Dogs are known as human’s best friend. These furry creatures give humans company, safety, and even better health. It is surprising to know that the benefits of having a dog can have a huge impact on our lives. Imagine waking up every day with someone licking your toes, hands or face. Look at those wagging tail every time you get home from school or work. But these cute animals can do more than appease our hearts. Dogs improve our health too! Let me break down the possibilities for you.
Dogs Significantly Improve Your Mood
Our cute furry buddies have this unique ability to significantly improve our mood in just 15 to 30 minutes of bonding time. With them around playing with us, our body releases happy hormones like endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. These hormones are responsible for stress reducers, tranquility, pleasure, and love. Spend some time with your dog, and I am sure, you’ll have a smile on your face even if it is the worst day ever. This is definitely one of the best health benefits of having a dog.
Plus, our frequent physical contact through hugging, petting and exercise increases our moods positively and further provides physical and emotional health benefits. Physical contact is important in making good health.
Dogs Can Improve Your Physical Health
Dogs are very active animals. They like to walk, run and play all the time. But their game always gets better with a companion doing the physical activity with them. They show more excitement while playing with us.
There was even a research study in Michigan that concluded dog walkers or dog owners are more likely to become physically fit than those who do not own a dog. They found that most dog owners are more inclined to improved physical activity because they have to cope with the energy of their exercise buddies. Dog walkers fitness schedule surprisingly covers more mileage than those who exercise alone.
Exercise helps improve your dog’s health too! Dogs stick to their fitness plan, and you cannot simply cancel a day of workout because you are feeling lazy or what. Researchers at the University of Missouri found that dogs prefer to stick to a stick workout plan with or without a company. Dog walkers fitness seem to be better than those who workout without a furry buddy. They walk 28 times faster than those who walk without a buddy.
People are also more engaged in physical activity when taking care of dogs. We manage to make more time to walk our dogs, exercise with our dogs and play with our dogs. Owners have improved heart health with better blood pressure and cardiovascular response. A study from the National Institute of Health found that the simple act of petting our buddies can significantly lower our blood pressure.
Furthermore, studies have shown that owning a dog can significantly lower your cholesterol and triglycerides. These two things are the main culprits in heart attack and hypertension. Regular walking and exercise can keep these culprits in check.
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Dogs Can Keep You Away From Chronic Diseases
People have a better chance of preventing chronic diseases later in life with the help of canines. Dog walkers fitness level are way better because they practice regular exercise with their furry pets. One of the best ways to avoid chronic illness is to be physically healthy and avoid too much stress. Both emotional and physical health play a role in our future health status.
A study at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine found that families especially those with children are less likely to develop allergies and other autoimmune diseases if they grow alongside dogs. This has been concluded with the “Hygiene Hypothesis” that with more dirt we are exposed to, the less likely we are to get sick.
Dogs Help us Build Good Social Relationship
People who own dogs have better social relationships. They seem to have better and increased social interaction. Dogs make us feel comfortable with a company making us free from social isolation or possible shyness. Professor Nadine Kaslow at Emory University in Atlanta believes in dogs imparting a huge role in our social lives. It also appears that people who own dogs show a greater level of empathy and self-esteem towards others.
Dog owners de-stress by walking their dogs and meeting or hang out with neighbors and friends because of their dogs. These furry friends really build a better social circle for their owners and improve their stress levels as well.
Dogs Improve Mental Health
Children who take good care of their dogs and practice reading to them show a huge improvement in their reading ability towards the next ten weeks, says psychologist Robert Bierer. Other mental-related illness, such as depression, anxiety, and stress, are less likely to occur to pet owners. Playing, petting and getting attached to our dogs gives us a happier feeling that releases dopamine and serotonin levels in our body.
Human-dog relationship creates an immediate sense of joy that prevents and improves our mental health. We will have the right energy to fight mental illness during tough days. Plenty of smiles and joys are one of the best benefits of having a dog. Children with autism have found unexplainable joy in playing with their dogs. They respond better and act better.
Aside from that, pain is mentally-induced. Several studies have already proved that the brain can control our whether we can feel pain or not. Researchers at Loyola University discovered that people in pain medication supplement need 50 percent less with animal-assisted therapy.
Dogs Teach us Responsibility
Having a pet is more than just playing and having fun. It is a responsibility that we have to fulfill. Dogs are more than just pets. They are part of our family that we need to feed, love, care and provide essentials. Learning to fulfill obligations and responsibilities is an important characteristic in life and health.
Dogs Help Owners Recover Faster
People who got sick or recently had a heart attack are more likely to recover faster with the help of a furry company. One of the benefits of having a dog is that they will never leave you no matter what, whether in good times or in bad times.
Dogs Monitor our Health
One surprising benefit of having a dog is that they unconsciously monitor our health. Dogs are very sensitive animals. They are even more sensitive when the person they love is not in normal behavior or health condition. One good example is when a diabetic experience a sudden raise in sugar level. His breath will change in the smell which can be easily picked up by their pet. Not all dogs may have this immediate gut feel, but there are several organizations who would train your dog to always monitor changes in your health.
A statistical study published in Scientific Reports showed that there is 33 percent reduced death risk when a dog is around. There are always alert when it comes to their owners’ well being. You are never alone especially if you live with a dog companion.
You can also monitor the health of your dog with these awesome devices for dogs.
READ ALSO: 8 Cool Things You Need for a Dog Under $25
Dogs Teach Us to Care and Love
For me, this is really the best of all the health benefits of having a dog – learning to love and care. Professionals highly suggest getting dogs during childhood. Dogs teach our kids plenty of things that we are not aware of. Children who grow with dogs around show greater compassion, understanding, love, and care for other people and animals.
Dogs are also good bridges in bringing families closer to each other. Oftentimes, we feel shy or disconnected with distant family members or those way older than us. Pets are a good way to starting a conversation and possibly building a connection between family members. Dogs teach children to care, to be kind, to love, and to fulfill responsibility altogether.
Dogs Improve Our Quality of Life
All these things will always lead to the ultimate health benefit – improved quality of life. Dogs are more than just pet. They are man’s best friend. Dogs are family. They do so much that we might not be aware of but greatly improve human life. They provide us a living, understanding companionship, prevent loneliness, and gives us a better sense of well being. Our dogs greatly influence who we will be with their unconditional love, friendship, and support. They are the most loyal creatures on Earth.
It seems good to summarize that with all these health benefits of having a dog, dog owners are more likely to live a longer, healthier life than those without a buddy. It may not be certain because nothing is really certain in human life. But one thing is for sure: our pets will do us more good than we can ever imagine. All the possibilities, positive outcome and improvements that dogs can bring into our life is truly surreal, and all they ask in return is love, care, and compassion (may be plenty of exercises too!). A dog is more than just a best friend! I bet you do not want to lose it! Read my latest popular article “Top 8 Best Dog GPS Tracking Devices in 2018” to make sure you always know where your best buddy is!