Owning a dog is a healthy choice for your home and your heart.
Updated: Feb 7
With so many benefits to owning a pet, it can be hard to determine the most important. Can it be their love, warmth, loyalty or is it that they have proven to be good for your health. And that goes well beyond the benefits of walking a few miles a day and getting into shape, there are many more benefits than just toning your leg muscles.
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Dogs have a wonderful habit of spreading their warmth, love and affection. And in doing so, improving the well-being of people. This can range from pet dogs to therapy dogs, all helping to improve your health, by just being around.
And the facts clearly speak for themselves in this area. Through recent research, studies have found that people with dogs are more likely to accept and deal with change, and will likely have an easier time coping with stress, which boils down to less visits to their doctor. It was also found that a high percentage of pet owners have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and better psychological health than those who do not have a pup or pet in the family.
Improved feeling of well-being
A high number of dog owners feel their pet is healthy for them because their pet makes them feel good. Dog owners feel that owning a dog has given them a sense of joy and companionship which helped to improve their state of mind, and by extension, their health.
Research has found that owning or being around a dog for any period of time has benefited patients greatly allowing them to focus on something else other than their medical issues. This can be seen in instances of enormous trauma, such as losing someone close to them, like a family member or undergoing severe cancer treatments. People who have pets show less depression and reduced stress. Dogs are a major source of support and increase the ability to cope with day-to-day life, which contributes to keeping cholesterol and blood pressure down. Of course, those half hour walks every day will also be beneficial to staying healthy.
The healthy benefits, physically and mentally, of owning a dog can be seen in every area of life. In a recent study of people over the age of 60, they discovered that even the most highly stressed dog owners in the study saw their doctor’s 26% percent less than non-dog-owners. Dog owners in their senior years also coped better with stressful events without having to enter the health care system. It was discovered that dog owners are also less likely to feel afraid of being victims of crime when walking their dog or sharing their home with their dog.
Having a dog won't just benefit the elderly or those undergoing medical treatment. There is another end of the scale, having a dog in the family can mean a healthier lifestyle for your entire family as well. Studies have shown that children who grow up having plenty of contact with a family dog, develop a nurturing behavior, and also encourages them to show empathy and enhances their positive self-esteem.
Children who have a pet dog are also less likely to suffer from feelings of isolation and loneliness. And in the new covid-19 world, that one benefit means so much more. It is also noted that children exposed to dogs during the first year of their lives have a lower frequency of allergies and asthma. Plus, 72% percent of families surveyed reported an increase in family happiness and fun after adopting a dog.
All the studies point to the simple fact that owning a dog is good for your child's well-being, encouraging them to get involved in more social activities, and that children who grow up with dogs in the family, are likely to have less stressful lives, with better health.
There is also research that suggests that dogs may help to keep heart attacks at bay, and that Dog ownership was associated with a 33% lower risk of early death for heart attack survivors living alone and 27% reduced risk of early death for stroke survivors living alone, compared to people who did not own a dog. Dog ownership was associated with a 24% reduced risk of all-cause mortality and a 31% lower risk of death by heart attack or stroke compared to non-owners.
Of course, anyone who owns dogs will have a list of benefits long enough to fill a library, love, companionship, fun, exercise and now they can list health too. Because the truth is out there, and the truth is, having a pet is good for your health and the health of everyone in your home.
If you’re considering adopting a pet this year, make sure you have everything you need to keep them safe and healthy.
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