sharkie&huckI am totally one of “those people” when it comes to my dogs (please note photo to the right for evidence).

I sing them silly, made-up songs. Sometimes I do a little voice so it sounds like they are talking to us.

And yes, I definitely act like they are my children! (Sharkie and Huck totally love their mom and dad).

Sometimes I sneak pictures of them into my articles here, and yes they sometimes walk around in the background of my videos. Occasionally I post a cute picture of the two of them on The Love Vitamin’s facebook page.

However, if I had my way, I’d just post about them all day, all the time. They’d probably have a “Sharkie and Huck” facebook fan page all to themselves.

But I try to, you know… tone it down. I really am one of “those” dog people but I try to keep it more on the private side than showing the public my entire dorky dog loving fetish in all its glory.

I mean, really…. I didn’t sign up for this. I used to laugh at those kinds of people. I was just getting some dogs. I didn’t know I was going to become like this. BUT IT’S SO GOOD!!

So I’m just gonna let it out in this post!!

I LOVE MY DOGS SO MUCH!! AHHH!!! (and right now because I’m traveling in India I MISS THEM SO MUCH!!!)

Ah. That’s better.

The Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

Today we’re going to talk about the health benefits of owning a pet. Because having Sharkie and Huck in my life really has enhanced it a great deal.

In some ways owning a pet is not very fun. Responsibility yada yada (not to be taken lightly, see end of post).

But damn, for me, it’s so worth it for the joy they bring me. And for some reason, the fact that they are mine, rather than a family pet, makes it that much more rewarding. I mean, I really loved my family pets, but not like this. But I guess it’s kinda like how you love your own kids vs. someone else’s kids.

Anyway, studies have shown that owning a pet will indeed add years onto your life!! And I can see why. Let’s go over some of the potential health benefits a pet could bring you, many of them to do with lowering your stress levels (and remember – stress levels are hugely linked to acne!)

1) They will, without fail, make you get outside for fresh air and exercise!

We all know that exercise is indeed good for your health and skin. What’s even better is exercise in the fresh air. Throwing some sunshine in there too always helps as well.

Well let me tell you, nothing has ever kept me on as regular an exercise schedule as ol’ Sharkie and Huckie! If I ever try to slyly skip their walk, they look at me with their sad little doggie eyes and their cute little wagging tails, and what is a girl to do except for get on her hiking boots and get out there?

I suppose this one only applies if you have a dog. I mean, you could walk your cat or your tarantula too if you wanted. And I have indeed seen someone walking their pet pig around my town.

2) They will, without fail, make you feel totally loved!

Your pets never judge you. Your pets never snub you. Your pets always love you unconditionally and can be totally depended on to be there for you!

And no matter what happens – no matter what your mood or how you look that day – they will always be ridiculously, over the top, jumping up and down excited to see you! How many people in your life can you say that about?

My dogs constantly lick me, cuddle me – no matter what, all day they give me love and make me feel like a million dollars. The best part is that I know they aren’t like actual kids who will grow up and think they’re too cool for me! They will always be there waggin’ and a’ lickin’.

Puppy love

3) They will, without fail, make you laugh every day!

Nothing makes me laugh like my dogs. They’re just such characters. They both have very distinct personalities and the way that they interact with me, the world, and each other is just priceless. In fact sometimes I find it shocking just how much personality can exude out of something that doesn’t even talk!

Believe me, sitting and watching them wrestle and play and run around after each other is much better entertainment than TV!

Huck is the mama's boy, Sharkie's the sly little bully
“Moooommm!!!! Sharkie’s sitting on me!!!”

4) They will make you appreciate the simple things in life!

How can these wee little guys get SO much joy from sniffing things, eating, chewing a bone, and getting pats!? Ahh, the simple things in life… 🙂

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5) They can add meaning to your life

While having a pet probably isn’t going to solve all your existential problems on the meaning of your life, if you feel a little lost, having a pet of your own can definitely add an important dimension – caring for and loving and feeding a little creature that needs you can bring you purpose and a lot of joy!

Consider the Responsibility Carefully Though… Pet Ownership Isn’t a Joke!

So there you go – it’s clear to see that pets can indeed lower stress, bring purpose to your life, and get you some exercise, which is all super good for you (and your skin!).

However, just want to say – just because I love my dogs, doesn’t mean everyone is a pet person. Maybe sticking a carrot in your eye sounds more appealing. That’s cool.

And just because I was ready to take on the responsibility of pet ownership at this stage, doesn’t mean you are! Getting a pet should NOT be taken lightly.

You can’t be as spontaneous in your day to day life, or go out for obscenely long stretches of time, as you must ensure they are fed, cared for, let out to pee, etc.

Behavioural problems are a real possibility, and they may need a lot of training, which is very time consuming and requires much commitment.

They actually do require walks (well, if it’s a dog) and attention every. single. day. Think about that for a second.

Pets will restrict travel, limit your options for living or working overseas, and greatly reduce the selection of places you can rent. (I am so grateful that my parents adore them and will look after them any time, which makes life a lot easier for me! But still, I definitely can’t decide to just move to a different country or anything, and if you don’t have a solid, reliable petsitter for your shorter travel plans, it can be severely limiting!)

And they are expensive!! Mainly as they get older or if they get hurt, vet bills are horrendously expensive, so you need to ensure you can actually afford it if something happens with your precious pet.

So definitely do not go get a pet on a whim – it takes careful consideration about whether pet ownership will really fit into your life or not! But if you have carefully considered it and decided you are willing to take on the commitment- oh boy. Have fun, because you are in for lots of it!

Do you have a pet? Tell us about it, and how he or she has enhanced your life 🙂