13 Free Perks of Owning a Dog


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happy bernese mountain dog looking at camera, his owner smiles next to him
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Owning a dog is almost guaranteed to enhance your life. A dog is much more than another mouth to feed and another creature to clean up after — it's a treasured member of the family. If you already own a dog, you know how much the benefits outweigh the costs. And if you're still deciding whether to open your door to man's best friend, Cheapism's list of free perks can help you get to closure.

woman texting on the couch with her dog
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By far the best part of owning a dog is the mutual and unconditional love. Dogs are hard-wired to love their humans. Through good and bad, they can't help but shower your face in wet, slobbery kisses. The emotions shared between master and pet are a special bond that dog owners cherish. To sweeten the deal, the exchange is 100 percent free.

hand of woman holding dog's paw
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Unlike cats, dogs always want to be part of the group. Once trained, your dog will follow you just about anywhere, staying by your side and offering you steadfast companionship. Dogs will listen to you vent about your problems, share in your excitement when new opportunities arise, and comfort you when you're down.

woman running with her dog on muddy dirt road
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All dog owners know the value of exercising with their pet. Depending on the breed and age of the dog, this could mean a weekly walk around the park or daily mile-long runs. Regular exercise keeps you both healthy, and because you're out and about in nature, this perk of owning a dog is totally free.

man embracing his dog while on the couch
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There's nothing worse than a cold, lonely winter night. Lovers come and go but as long as you have a dog, you will always have a warm body by your side. Cuddling up on especially chilly evenings costs nothing, and might even save a few pennies on the heating bill.

doberman pinscher in front of family at home
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Dogs are naturally protective of their family and their territory. Any dog owner can tell you that a dog is the best alarm system. With their sharp senses they can detect even the subtlest intruder or danger and won't hesitate to wake you, or the entire neighborhood, when a possible threat lurks nearby.

two dogs sniffing each other
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If you're single and looking to meet someone, walking your dog gets you in the mix. Not only will your adorable friend attract possible mates, it will also sense their vibes. Just think what might happen if your dog could sniff out your soulmate from the crowd. Even if you're not single, owning a dog is an easy and free way to meet other dog lovers in the neighborhood.

Australian cattle dog catching frisbee disc
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We've all been to parties where the pooch steals the show with its antics. A dog in your life is a free ticket to constant entertainment, from playing fetch to watching the animal chase its own tail. Not to mention all the cute photos and videos you can post to favorite social media.

woman and her beagle dog meet morning in bed
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No need to spend even a penny on an alarm clock if you own a dog because it will wake you up every single morning. Dogs like routine, and they love their early morning walks. Although getting up early every day (weekends included) can be rough, doing so solidifies your morning routine.

family at home with dog
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Studies show that dog owners tend to enjoy better physical health. In addition to a routine of early rising and regular exercise, dogs help humans pinpoint physical maladies. With their enhanced sense of smell, dogs have been known to sniff out cancerous tumors in humans, focusing on the afflicted area by nuzzling and licking it. Paying attention to your dog's signaling device may prompt you to deal with an overlooked health problem.

senior man hugging his dog outside
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According to sites such as WebMD, people with dogs live longer and enjoy better overall emotional health. Having a loyal and loving companion is the difference between happiness and loneliness for a lot of people. The best part is sharing that happiness with your dog.

cute dog lying on sofa
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Don't want to go to the company party? Blame it on the dog. One perk of owning a dog is the profusion of free excuses to get out of social engagements you're dreading. Maybe you can't find someone to watch the dog, or maybe your pup is sick. Whatever you come up with, the excuse gets you out of unwanted obligations.

woman hugging her dog
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We all need time for introspection once in a while, and a dog can help move the process along. It is often said that dogs mirror their owner's personality and vice versa, and to a certain extent, Psychology Today reports, this adage has been shown to be true. Take a good look at your pup and see what it reveals about the type of person you are. If you change things up, see if you notice a change in the animal, as well.

dogs having fun at the dog park
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Some of the best parts of public parks are reserved for dogs and their masters. With your pooch in tow you now have access to these VIP areas, and no longer need to stand outside the fence, watching from afar. Enjoy the open spaces for running, and best of all, for doggie dates. (Dogs need friends, too.)

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