Our dogs are great companions, but did you know that there are some serious benefits to owning them? If you’re interested in learning then read on and we’ll go over the many ways that a dog can benefit your health.
1. Keeping Depression at Bay
Having a dog helps with many aspects of mental well-being. Those who are depressed often isolate themselves and having a dog around is a great way to help with minor depressive spells. Studies are still being done, but they’ve definitely been shown to help isolated people lower their symptoms.
They’re not a cure for depression, of course, but every little bit helps when someone suffers from this grave emotional illness.
Even people with clinical depression have been found to have reduced symptoms if they’re caring for a dog. It’s a win-win situation.
2. You’ll Get Sick Less
The approach many of us take to germs actually ends up being counterintuitive. Killing all of the bacteria in our homes actually makes us more prone to being sick since our immune system isn’t getting the workout it needs to keep us healthy.
There’s actually a term for the germs that dogs bring into a home: “dog-related biodiversity.” Essentially, dogs are inevitably going to bring some new germs into your life and that means your immune system has to work with them.
The end result? Studies show that those who live with dogs get sick less often. It might seem a bit odd but the statistics are pretty clear on the end result.
3. More Exercise
Dogs require regular walks and more energetic breeds like border collies can require even more exercise. That means properly taking care of your dog will lead to at least thirty minutes of walking per day.
Even better, many people find that their pets enjoy running with them. Having a companion along during your morning run is always a good thing, but having a furry companion who wants nothing more than to get out there with you?
That’s some serious motivation for your exercise plan.
4. Improved Heart Health
Oddly enough, just owning a dog seems to lead to a healthier heart.
The simple act of petting your dog has been proven to lower your heart rate and blood pressure. In addition, dog owners seem to have better heart health all the way across the board.
There are even studies showing that you’re more likely to survive a heart attack if you own a dog! Do your heart a favor and make sure that you’ve got a canine companion.
5. Lowered Risk of Allergies
It appears that owning a dog actually reduces the overall risk of allergies in your home. It might seem counterintuitive, considering that many people are allergic to pet dander, but people who are raised with pets seem to have a lower instance of allergies.
If you have kids then it’s an added benefit. Children who grow up with dogs in the home also seem to have a lower chance of developing asthma. It’s a double bonus, and you get a dog on top of it.
6. Less Stress Overall
People who own dogs tend to report that they have less stress in their daily lives. In addition to the daily routine of helping your dog through their life, they’re often a source of dependable joy for their owners.
Even just watching your dog can have benefits.
The effects are even measurable. Dog owners have lower levels of the hormones associated with stress than those who don’t have a canine in their homes.
7. Improved Social Life
People are much more likely to stop and talk to you if you’re walking a dog. In addition, many people bring their dogs to parks which gives the added benefit of meeting other pet owners while you’re letting your dog play.
And, let’s face it, a lot of people like dogs and their owners and it may just be a way to get a date.
People who own dogs are often rated as more outgoing than other pet owners. That may not be statistically significant but the fact of the matter is that owning a dog gives you a lot of chances to interact with the people around you.
8. Added Security
Dogs are instinctively territorial and protective of their people. Even a small dog can create enough noise to wake you if something untoward happens in the night. The ability to sleep more soundly shouldn’t be underestimated.
In the case of dedicated guard dogs, you actually have something which is more effective than any security system on your hands.
But the truth is that even the little guys can often deter burglars just by their presence. Barking means noise and most criminals would prefer to go about their business undetected.
9. Aging Better
No, your dog isn’t going to provide you with the fountain of youth.
But, studies have found that those with dogs in their homes as they age often have fewer symptoms of mental decline. Even in cases where someone is suffering from a disease like Alzheimer’s, there’s a reduced chance of outbursts.
They also offer wonderful companionship. That’s doubly important for the elderly who live alone, as often their social life declines as they enter their senior years.
Get a Dog and Stay Healthy
There’s much more to dogs than meets the eye. Our canine companions have been proven time and time again to help keep us healthier both mentally and physically. The benefits of owning a dog are myriad and in addition… well, you get a dog!
If you’ve been on the fence an intensive look at the benefits may be exactly what you need to push you over the edge. The benefits are much, much more than just getting a lovely family pet.