Having pets is one of the best ways to enrich our lives. Apart from providing you with unconditional love, constant companionship, and entertainment, having a dog (or a cat) can actually lengthen your lifespan and improve your health. In today’s post, we are listing down reasons why being a dog-owner is actually helping you achieve better health:
1. Stabilizes the Mood
Ever wonder why you feel giddy or excited whenever Fido is around? It’s not just you, it’s your body’s way of feeling calm and relaxed. Studies show that it only takes 15 to 30 minutes before you start calming down whenever your pet is around. Playing and petting your dog boosts the brain’s dopamine and serotonin level. These neurotransmitters uplift the mood and improve tranquility. According to psychologists from Miami and St. Louis Universities, having a canine companion is equal to having a human companion so think of your pooch as a furry roommate!
2. Protects from Cardiovascular Disease
Here’s a surprise: having a canine companion strengthens your heart! Studies show that dog owners have lower cholesterol level, lower blood pressure, and experience fewer heart attacks as opposed to those who do not have a pet at all. The findings were published in the 2004 issue of British Journal of Health. According to researchers, dog owners experience fewer medical problems than those without pets.
3. Keeps You Fit
Another unexpected benefit of having a dog is you’re more motivated to work out. According to a report published on the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, dog owners are generally fitter than non-dog owners because the former walk an hour longer. Taking your dog out for a walk or playing fetch help tone the legs and strengthen the muscles. In addition, dog owners achieve more advanced stages of movement compared to those who have dogs but do not walk them. So whenever you have the time, make it a habit of walking your dog for an hour!
4. Improves Your Social Life
There’s no better wingman than a furry, tail-wagging canine companion! Having a dog makes you more social and approachable. A canine companion helps you get over your shyness and meet new people. Walking your dog is a great opportunity to mingle with other dog lovers too! A study by Britain’s Warwick University found that dog owners are 40% more likely to have friends as opposed to those who have no dogs.
5. Diffuses Stress
There’s nothing more reassuring than having your pet nearby whenever you feel anxious or stressed out. In a groundbreaking study that involved tracking 240 couples with dogs, the participants were asked to complete a series of stressful tasks. Those who registered the lowest response to stress are those who are able to see their dogs before or after a stressful task.
6. Boosts Healing
Yes, you heal faster whenever Fido is around. Dogs are scientifically proven to be beneficial to individuals afflicted with various medical issues. Canine companions are especially beneficial to those who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Having a dog means exerting more effort to move around. And when you’re busy playing with or petting your dog, you are more motivated to get moving.