Jul 09 2017

Having a dog can improve your health

Published by at 2:47 pm under General

Having a dog can improve your health.
In addition to being your best friend, owning a dog  provides surprising health benefits.*

Dogs make excellent companions. They are called man’s best friend because they provide unconditional love, are always happy to see us, and if treated right, become loving and loyal members of the family. But they are more than cute and cuddly. Having a dog around can actually be good for your health and well being. A dog good for you health? Read on to learn some surprising  health benefits of dog ownership.*

Lower your stress

There are many studies showing how having a dog can actually reduce stress levels. Petting a dog calms us, playing and watching a dog can reduce daily stress. Stress hormones are lower for dog owners. And the stress reduction of owning a dog, outweighs the stressors that might come with it. Having a well trained dog will be even less stressful, so make sure your dog is trained! (1,2)*

You’ll exercise more.

Having a dog gives us a reason to get up in the morning and get moving. If we will take their lead, it gives us a great excuse to walk (or jog) around the neighborhood. Dogs love to walk! Let your dog be your guide and take him every morning and evening or more if you are so inclined. A well trained dog is  a joy to walk. So make sure to take the steps to learn how to properly train your animal. It can be a lot of work while they are a puppy, but a huge pay off once the puppy years are over. You’ll thank your dog for getting you moving. (1,2)*

Your pets get you outside

Because we generally go outside to walk or play with our dogs, we get the benefits of being out in the fresh air and sunshine. It is healthy to get outside a little bit every day, and our pups help us do this whether we go to the park with them, play at the beach or lake, or just stroll a trail. We all need to get outside to get fresh air, exposure to soil, grass and trees, get some natural Vitamin D from the sun. Exposure to natural sunlight is also important for developing eyes to avoid myopia. So grab the leash, the dog, the kids and get out into the sunlight for a bit! (Remember, prolonged exposure to sun requires some good broad spectrum sunscreen).(1,2)*

 Dogs are a great ice breaker.

You might find that having a dog actually improves your social life. They can be a great ice breaker (especially puppies). So take them to the park, walk around an outside mall, take them to the beach, and watch how people respond. A trip to Home Depot can become a social outing when you have a dog.(1,2)*

Your dog may let you know when you are sick.

 Your dog may let you know that you are sick before you do! Due to their incredible sense of smell, dogs have been used for cancer detection. Dog owners have reported that their dog detected something was wrong before the person knew, by licking sniffing and nudging areas that turned out to be cancer. Dogs are also great about alerting someone if you are in trouble. An elderly woman that I know fell and her dog, who was inside her apartment with her, kept barking until her neighbor came to see what was wrong. When she came in, the dog ran straight to its owner and the woman was rushed to the hospital. Pretty sweet benefit of having a canine companion.(1,2)*

Your children will have less allergies.

Many studies show that children who are raised in households with animals have less allergies to pets. It can also help them to have an increased immunity to pet allergies throughout their lives. Children raised around dogs are less likely to be fearful of them as well.(1,2)*

 A happy heart is a healthy heart.

The simple act of petting a dog lowers a person’s heart rate, studies show.  Dog owners are more likely to survive a heart attack and male dog owners tend to have reduced rates of heart disease.(1,2)*

 Dog owners have lower rates of depression.

Caring for a dog helps people relieve their symptoms of depression and help people to feel more positive. Dog owners with clinical depression demonstrate lower rates of depression than those who don’t have a dog.(1,2)*

 Dogs are wonderful companions to the elderly

For an elderly person, having a dog can mean less lonlieness and a constant companion. We all need someone to love and this connection helps elderly to feel less lonely. There have been studies showing that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer outbursts when there is a dog at home, and caregivers report that elderly patents seem less stressed.(1,2)*

 You’re less likely to get sick overall.

Studies show that dog owners, on average are sick less often than non-dog owners. They also have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels.  Additionally, dogs expose us to a lot of germs which help build our immunity to disease.(1,2)*

 You have a live security system.  

Dogs protect their owners and their territory. An intruder is going to think twice before going through a door or window with a barking dog on the other side. Small dogs are a great alarm to let you know someone is approaching your home or car. With this increased security, it allows us to relax more and sleep better at night, knowing our canine friend is on guard.(1,2)*

If you have a loving canine in your home, kudos to you! If you’re thinking of getting one, as you see, there are many benefits. Pet shelters are all over and teeming with dogs needing homes. The altruistic act of adopting a homeless dog is sure to benefit your health as well.(1,2)*

 Healthiest wishes,





  1. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-surprising-benefits-having-dog-you-didnt-know-about.html
  2. http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/features/6-ways-pets-improve-your-health#1
  3. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/Owning-a-Pet-May-Protect-You-from-Heart-Disease_UCM_453586_Article.jsp#.WVqHmCBlChA

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