Ask any dog owner about their pup, and you’ll be flooded with stories of the bond they share with their furry friend. The joy of pet ownership is undeniable, but did you realize that dogs also dramatically increase the social benefits many pet owners experience? Pets and their people make a truly stunning impact in a community. If you’ve been struggling to connect with your neighbors and feel isolated in your community, bringing a pup into your home can make all the difference.
Lisa Wood, Associate Professor at The University of Western Australia, has studied social bonds across western societies and has seen the evidence of how a pup’s impact on a community extends far beyond their own family! Associate Professor Wood works in the School of Population Health and completed a study in Perth Australia along with three major American cities in 2005. Her findings supported previous work showing that dog owners are up to five times more likely to know other members of their community. Even this passing familiarity with neighbors can change the dynamic of a community dramatically, increasing trust and a feeling of belonging.
Wood’s research focuses on social capital, which is a term that includes informal social support networks, trust between community members (including strangers), and the exchange of favors between neighbors. Social capital is not a detached, clinical term – it is a positive predictor of success in many areas of life, including mental health, community safety, and individual attachments within a community. Her studies in Perth Australia, along with San Diego, Portland, and Nashville consistently showed that pet owners are notably more likely to have higher social capital than non-pet owners.
With a puppy in your home, your increased level of connection will be integral to the community as a whole! Taking your pup out for walks makes your neighborhood safer, helps you get fresh air and exercise, and helps you meet and learn to trust new members of your community. In a time when the closeness of community has been eroded, choosing to bring your neighborhood together is a beautiful act of love.
Make Your Puppy a Good Neighbor
A well-trained, happy, and confident puppy is magnetic! If you want your pup to be adored by your neighbors and be a wonderful companion in your life, the best thing you can do is invest in their training. All puppies can become incredible dogs – but it takes training, positive reinforcement, and consistency! Finding a local trainer or training program can make a world of difference in your puppy, family dynamic, and your neighborhood.
In addition to training, you can help your pup bring joy to yourself and your neighbors by practicing good pup etiquette yourself! Always remember to keep your pup leashed in any public places, never neglect the essential task of collecting your puppy’s waste when on walks (remember those poo bags!), keep up with your regular vet trips and required vaccinations, and make sure that your yard is properly secured. Always remember that your behavior can make the difference between your pup being the beloved neighborhood mascot or the dreaded neighborhood pest!
Puppies: the Great Equalizer
Throughout recorded history, puppies and the companionship they bring have been valued deeply in society. Pets are truly the great equalizer! Everyone, regardless of social or economic status, can relate to the love they feel for their pups. People in all social spheres can find commonalities in their love of pets despite other differences.
This widespread connection we find among other dog lovers is not inconsequential! Connection is a profoundly important thing, especially in an era known for its lack of in-person connections and the blight of overwhelming busyness we all face. Pets are an undeniable constant in a frenetic world, combating the social isolation and loneliness that is such a blight on our society.
Associate Professor Lisa Wood stated that her study “…found that around 40 percent of pet owners reported receiving one or more types of social support from someone they met through their pet – this ranged from someone they could talk to about problems or things that were worrying them, through to being able to ask someone for advice or practical help.” Without our pups, many of these essential supports would never develop!
Choosing the Perfect Pup for You
Finding the right puppy for you should be a beautiful experience, a journey that leads you to the companion you’ve been missing in your life! At Sugar Sweet Georgia Puppies, we can answer your questions and match you with your furever friend.
Our puppies are hand-selected, deeply loved, and cherished from the moment we meet them. We cannot wait to introduce you to the perfect pup for your lifestyle and home environment. Contact us today, and let us help you find the furry friend you’ve been missing!