We all know that dogs make loyal and faithful summer companions for those long shady hikes, early morning runs when no one else in the household is awake, or movie nights when you need a friend to share an oversized popcorn. But, adopting a furry friend over the dog days of summer can also improve your life in many other ways.

1. Dogs Force Us Outdoors For Exercise
Being a dog owner encourages us to become or stay active. One of the chief responsibilities of being a dog owner is to take your furry companion on regular walks and let him or her have frequent outdoor potty breaks. In the summertime, getting outside can be especially fun at dawn and dusk before the sun heats up the day and while you have peace and quiet to reflect on how awesome it is you are sticking with your exercise goals thanks to your loyal canine by your side every step of the way.

So many of us lead a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to weight gain and poor muscle tone. If joining a gym isn’t your thing to get in your 22 minutes or more per day goals, your dog can help you stay active by taking him or her for long walks or runs. Walking and running your dog around the neighborhood or at a nearby park means you are receiving your daily dose of cardiovascular exercise without skipping out on the bonding time. Best of all, he or she won’t judge your running form or walking speed!

2. Dogs Encourage Us To Meet New People Everywhere We Go
Your dog will open the door to new social connections for you in even the most unlikely places like while shopping at the local hardware store. Plus, outdoor activities with your dog, such as a game of fetch on the beach or at a nearby park, allows your dog opportunities to interact with other dogs and their humans. In other words, you’ll be attracting attention wherever you go. Just make sure your dog is well trained to obey commands while around other people and animals or you could run into potentially hilarious yet embarrassing situations, such as getting tangled in your dog’s leash while trying to ask someone out.

Also, dogs are particularly helpful for people who tend to be more reserved and hesitant to make friends. If you struggle to speak with new people, it helps to find common ground. Your dog will provide an icebreaker for striking up a conversation with another dog owner or someone who would like to own a dog in the near future. This conversation can lead to a new and rewarding friendship that you would otherwise have missed out on.

3. They Take Us On Adventures
As any dog owner will testify, daily adventures await when adopting a furry friend. Some people even take their dogs along on their summer vacations. Many hotels and campgrounds are dog-friendly and activities such as outdoor art exhibits, nature walks, and boating tours can be a great way to check off your bucket list with your four-legged bestie.

4. Dogs Teach Us New Skills
Have you ever heard, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Well, that is simply not true! With patience, you can teach any dog to be obedient and follow commands, including some new party tricks. But, be forewarned becoming a dog owner will teach you new things as well like responsibility, the rewards of bonding with your pet, and the right way to communicate where your command is heard and your dog is actually looking forward to learning more!

In other words, dog training has much to offer both you and your pet. Not only does it help your dog to behave, but you will also learn valuable teaching and communication skills – all while fostering a deeper bond of love and trust.

5. They Include Us In All of Their Games
Last, but not least, owning a dog will make you get off the sidelines and start playing an active role in your dog’s games and activities. You won’t ever be picked last for this team – you’ll be the team captain! Whether catching a pet frisbee or chasing down a tennis ball, your dog will always want you to be spending quality time playing with him or her, which makes you want to do more of it whenever you have downtime.

How to Find Your Summer Best Friend
If your summer days are looking a little dull, perhaps it’s time to adopt a dog from a reputable pet rescue like Sophie’s Circle. You’ll never sit at home feeling glum with nothing to do, again! Make the most of your summer months, and all the seasons of your life for that matter, by adopting a dog today.