that they will be the right fit for your family.
  • Shelters and rescue groups can provide advice on making your relationship with your pet the best it can be for the rest of their life, so you’ll never have to go it alone.

Click Here for more information on how you can get started adopting your own canine companion today.