In Honor of National Dog Day: 10 Ways Having a Dog Makes Your Home Better August 05 2015

Does any dog owner even need a list of all the reasons having a furry friend rocks? Probably not. For many dog owners and lovers, not having a dog to fill your home with joy is madness. And yet, for those still on the fence about whether or not they'd like to adopt, perhaps this list of the ten ways dogs make our homes better might be enough to push you into "it's time" territory. For the rest of folks whose homes already have a dog (or two or three), skim over this list to find your favorite reason for having a furry roommate (and add your own!).

National Dog Day isn't until August 26th, but why not start celebrating man (and woman's) best friend early?

1. Is there anything more lovely than someone you love greeting you after a hard day out in the real world? It's nice to be missed, after a long day at work or just after a trip to the mailbox!

2. They make all your Instagrams instantly cuter. Actually, they make just everything cuter. (However, having an awesome dog for a photo of your space is the BONUS of being a dog owner — not the main reason why you should get a pet. Dogs are a big responsibility and please don't get one just for photos!)

3. You have a built-in, awesome alarm clock ever. (Though admittedly, it's sometimes terrible when you don't get to set the time and it goes off very early on a weekend.)

4. Dogs are always great ice breakers when the conversation lulls when you have guests over. Their often hilarious antics can break up the tension in a room after an argument, too.

5. Dogs (and their boundless energy and need for exercise) make you move more. They can help fight off getting into a couch surfing rut. How many long or lazy days has your dog's walk been the exercise you got for the day — and improved your mood because of it?

6. They improve your health while you're at home. Just being around pets (and particularly if you're surrounded by stuff you love at home) can have a scientifically positive affect on your health. The New York Times reported thatOwning a Dog Is Linked to Reduced Heart Risk. Other studies have shown that they can help lower stress, too.

7. They may even make the other relationships in your home stronger.That's right, knowing and loving a dog could make you feel more connected to the non-dog people you share your space with. The Huffington Post reported on a study that might scientifically prove this idea.

8. Dogs might even help you set — and complete — goals around the house. Scientific American reported on two experiments that indicate dogs might help people "generate more goals, feel more confident about achieving those objectives and handle stress better."

9. They can make you feel safer in your home. Thanks to their constant vigilance and desire to protect their owners, dogs can often make people feel much safer in their home, knowing they've got a furry companion listening out for intruders and more.

10. They keep loneliness and boredom at bay at home. This one is just a no-brainer. Whether you live alone or with other humans, anyone who's ever had a canine companion knows that their company is sometimes just the thing you need to make loneliness and boredom go away.