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10 Ways Owning A Dog Can Make You Healthier

Dogs, Info

Discussing The Health Benefits Of Having A Dog In Your Life 

Owning a dog is both a wonderful experience and a huge responsibility. Dogs rely on their owner for food, water, shelter, and love. So what does a dog owner get in return? Unconditional love and a friend that is always excited to see you. But, there’s more to it than that. There are so many benefits to owning a dog that we decided to write an article about it. This article will discuss 10 ways owning a dog can lead to a healthier life. 

#1 Reduces Stress

Life can be stressful sometimes. Having a dog in your life has been known to reduce both stress and anxiety. Studies done at John Hopkins University School Of Medicine showed that petting a dog lowers the stress hormone called cortisol. They also found that interacting with dogs can increase levels of oxytocin ( a feel-good hormone that increases the bond between a mother and their newborn baby). Additionally, a survey at John Hopkins showed that 84 percent of P.T.S.D. patients paired with a service dog reported a remarkable reduction in symptoms. 

#2 Heart Healthy

Heart disease and cardiovascular disease are currently the #1 leading cause of death in the U.S. Research done by the American Heart Association found that dog ownership can potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is due to a variety of reasons including more physical activity, lower blood pressure, and diminished sympathetic responses to stress. 

#3 Keeps You Active

Owning a dog keeps you active and moving. Many people have trouble getting motivated for regular early morning exercise, but dog owners have no choice. Dogs need to be walked several times a day so they can pee and poop. This is especially true in the early morning and late night before bedtime. This is a good thing for dog owners as people need regular cardio and exercise to stay healthy. If you’re looking for motivation to exercise more, then a dog might be what you’re looking for. To learn more about the various exercises you can do with your dog, check out our previous article entitled Ways To Exercise With Your Dog When It’s Too Cold Outside

#4 They Make You Happy

It’s no surprise that dogs make people happy. As previously mentioned, interacting with a dog increases levels of oxytocin (a feel-good hormone). This hormone not only strengthens the bond between people and their dogs, but it also affects peoples’ mood. Dogs love unconditionally. They are typically very happy to see their owners and express it any way they can. This happy behavior/expression tends to have a positive influence on the people around them.

#5 They Make You More Social

Similar to humans, dogs are very social creatures by nature. They don’t just want socialization, they need it. Social interactions with dogs can’t replace social interactions with people. However, any social interaction is better than none. Studies have shown that dog owners have an easier time making friends with people compared to non-dog owners. This is because people who have a strong relationship with their pets are more likely to have strong relationships with the people in their lives. 

#6 They Make You More Attractive

Owning a dog expresses you’re responsible and caring. This makes you both more approachable and more attractive to others. Pets often act as a bridge that helps connect us with other people. While walking your dog, there’s a good chance you’ll cross paths with another dog lover. They’ll probably stop to pet your dog and inevitably talk to you, the owner. Thus, a connection is made through relatability over your furry friend. 

#7 Good For Senior Citizens

Pet therapy is a very serious and effective form of therapy. As previously mentioned, interacting with dogs has a positive influence on people both mentally and physically. This is especially true for senior citizens. Studies have shown that pet therapy helps improve cognitive function in seniors with mental illness. Additionally, pet therapy has been known to decrease negative symptoms in cases of dementia.  

#8 Increases Our Capacity To Love

Similar to having children, having a pet increases our ability and capacity to love and be loved. Practice makes perfect. The more we love our pets, the more we can learn to love each other. Although the relationships we have with people and with pets are vastly different, love itself is universal. 

#9 They Make Good Company

Loneliness is a serious issue that many people struggle with. Being alone can lead to a lack of self-esteem, lack of self-worth, and depression. Dogs can’t replace people, but they do make good company. They can’t talk back in our language, but they make excellent listeners. 

#10 They Help Us Through Hard Times

Life can be hard sometimes. Financial distress, relationship problems, work-related issues, depression, etc. It’s not easy dealing with the struggles of life, but having a dog can help. Bad days and hard times happen. But, having a furry friend that is always there for you can make all the difference. They will always love you and always be happy to see you. Sometimes that’s all we need. A true friend that loves you unconditionally.