The only reason you need to get a dog is - you don't have one. And if you do have a dog, you should probably get another one. Because you can't get too much of a good thing. 

Sure, we’ve all heard the not-so-good stories about man’s best friend. The colleague at work who had her Manolo Blahniks ripped to shreds by her new puppy, the guy who is permanently dressed in polyester and dog hair, and, of course, the girl next door who has to get up at all hours of the night, plastic bags in hand, to go walk Pebbles. But ask any dog owner about their pooch and we promise there is one secret they aren’t telling you - that your dog will keep you young, fit and feeling alive until its very last breath.

That being said, and if you're still wondering whether you should get a dog and how getting one might "interfere" with your schedule, here are four empirically proven reasons to get a furry BFF now.

Your dog is guaranteed to make you smile

We’re pretty sure dogs were put on this earth for this purpose alone. Just check out all the funny videos of dogs doing crazy, hilarious things on social media. In fact, a recent study showed that dog owners were happier, overall healthier, and less neurotic than cat owners. Now, we don't have anything against cats either, so we should note that this same study showed that pet owners were more satisfied with life in general than people who don't live with animals.  

And yes, we admit, it won’t always be laughs and giggles. Sometimes you’ll have to sacrifice a pair of shoes or buckle down to make Lassie listen, but most days your dog will keep you healthy by putting a smile on your face and sometimes when you need it most.

Your dog will make you move!

Whether you are taking them out for a walk, going to the store to pick up more pet food or just hanging out at home playing fetch, your dog is going to get you moving, whether you like it or not. Dogs by nature are active, vibrant beings and having one in your home is going to force you to get off the couch. Gone are the days of binge watching Netflix for hours on end – you have a dog now, so say hello to meeting people in the dog park, taking Sparkie for a run, and a healthier more active lifestyle. 

And there's been a slew of studies to back this up too, although we find it's just plain common sense. A study conducted by Michigan State University discovered that dog owners are 34 percent more likely to fit in the 150-minute per week minimum walking recommended for us humans in comparison to those who don't have a furry friend. The same study also found that having a dog increases so-called leisure-time physical activity by 69 percent on average. So, if your having trouble convincing your partner or your roommates that it's time you got a dog, take that data, shove it in their face, and ask them if they really want a neurotic, sedentary, unhealthy life for you. No, we're kidding. Don't really do that. But yeah, use the data. 

Your dog will remind you to live

We don’t mean "living" as in they’ll remind your heart to beat (although your heart may beat a little bit bigger from now on), we mean your dog will show you how to live life to the fullest. How could a pooch possibly explain life to you? By just watching them be. Dogs enjoy everything. Watching your dog sprint across a field, roll around in the grass, dive into a pool of water like it's the Fountain of Youth or tilt their heads in sheer curiosity when they come across new bug. They love life and you can't help but love it too if you're around these furry optimists.  Your dog will be a daily reminder to enjoy the little things in life because they add up to be pretty spectacular.

Your dog will teach you about love <3

Yesss. You knew it was coming. Dogs aren’t called man’s best friend for no reason. It’s because of their uncanny ability to love that humans and dogs have created such an exceptional, unique bond over centuries. Love is what fuels us and everything we do in life, yet humans seem to need a reason to love. We excel at our careers only if we love something about our jobs. We compare and contrast reasons to be or not be with a life partner. We stop being friends with people because there's something we don't like about them or their behavior.

Dogs, however, love unconditionally. Show your pup just a little love and kindness and they will shower you with affection, stare at you with puppy eyes, and love you whatever may come for the rest of their life. And is there anything healthier or more motivational than love?  

So there you have it. If you're looking for a way to start or motivation to keep going and stay healthy and fit - get yourself a dog. Still not sure? Next time you go to the park and see dogs running around, just look at their smitten owners, we promise you’ll recognize some of these traits. 

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