Six Health Benefits of Owning A Dog

If you’ve ever owned a dog, you know just how happy they can make you. Whether it’s making you feel good with hugs and kisses as you walk through the door from a long day of work, or it’s the warm snuggles they give when they’re taking up too much room on the bed. Here are six more reasons why owning a dog makes life better.

1. It’s good for the heart.. literally and figuratively!

Have you ever heard someone say that petting a dog is good for the heart? Well, for those of you that have, they might be right! According to a study that Harvard Medical School conducted, owning a dog can decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease significantly compared to not owning one. They tend to have a calming effect that our sub conscious can hone in on without us even realizing. The average dog owners heart rate not only goes up less, but it also returns to normal more quickly. This reduces the amount of stress that is put on your heart and the rest of your body. Overall, this effect has lead to lower blood pressure levels.

2. They’re MAJOR stress relievers

Dogs are used as therapy animals for all the right reasons. This kind of goes back to the point about dogs and heart health. But, I want to touch on other areas of stress relief our furry friends help us with. Spending just a few minutes with a pet can lower anxiety and blood pressure while increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine. These two neurochemicals determine your well-being; the higher the levels, the more likely you are to be calm rather than anxious. In fact, many people say that when a dog is in the office; their day seems less stressful.

3. Dogs are a great source of exercise

Dogs are needy when it comes to exercise and it’s too bad humans aren’t the same way. If an active pup doesn’t get enough play time, they will (literally) be bouncing of the walls inside your house. Take them for a nice walk around the neighborhood, bring them to the closest field or dog park, play fetch in the back yard.. ANY THING to get the both of you active. Most people who do walk their dog end up feeling like it’s not exercise, but a responsibility. You just get the exercise as a plus for taking care of the responsibility. It’s not much, but there was a study conducted that stated the average pet owner loses up to 15 pounds a year just from walking their dog on a daily basis.

4. You and your kids may be less likely to develop allergies

Most people, especially parents, fear that their future kids may be allergic to the family pet. It used to be believed that owning a dog or a cat would increase the chances of developing allergies but it’s actually been proven to work the other way around. The reason this happens is due to something called Allergic Sensitization. Long story short, it’s a process where the allergens are absorbed into the body by allergen fighting cells and the earlier this happens, the more “normal” it is for your body to fight. It works the same way as an immune system, but for allergies!

5. You’ll feel a sense of security

Even if your dog is a giant teddy bear, your house may have less of a chance of being broken into or vandalized. Studies have shown that hearing a barking dog or even seeing one can scare off a burglar. Since the burglar is planning on breaking into your house, they most likely want it to go as smooth as possible. They don’t know what your dog is capable or incapable of doing and they want as little attention to be drawn to them as possible so they usually take the safe route and leave. Knowing this can often put your mental and physical health at ease.

6. Dogs add purpose to your life

This relates to older folks who may have retired, or just your average 20 something year old who might have lost themselves. Either scenario, life can get lonely and you may start to isolate yourself from everything and everyone. Some people don’t have a want or need to get up every morning and it can become very dangerous for a persons health and well-being. They don’t have anything to take care of besides themselves, and that’s just not good enough motivation. Having a pet who depends on you forces you to get out of bed every morning. It subconsciously makes people realize they DO need to take care of themselves, because if they don’t; who’s going to take care of Fluffy?

Next time you’re debating on whether or not to get a new pup, just remember all the great health benefits they can bring into your home.

Woof,

Nicole & Nala