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How a pet dog can improve your productivity

Monday March 31st 2014

Ask someone why they got a dog and they're likely to tell you about the affection and unconditional love they bring into a home. While most people would agree that the companionship a dog provides can be priceless – they really do become a part of the family – few would think about the fact that owning a dog can come with another huge benefit: they can make you more productive.

How a pet dog can improve your productivity

Cuteness and hard work go hand in hand
If your boss ever catches you looking at pictures or videos of cute animals now you have an excuse – Japanese researchers claim that taking a short break to focus on sneezing pandas or yawning kittens can make you more productive. Assuming you have a cute dog, whenever you find yourself working at home you don't need to rely on the internet for your cute animal fix – your pet's right there. If simply looking at cute animals can give you a short-term productivity boost imagine what petting a dog or giving it a scratch behind the ears could do for you!

A dog-friendly office is a calm office
It's not just in the home that a pet can be advantageous – studies have shown that bringing a dog to the workplace can reduce stress levels and may provide other benefits such as higher morale, increased co-operation with colleagues and, of course, improved productivity. It goes without saying that the dog would need to be pretty well behaved – you wouldn't get away with jumping up onto your desk and knocking over your computer and neither would your dog.

While a growing number of businesses are allowing dogs in the workplace, the majority are still pet-free zones. Until your business is ready to embrace your four-legged friends you'll have to make do with a framed picture of them on your desk looking their cutest.

A walk a day helps you work, rest and play

You might think that needing to take your dog for daily walks will make you less productive as it eats into precious time that could be spent working. In truth, taking half an hour to get outside can help focus the mind, not to mention provide your body with much needed exercise – particularly if you’re usually sat at a desk all day.

Walking can help strengthen your heart, lower the risk of certain diseases and even help prevent dementia – which will help keep your productivity levels high for years to come. You don't need a pet dog to go for a walk every day, but there's no better motivation to get out and about than seeing an eager, wagging tail waiting for walkies.

Reduce stress
If you don't have a dog you can of course still get the health benefits from walking on your own or the productivity boost from watching videos of ridiculously adorable puppies. What you won't be able to substitute so easily is the positive effect that owning a dog has on your blood pressure and cortisol (the stress hormone) levels. Studies have repeatedly shown that as well as having lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, owning a dog can also help deal with depression, helping you keep productive for longer.

A dog is for life, not just 9-5
Buying a dog probably won’t transform you capable and adjusting to life with a dog could even make you less productive for a few weeks. If your main motivation for getting a dog is to make you more productive you obviously need to re-assess your priorities: being a dog owner is a big responsibility, as it will be up to you to make sure it is properly cared for. However, if you can find room in your life for man's best friend the evidence is clear: there's a lot more to gain than just cuddles and chewed slippers.

This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.