8 Surprising Reasons Your Dog Is Good For Your Health

Who doesn’t love dogs? They can be people’s best friends and loyal companions. Dogs can also affect your overall health in a wonderful way. Have you known that there are many health benefits of owning a dog? If you don’t already have one you may consider getting one. Here are the positive sides of having a dog.

1. Dogs improve your heart health

Dogs don’t just fill your heart; they actually make it stronger. Studies show that having a canine companion is linked to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, and decreased triglyceride levels, which contribute to better overall cardiovascular health and fewer heart attacks. What’s more – the dog owners who have heart attacks have better survival rates following the events.

2. Dogs help relieve stress

There’s a reason therapy dogs are so effective: Spending just a few minutes with a pet can lower anxiety and blood pressure, and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, 2 neurochemicals that play big roles in calm and well being.

According to a study from SUNY Buffalo (2006), 240 married couples with dogs were subjected to various types of stressful tasks where they were either alone, with their spouse or were able to see their dog before or after the task. Unsurprisingly, lowest responses to stress were among those who were allowed to see their dogs. Maybe there should be a mandatory “bring your dog to work” day!

3. Dogs keep you active: Dogs are naturally high-energy companions and love to play and exercise. As a result, dog owners are often inspired for active lifestyle to satisfy their dog’s needs. Research conducted by the American Heart Association revealed that dog owners were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended amount of exercise than non-dog owners.

4. Digs prevent kids’ allergies

Back in the years (1990s), experts believed having a dog in your home contributed to children’s allergies. Fortunately, recent research shows just the opposite is true: Dogs and cats actually lower a child’s chance of becoming allergic to pets – up to 33 percent, according to a 2004 study in the “Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology”. As side bonus – young ‘uns might even develop stronger immune systems.

5. Dogs Are Therapeutic for Kids With ADHD

Pet Wiki and WebMD agree that dogs make great pets for kids diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Your child can release excess energy by playing with the dog, so caring for the pet will also help teach your child responsibility. Dogs can also help calm your child. Many therapists have used dogs in treatment as they seem to have a calming effect on both adults and children and help people feel more at ease during treatment.

6. Dogs Can Help Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

The dogs are extremely helpful in helping people deal with medical issues. Dogs have been found to be beneficial to people with various medical issues, but especially with those diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Dogs help the people with RA to move more often and encourage play, as well as helping them get their mind off of their condition. Dogs are great motivators to get moving and they sure are good at distracting us from things!

7. Dogs improve your social life

As we age, it becomes harder to get out and meet people. Not so for dog owners. The researchers have found that around 40% make friends more easily, possibly because the vast majority – 4 in 5, according to one British study – speak with other dog owners during walks. “Dog owners in particular tend to be a little more extroverted, or outgoing” says Joubert. “When you start to engage them about their companion animal, people tend to open up and really blossom. They want to share stories about their favorite friend.”

8. Dogs battle disease and injury

It’s believed that owning a dog can help detect, treat, and manage a variety of illnesses and debilitations. A few examples:

Some of the dogs have been trained to: sniff out skin, kidney, bladder, and prostate cancer, among others.

Service dogs are known to benefit people with everything from traumatic brain injury to autism to rheumatoid arthritis, increasing mobility and promoting independence.

The Alzheimer’s patients are soothed by dogs. Their companionship also seems to mitigate emotional flare-ups and aggression.


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