It has been suggested that dogs can boost our health and lives in numerous ways – here are 5 ways having a dog can make you happier and healthier!
1. Improved Heart Health
Dogs don’t just fill your heart; they actually make it stronger. Studies show that having a canine companion is linked to lower blood pressure, decreased triglyceride levels, and reduced cholesterol, which contribute to better overall cardiovascular health and fewer heart attacks. Furthermore, dog owners who do have heart attacks have better survival rates following the event.
2. Less Stress
There’s a reason therapy dogs are so effective: spending time with your pet can lower anxiety and blood pressure. Pets also increase levels of dopamine and serotonin, two neurochemicals that play big roles in well-being and feeling calmer. Got a stressful task to do? Having a pet around helps to lower stress levels too!
3. More Social Life For You and Your Dog
Pets create opportunities for better social interaction, especially if you join an animal club or attend pet shows. Going to pet-friendly events, beaches or parks can also help increase your social network. You could make new friends just by taking your dog for a walk or waiting at the vet, due to the shared interest in your pets.
As we age, it becomes harder to get out and meet people – apparently not for dog owners. Researchers have found that about 40% of dog owners make friends easier, possibly because the vast majority speak with other dog owners during walks and park visits.
4. Improved Fitness Levels (for you and your pets!)
Health experts recommend that adults get about 2 hours and 30 minutes’ worth of moderate exercise per week. A past study suggests that dog owners are more inclined to spend more time outdoors walking as they enjoy spending time with their dogs. This time spent walking your dog can not only be used to bond with your fur-friend but also improve your fitness and make the most of the outdoors to help you further develop mindfulness and relaxation.
Furthermore, it has been noted that older adults who walked dogs experienced “lower body mass index, fewer activities of daily living limitations, fewer doctor visits, and more frequent moderate and vigorous exercise.”
5. Companionship and Security
We can feel incredibly strong emotional ties to our pets; they are our friends; our confidantes and they never judge. People who find social interaction difficult may find it easier to develop a relationship with a pet. Importantly, people may find a strong sense of purpose and security when looking after a pet; this can be extremely helpful for staving off mental health issues such as depression and provide a sense of routine and security for both pet and owner.
This beautiful, compassionate kind of relationship shared with a pet can be really powerful and is good for all of us.
If having a dog can make you happier and healthier! Give your dog something makes them also happy and healthy.