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10 Reasons Why I Am a Dog Person

Kathy is a freelance writer from Canada and a self-declared "dog person."

Our chocolate lab, Zoey.

Our chocolate lab, Zoey.

How I Became a "Dog Person"

Growing up, I never owned a dog. Our family always had cats, and I was happy with that. While I wasn't exactly afraid of dogs, I never felt very comfortable around them. I considered myself to be a "cat person" and figured that I would always prefer cats to dogs.

After my husband and I got married, we had two cats, and they were great pets—full of personality, playful and very affectionate. One of them went on to live for 17 happy years, and he will always hold a special place in my heart.

A couple of years after our kids were born, my husband started talking about the idea of getting a dog. We still had our two cats, but he thought a dog would be a great addition to our family. I wasn't so sure. I just envisioned more work and didn't really see a lot of potential benefits to owning a dog.

I resisted the idea of getting a dog and stalled for as long as I could. However, I was doomed the day we went to "just look at" some chocolate lab puppies at a breeder's house. There's not much in this world that is cuter than pudgy, little Labrador Retriever puppies running around, and of course, I fell in love with them. It wasn't long before we had one of our own—a male named Jake.

We only had Jake for a few years when he escaped from our yard one rainy night shortly after we had moved to a new house. Tragically, he was hit by a car and killed. His death was a huge loss to our family, and I came to realize how much I had loved him. While we didn't rush out to replace him, I knew it was only a matter of time before we would get another dog.

We now have two dogs: a four-year-old chocolate lab and a one-year-old Australian Shepherd. We have raised them both from puppies, and they have become an important part of our family life. Here are what I consider to be the benefits of dog ownership, and why I now consider myself a dog person.

Reasons Why I Am a Dog Person

1. Dogs help keep you active.

Dogs need to be active. Some breeds require A LOT of exercise and activity in order to prevent boredom and keep them out of trouble. They can help give you that extra motivation you need to go for a walk or hike, and they can make it much more fun.

2. Dogs can help you feel safe.

While I've never been terribly anxious or paranoid when I'm home alone, having two dogs in the house makes me feel safe and protected. I also know that burglars would likely think twice about breaking in when they hear the barking of our two "guard dogs."

3. Dogs love water.

I could watch our dogs swim in the lake all day. There's such joy in a dog when it swims or splashes around that you can't help but share their happiness.

Our family loves vacationing at cottages on the water, and I'm so happy that our dogs are able to enjoy these trips with us.

4. Dogs are social.

Dogs love to meet other dogs and other people. They are a great ice-breaker. I'm happily married, so I have no need to use dogs to meet men. However, I have been able to strike up conversations with neighbours and complete strangers while walking our dogs without feeling weird about it, or running out of things to talk about.

5. Dogs like car rides.

While I'm sure that there could be people whose cat, rabbit or hamster loves to go on a car ride, I think these are quite rare. All of the cats I have ever owned have hated going anywhere in the car, and a ten minute drive to the vet was always torture for all involved.

On the other hand, our dogs will happily accompany us on any trip. Whether it's a five minute drive to run an errand, a twenty minute drive to visit a friend's farm or go to the beach, or a drive halfway across the country on a family vacation, they are always up for any adventure.

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6. Dogs are excellent companions.

Dogs seem to know when you are feeling sick, lonely or sad and do their best to cheer you up. They will keep you company while you're just hanging out or doing work around the house and get really excited when you want to play. Dogs never make excuses, and they don't hold grudges. We all could learn a thing or two from dogs about how to be a good friend.

7. Dogs make you laugh.

Dogs do silly things. No matter how down or mad you might be, it's hard not to laugh when you find your dog in the most unlikely place or doing something ridiculous. I think when you have more than one dog the opportunities for silly antics increases exponentially, and I find myself laughing at one or the other of our dogs many times throughout the day.


8. Dogs can help relieve stress.

Petting a dog or cat has been shown to reduce blood pressure and reduce stress. Having your dog come snuggle with you can brighten your mood and help you forget your troubles. Of course, the extra fresh air and exercise that you may get when you own a dog is also a great way to keep your stress levels down.

9. Dogs are great for families.

Dogs can teach children a lot of valuable life lessons, like responsibility and empathy. They can help keep kids active, and give them someone to play with when there are no friends around.


