The Benefits of Having a Dog
May is National Pet Month, a great opportunity to celebrate pets and how much they benefit our lives. While most dog owners agree that their furry companions bring them joy on a regular basis, research has shown that there are proven health benefits to sharing our lives with them.
- Physical Benefits. Not only do our canine companions keep us active and fit through walks and regular exercise, but studies show that owning dogs can lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. Data also shows that dog owners often have better survival rates if they experience a cardiac episode.
- Mental Benefits. Let’s face it; it can be hard meeting new people! But for dog owners with their four-legged best friends by their side, social interaction is usually higher. On top of that, dogs can lower stress, anxiety, and blood pressure. In fact, it’s a good idea to save stressful tasks for when a dog is around – some offices are even starting to allow canines in the workplace!
- General Wellness. Dogs add meaning and purpose to an owner’s life, stave off depression, reduce loneliness and isolation, and keep them engaged with their community. Dog owners often have fewer doctor visits – especially dog owners 65 and older – and fewer pet allergies in children. Dogs are also beneficial in detecting, treating, and helping to manage health problems and impairments. For example, service and therapy dogs can increase a person’s independence, and Alzheimer’s patients are often soothed by dogs.
Has your dog been beneficial to your health? Tell us how in the comments below!