The 10 Health Benefits of Owning a Dog from The 10 Health Benefits of Owning a Dog

The 10 Health Benefits of Owning a Dog

Even on a lousy day it’s almost impossible not to smile at the sight of a happy dog wagging its tail. It has been long shown that dogs make you healthier; they improve your mood, help your heart and even better your social life.

*Related: 15 Best Cities for Dogs (And Their Owners)

Dogs help children with ADD and ADHD

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Attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affect a lot of children and adults. Owning a dog can actually help individuals suffering with these  disorders. It requires them to stay organized, plan ahead and keep a routine while also proving them with a fun way to stay active and relieve the restless feelings associated with ADD and ADHD.

Dogs are good “medicine” for the elderly

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Alzheimer’s communities have been accumulating dogs; it has been observed that they forge a unique connection with people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. They provide them with companionship and may help reduce anxiety and depression.

Dogs help lower blood pressure

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The NCIBI researched human-dog interactions. They found that subject’s heart rates were lower while talking or touching the dog. Also, owners who walk more with their pets have lower blood pressure than non-pet owners.

Dogs are great exercise motivation

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Similarly to humans, dogs need to stay active to avoid becoming overweight or obese. We want to keep our dog fit and healthy; therefore, we end up maintaining our health and keeping ourselves in shape as well. A short walk, fetch in the backyard or a run in the park are simple ways to exercise with your pet.

Dogs improve our social life

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Have you ever noticed how many people come up to pet your dog while you’re walking it? Owning a dog is a great conversation starter; they literally draw people to you. It’s a great way to connect with other people and meet pet lovers with the same interests as you.

Dogs reduce risk for depression

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If you are feeling down, you may want to consider getting a dog. Studies have shown that animals improve mood and reduce tension. They can also help treat some people with mild to moderate depression. Playing with a dog has also been shown to help elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine.

Dogs are good for your heart

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Owning a dog – or any pet in general – has shown to help decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels. According to the American Heart Association, data has shown that “people with pets and cardiovascular disease were more likely to survive heart attacks.” A separate study also shows that blood pressure goes down when a person pets a dog.

Dogs reduce eczema in children

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Dog ownership among children with dog allergies may reduce the risk of developing eczema by age 4 years, research explains. While cat ownership may actually increase the risk among children with cat allergies.

Dogs offer protection

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Anything can happen. Your house may be getting broken into or there may be a fire or someone may be hurt. Dogs have instincts; they are loyal to their owners, they will protect them and will warn them in a dangerous situation or if any harm may be coming their way.

Dogs reduce stress

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Just interacting with your dog – or any pet – can have a significant impact on your stress levels. According to research, interacting with an animal has been shown to reduce the behavioral, cardiovascular and psychological indicators of stress. For instance, research explains that “watching fish in an aquarium proved as effective as hypnosis in reducing anxiety in dental surgery patients.”