10. I can't imagine ever not having a dog again.

And the number one reason I am a dog person? Because I can't imagine ever not having a dog again. There has definitely been some added work and expenses with having dogs as pets, but the advantages have far outweighed the disadvantages. Our two dogs have become such an important part of our family, that I can't imagine not having them around.

Reader Poll

© 2012 Kathy Sima


Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 30, 2012:

Thank you! I've always liked English Sheepdogs - they seem like they would be great pets. It's great that she's able to go places with you.

Margaret Perrottet from San Antonio, FL on December 30, 2012:

You've presented great reasons for having a dog, and I think that dogs make life so much better. I can't imagine living without one. Right now my husband and I have an Old English Sheepdog that I adore. She goes with us everywhere. Voting this up!

Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 29, 2012:

Thanks Fiddleman. I know some people that probably shouldn't have a dog, but I agree that they can add a lot to many people's lives.

brandrocker - I'm sorry to hear that you lost your dog recently. They certainly do become wonderful companions, and we sure miss them when they're gone.

Fiddleman on December 29, 2012:

Great hub and everyone should have at least one dog.

brandrocker on December 29, 2012:

Nice hub! I have lost my COCO recently... Now I feel more than ever before the value they add to your life - most faithful friend ever!!!

Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 29, 2012:

Thank you Sheila. We have never had a dog that's had a litter of puppies. I know that between my kids, my husband and I we would find it too difficult to give them up!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on December 29, 2012:

I love this hub! Zoey is just beautiful, as is your Australian Shepherd. Sadie has had 2 litters and it was so hard to get rid of all the puppies, they were so cute! I always had a favorite from each litter and wanted to keep them, but I finally let them go. We had Sadie spade after her last litter, I just couldn't take giving up those puppies any longer! It always seemed kind of cruel to her too. Voting this up, awesome and sharing! :)

Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 24, 2012:

They really are amazing, aren't they? I love the title of your book - it's very clever. Thanks for sharing. :)

Barbara Boswell Brunner on September 22, 2012:

Dogs are amazing creatures. Rescue dogs in particular can give back so much love. I have had nine over many years and wrote a book about it. Dog-Ma, The Zen of Slobber. They will always be in my heart.

Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 15, 2012:

It sounds like he is teaching you important life lessons! Dogs sure do seem to have their priorities right. We should probably follow their lead more often! Love the name - it's very unusual and full of personality!

FrugalFatCouple from California on September 14, 2012:

We rescued a little border terrier last year and he is the bright spot in our day. Gobbi - named after a famous magician helps get us out for walks daily and teaches us what life is all about. Treats and naps!!

Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 07, 2012:

Thanks Heather. Your rescue dog sounds like a great pet, and I can just imagine that he might not listen very well while chasing squirrels! Our dogs are a bit rebellious at times too - especially when there's a puddle or lake nearby! I often say "you're lucky you're cute..."

Heather Adams from Connecticut, USA on September 07, 2012:

Sweet dogs! My family had a collie when I was little and I still have a soft spot for them. After that we had cats, like you. My husband and I broke down and got a rescue dog - an English setter who has turned out to be smart, a little rebellious when on the hunt for a squirrel, and a great companion. I enjoyed your piece, and agree!

Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 04, 2012:

Keith, I can certainly appreciate that. The world wouldn't be very interesting if we all liked the same things anyway, now would it?

Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 04, 2012:

Isn't it funny how dogs have a way of winning people over? I always figured you either liked dogs or you didn't, but now I realize it's not that simple. Apparently it's never too late to become a dog person, and I'm glad I discovered this first hand. Thanks for stopping by!

Keith Ham from Niagara Falls, Ontario on September 03, 2012:

I don't really like Dogs to be honest, but I don't hate them at all. I'm just not a pet person.

Shasta Matova from USA on September 03, 2012:

If you told me two years ago that I was a dog person, I wouldn't have believed you, but I have a dog now and I am a dog person. They truly are wonderful for all the reasons you mentioned.

Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on August 10, 2012:

Kevin - I'm sorry for not responding sooner. Somehow I missed your comment. Thanks for your lovely feedback. I can understand why you don't have a dog right now, but I hope your online work pays off enough so that you can have one again someday!

Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on August 10, 2012:

Thanks Glenn! I have a friend in a similar situation. It's amazing how your perspective and feelings can change after becoming a dog owner.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on August 06, 2012:

I've had a lot of pets, but I never had a dog. I have a friend who had always been afraid of dogs and suddenly she changed, and adopted one. So when I saw your hub I became interested in reading it. I found all the advantages of owning a dog very interesting and enlightening. This is definitely a useful and well written article for anyone who never had a dog and is considering becoming a dog owner. Voted up.

Arren123 from UK on June 29, 2012:

Lovely hub Kathy, I always had a dog until I got divorced, last one being a chocolate lab, he was so much, but really a good dog. Since I've been divorced I looked at getting another dog, but with working the shift I do it wouldn't be fair on the dog. If and if I make enough online to give up working then yes I will be getting a dog. Voted up and beautiful, lovely photos :)

Movie Master from United Kingdom on May 03, 2012:

What wonderful photos and 10 excellent reasons for having a dog, I lost my dog a few years ago, he was such a loyal friend and companion - I still miss him!

Thank you for a lovely hub and voted up.

Best wishes Lesley

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on May 02, 2012:

When I was young, I read an article in that old large sized version of 'Life' magazine (of early 1980s) in which this photographer would go all across the USA with 4-5 different coloured giant balloons, put them in different locations and take pictures. So for example, he had those 5 balloons placed on a stretch on a nature trail in one of the pictures. I was impressed. I told my mom and dad that one day I will have 4-5 dogs and I will take landscape and nature pictures with them in the foreground. My dad laughed and said that I would need lot of money and commitment and that I needed to start from right then.

I don't have 4-5 dogs, but I do have 1 boy to start building my team on. I hope to be reaching that goal of my life in next 5 years.

Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 02, 2012:

Thanks everyone. It seems like there are a lot of us "dog people" on HubPages!

lisa42 and Suzie ONeill: I'm sorry to hear about your loss. It really is heartbreaking to lose a loyal companion. I'm glad to hear that you have both found new dogs to bring you joy.

Mary, I will definitely have to read your hub! Thanks for letting me know about it.

brackenb - I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one that chats with my dogs when nobody's around.

Suhail - I wasn't really sure about getting a second dog, but it has worked out very well. The dogs do keep each other busy by playing together, and I think it's definitely helped our older dog keep in shape. I'm sure your dog would love a friend to keep him company when you're not around :)

Wow cloverleaffarm - you definitely have made up for not having pets when you were younger! I'm not sure I could handle that many pets at once, but it might be fun to try!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on May 02, 2012:

I am definitely a dog person! I have a spoiled Miniature Schnauzer. Labs are wonderful dogs. If I ever get another dog, it will be a Lab. I just published a Hub about why people have pets. Our Hubs are so similar! Read mine when you have some time. This one is great. Your dogs are precious. I'll vote this UP, etc.

Suzie ONeill from Lost in La La Land on May 01, 2012:

I agree with your completely on every point you made in this hub. I love dogs. I had a wonderful dog that helped me through some really rough life patches. When he died, I was devastated. I mourned him for 8 years. A week ago, I finally opened my heart to a little black lab puppy named Loki. While I still miss my other dog, little Loki has been an absolute joy. I loved the part where you talked about dogs making us laugh. Loki has made me giggle so much the past week. She's such a sweet, silly little goof ball!

Thank you for sharing your story!

brackenb on May 01, 2012:

dogs are indeed great company - my terrier is my constant companion and I often find mysef chatting to him. So sorry at your loss of Jake but your other dogs look lovely.

Healing Herbalist from The Hamlet of Effingham on May 01, 2012:

I never had pets while growing up, so in adulthood, I have made up for it. At one point I had 4 dogs, and 5 cats. I now have 1 dog and seven cats. (The other 4 dogs have passed on).

Great hub, and I agree. I can't imagine my life without the amusement of a dog! UP +

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on April 30, 2012:

What is life without dogs to provide company. Seems like I will have to have my second dog next year. Two dogs are better than one. If a person is not around, the two can provide company to each other.

Thank you for writing an awesome hub.

lisa42 from Sacramento on April 30, 2012:

Great hub, and I loved the photos! I, too, grew up with cats and didn't get my first dog until my senior year in high school. Now I can't imagine not having a dog. We lost one of ours to cancer about a year ago and just last week got our remaining dog a new friend - a Chinese sharpei rescue dog. The dogs immediately bonded, but the cats still aren't sure they agree with our decision to add another canine to the family. :-)

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