You are considering a career in nursing, you are currently studying nursing, or you are already qualified and you love the idea of getting yourself a canine companion. However, the busy schedule and long shifts are making you think whether or not it is the right thing to do. Owning a pet is rarely smooth sailing and no matter what your career is, you will most likely face many difficulties when it comes to caring for an animal, especially if you will be going into things as a single pet parent. If people are being negative about your need for a dog and you are struggling to see the good in dog ownership, then here are four positive reasons for adopting a dog into your life.

You Can Let Your Guard Down

A job as a nurse can be terrifying. Your role is to take care of patients who come into your life when they are very vulnerable and in a time of need, and in the majority of cases, a family who needs comforting and support will often follow. They are literally trusting you with their lives and one wrong move could lead to a fatality. It is enough to make a nurse lose even more hours of sleep than they already do. However, this is why owning a dog is a good idea. During your off hours, caring for a pet can actually be therapeutic. All you need to do is feed and exercise your dog often and they will be happy. If they chew on something they shouldn’t or break into the trash can, they are unlikely to harm themselves too much, but if you feed a patient something they shouldn’t have, it could lead to something far worse than you can imagine. When it comes to caring fora dog, when compared to patient care at work, it can feel like you can’t do anything wrong, which is wonderful.

A Potential Exercise Buddy

With such a busy schedule, it can be hard to find the time or motivation for any kind of exercise. If you are someone who exercises better with a buddy, having a human friend with a normal work schedule can be tough. They could be heading to the gym right before or after you start a shift and eventually, you just feel like you are letting them down. That is another positive to having a dog, as they don’t get let down so easily. Whether it’s a short stroll to the dog park or a trek in the countryside, as long as your furry friend has left the house for a decent amount of time, they are happy. They are so easy to please and you can do a variety of exercises with them.

They Offer Protection

If you live alone or your house is left during times where crime is more likely to occur, such as during the night, having a dog to protect your belongings is always a great benefit of pet ownership. Many nurses can feel vulnerable after and during the long and unusual shifts, so the presence of a dog can provide the extra bit of comfort a tired nurse may need. Knowing that they are in the home during the night to deter any strangers or they are downstairs while you catch up on all the sleep you have missed over the week can give that much-needed peace of mind. It is just one less thing to worry about.

They Provide Comfort

Whether you are studying one of the online nursing education programs or you are already qualified, studies have proven that petting a dog during times of stress is a great way to reduce that stress. They can also provide company while you study online nursing education programs and comfort you during the stressful exam periods. Knowing that you have a little four-legged friend waiting for you to come home can make you look forward to getting back, rather than going back to a lonely, quiet home without one. They can also be there to comfort you after particularly sad or stressful days. Having a canine there to listen to your problems, and not judge you for crying or being emotional over something someone else finds silly, can do nurses the world of good.

Dogs are fantastic pets who help their owners more than people realize. As a nurse it can be tough, but if help from a family or friend isn’t an option, there are many doggy daycare or pet sitting services out there to lend a helping hand. If you do get a dog, then consider adopting from a shelter. It may not change the world, but it changes their world forever.