Dogs are wonderful companions that provide unconditional love and loyalty. They also offer many physical and emotional benefits to their owners.
Below are six health benefits of owning a dog.
1. Dogs Make People Happy
Owning a dog boosts happiness levels. According to studies, our brains release oxytocin, a happy hormone, when we are around their dogs.
People with pets are more content than non-pet owners. People with dogs were more likely to report being happy than those without.
According to a study published in the Lancet, researchers have shown that sad people have more health problems than happy people. Our pets bring joy to our lives daily and assist us in maintaining our health.
2. Dogs Owners Have Better Cardiovascular Health
If you’re looking for ways to improve your heart health, consider getting a dog.
Research shows that owning a dog has been shown to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and help prevent heart attacks.
A ten-year-long study by Circulation, Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes included data extracted from research published between 1950 and May 24, 2019.
Data from ten studies concluded that having a dog was connected with a 24 percent reduction in “all-cause” mortality compared to not having a dog.
Even more incredible, dog owners have a lower risk of death by cardiovascular disease by 31%.
3. Dog Owners Are More Active
In addition to being a great companion, dogs also encourage physical exercise. Dog owners are generally more active than non-dog owners.
This increased activity helps keep weight under control, reduces the risk of obesity, and improves overall fitness.
Previous studies show that people who own a dog walk more often than those without a dog.
According to a University of Missouri study, dog owners walk 300 minutes each week on average. Non-dog owners only walk for 168 minutes on average.
Everyone knows that increasing your physical activity is beneficial for your heart and can also aid in weight loss. Walking a dog is a low-impact form of exercise that people of all fitness levels can do.
Dog owners that are active with their four-legged companions get even more exercise. Activities like hiking, going to the park, running, throwing a ball, playing with, or even cleaning up after your dog contributes to increased physical activity.
4. Dogs Reduce Stress
Dogs make us feel safe and secure, and they help us cope with life’s challenges.
Interacting with dogs reduces stress and anxiety by lowering cortisol, a stress hormone, while increasing oxytocin, a hormone that makes us feel calmer and less anxious.
That is why therapy dogs help so many people who suffer from anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Stress can lead to excessive cholesterol, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, decreased bone density, and an increased risk of heart disease.
Owning a dog can help prevent or alleviate many stress-related conditions.
5. Dogs Reduce Depression
In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, owning a dog has mental health benefits by reducing depression and loneliness.
Research shows that people who live with pets are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. And studies show that having a pet decreases loneliness by as much as 50%.
Dogs get us out of the house and expose us to new people. Dogs reduce depression by making it more difficult to distance oneself socially.
Depression is a serious condition that may be beyond what a dog can help with, but having a dog can help with the occasional blues and social isolation.
Dogs provide unconditional love and acceptance, get us outside when we don’t feel like it, encourage us to be more active, and provide loving companionship when we are lonely.
What better way to boost your health and extend your life than to have a dog?
6. Dog Owners Sleep Better
Did you know that having a dog can improve your sleep?
People who slept with a dog in their room slept better than those who didn’t, according to a Mayo Clinic study of 40 healthy adults’ sleep patterns.
“Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption,” says Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist and one of the study’s primary researchers.
The study discovered that many people feel comfort and security in sleeping with their pets. So pet owners can rest assured their canine companions will not negatively impact sleep.
Dogs provide numerous benefits for people of all ages and health situations by improving their owner’s mental and physical well-being.
But most dog owners will agree that their dogs’ health advantages are only a bonus to their unconditional love and companionship.