Our Riley is turning out to be a pretty good pupper, but he is a lot of work. He’s a social guy and loves to play and take walks. Thankfully, he’s not the ‘devil dog’ he was when he was little (3-4 months) … although he still has his moments.
Over 70% of Americans have a pet of some sort – mostly dogs (60% of households) and cats (40%). A much smaller % of households have pets like fish or birds.
I’ve written about the cost of having our pup – especially the initially exorbitant cost of his haircuts. My wife suggested I now write about the positive ‘payoff’ of having him in our lives, in terms of health & exercise.
Riley gets at least 3 walks a day, which is about 1-1.5 miles total. That’s an extra 2K-3K steps, which my wife and I split. We also chase him around the house, play ball, and pick him up a dozen times a day, which adds some more informal exercise in our routine.
As far as mental health, Riley makes a difference too. He’s a happy guy and that makes us happy. Research published in Psychology Today estimates that pets add 2 years to their owner’s lives. I’d say that whether he is being an angel or devil, cute little Riley certainly keeps us thinking. Watching him go definitely keeps your brain active.
How do you assess the healthiness of being a pet owner?
Image Credit: Riley at the Pumpkin Patch (c) MrFireStation.com