A great reason to adopt a new furry friend!
When your dog bounds towards you with the unbridled excitement equivalent to a celebrity spotting and gives you one big, wet lick on your cheek the minute you come home, it's hard to imagine a better instant mood-booster. But there are a myriad of other benefits to welcoming a furry friend into your fold, from increased self-esteem to more exercise and less loneliness.
Once you've decided to bring a dog into your home, find out how you can make the most out of your time with your pup-and gain those health and beauty benefits to boot.
MORE: The Importance of Puppy Love
Cuddle with your dog.
Fido won't do you much good if he's always off in a corner by himself. Alan Beck, Ph.D., director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and his co-researcher Aaron Katcher found in the early '80s that when people interact with dogs, "you actually get a drop in blood pressure-a true relaxation response," he says. More recently,