With all due respect to cats, friends, and gym buddies, there are few workout partners better in the grand scheme of things than a dog. A pup is never (rarely) going to take an off day, oftentimes gets you out of the house for a walk 2-3 times a day, and won’t (verbally) judge you if you’re slacking on any given day.
A dog may have a lot of faults – they might tear up your gym shoes, may not give you the best Nascar odds bets each week, could hide treats under your treadmill, but ultimately there is no better sports buddy than a pup. Here’s why:
No Off Days or Alarms for Dogs
For those lucky enough to have a dog as a roommate, they know that their four-legged friends are creatures of habit. Unlike a buddy who may have had a few too many the night before, a dog is never going to text you and say, “not going to make my walk this morning.”
Because dogs need a potty break early in the morning, it’s a great way for humans to avoid sleeping in and missing their trip to the gym.
Oftentimes the hardest part of working out is getting to the gym, but if you’re up at 5 AM watching your dog look directly into your eyes while they poop, it’s hard to go back to bed after that. For many people, once they’re up – they’re up for the day.
It’s not just mornings when dogs will incentivize – or force – their owners to work out. Instead of getting into a routine of plopping on a couch after work, your dog is going to force you to go on a nightcap walk, and any calories you can burn before dipping into the pizza and 6-pack is a positive thing.
A True Workout Partner
It’s much easier to go for a nighttime run or walk when you have to in order for your dog to relieve themselves, but at the same time, it’s also nice having some company for your evening stroll – four legs or two. Dogs do provide an added level of safety on an evening trek which is very important.
Just having company is a nice way to relieve some of the stress of working out. Having your dog come out to the garage with you – even if they are just lying in their bed staring at you – takes away some of the isolation that creeps into our brains that gives us an excuse to avoid exercise.
Dogs also help the whole family get involved in at least some sort of exercise. Whether it’s playing fetch outside or going on a family walk with the kids, in many cases, a dog with its leash between their mouths is the leader in getting adults and little ones out and about.
Health Benefits of Dogs
Dogs are not just great to get you and keep you active, but their presence has some scientific benefits even when you’re just relaxing as well. Individuals have a 33% chance of surviving a cardiac attack if they own a dog, pup owners traditionally have lower levels of Triglycerides compared to non-owners, and canines naturally lower blood pressure and stress levels.
Dogs also help people fight loneliness, which is a precursor to depression and thus a reason to never work out or exercise. When people are responsible for a dog’s care, they have more incentive to go to work, make money, and stay healthy because somebody depends on them.
Certain bacteria also enter your home on the backs (fur) of dogs which is actually a good thing. Being exposed to all the little mites and critters that dogs bring into a house actually helps boost the microbiome of healthy people, improving their immune systems.
Dog Workout Partner Summary
Unless a person is severely allergic to canines, there aren’t a ton of health disadvantages to owning a dog. Like any good workout partner, there are times your dog is going to drag you out for a walk at 4 AM, but that should be celebrated, not frowned upon.