Dogs are the goofiest, cutest companions. The moment they set their fluffy paws into our life, they warm our hearts.But are there actual health benefits to owning a dog?
In this article, we’ll be talking about 10 health benefits of dogs, and one health risk.
Having a dog as a pet can be very beneficial. Not just for your emotional health, but your physical as well.Rather than simply warming your heart, dogs also strengthen it, literally.
Research has shown that having a canine companion can lower blood pressure. It can also help in bringing down cholesterol levels, as well as reducing your triglycerides. Having control of these things will reduce your chances of heart disease.
Not only that, if you happen to have a heart attack, your chances of surviving are much higher when you do have a dog in the home.
Keeps You Fit and Active
If you want to remain healthy, experts suggest at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise a week. While that doesn’t seem like a whole lot, not everyone has the time.
A dog can help you with this, ot only do dogs need walks for their own health reasons, they love going on them just seeing you walk towards your front door is enough to send them into a frenzy! Good thing these walks also benefit you.
The long-term benefit of this is that you can stay mobile, you get around a lot easier, this happens even into your 70’s and 80’s. In one study, it was shown that older people who walked their dogs had a much smaller body index and fewer limitations to their daily activities, they also don’t visit the doctor as much.
Walking the dog will allow you to shed a few pounds. Dog walks can last anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour, the longer you’re out, the better chance you have of losing weight.
There are fewer things more soothing than walking your doggo on a cool autumn afternoon, It’s the perfect time to get those stepson.
There’s even research to back this up, in one study among low income families people who took “loaner” dogs on walks five times a week lost 14 pounds on average each year.
Improve Your Social Life
As you grow older, it can be difficult to meet new people and strike up a conversation, you’re more or less stuck with the circle you’ve been with throughout your adult years.
But that’s not always the case if you have a dog, research suggests about 40% of dog owners make new friends easier than those who don’t own one.
This is because dog owners tend to speak to other dog owners, when you start talking to other people about their dogs they tend to open up more.
You’ve probably seen a lot of therapy dogs, this is because canines can be amazing companions when it comes to reducing stress, they help bring down your blood pressure this makes you less anxious.
Dogs can also increase your serotonin and dopamine levels, as you probably already know these chemicals play an important role in keeping you calm and improving your mental wellbeing.
If you have to do stressful tasks, it’s easier to do them if you have a dog around, If there’s tension in your office, or between you and your partner, having dogs can ease the stress.
Adds Meaning and Purpose
As you grow older, going about your daily routine will get harder. After retiring from their careers, older people often have a tough time filling their schedules with activity.
This can lead to loneliness, It’s one of the reasons you often see elderly people with pets “dogs” in particular.If you have a dog, your canine companion will fill your day up with activity.
You won’t be able to just waste the day away in bed, your dog will need walking and feeding. Since you now have more responsibility, you won’t just be hanging around doing nothing.
Cases of depression seem to be skyrocketing these days, everyone’s looking for a way to get around. Well if you have a dog, consider yourself one of the luckier ones.As it turns out, dog owners are a lot less likely to suffer from depression.
It’s hard to stay sad when you have a jumping ball of joy in your house. Even during the most stressful times, dogs can put a smile on your face. Dogs have shown their ability to reduce depressive symptoms among people of different ages.
While therapy dogs are trained to ease the anxiety levels of their owners, standard pet dogs do something similar. Whether you’re old or young, healthy or sick, getting a dog does wonders for your mental health.
- Prevents Allergies
For a long time, experts thought dogs were primarily responsible for triggering allergies in children. But nowadays, we’ve found it’s actually the exact opposite dogs actually can reduce allergy symptoms in kids.
In one study, it was found that both cats and dogs can actually reduce the chances of a child developing allergies by a third. If you’re older, I wouldn’t worry about you grandchildren petting your canine.
It turns out their immune systems may actually get stronger.
- Reduces Visits To Doctor
No matter how old you are, a visit to the doctor is never fun. Unfortunately, if you’re 65 or older you visit them a lot more often. But it turns out having a dog means your number of visits will be about 30% less compared to those who don’t have a pet.
In one study, senior citizens on medicare were examined for a year, those with a pet reported fewer visits to the doctor compared to those without one. This was especially true in the case of dog owners.
Battle Disease and Injury
Another advantage of owning a pet dog is a canine ability to pick up on disease. Seriously, it’s like this freak magic power they have. For instance, some dogs have had training that allows them to sniff out certain forms of cancer.
This means you can catch it early and get the treatment you need. If you have Alzheimer’s, a dog can soothe you and help reduce emotional flare-ups and aggressive behaviour. If you get a service dog, it can help you with emotional stress as well as other injuries.
Even if you have arthritis, a dog can help you become more mobile.
When Dogs Are Not So Great With all the advantages of having a dog, there’s a negative side.
According to experts, 86,000 falls per year are due to pet animals, with dogs being responsible for the majority If you’re a senior citizen, a light fall can end your life. The best case scenario is that you’ll end up with an injury, a broken hip can put you in the hospital for weeks on end.
So if you’re an elderly person looking to get a dog, make sure your home is safe enough for them. A cluttered house will only increase the chances of a collision with your animal.
You’ll also want to watch to make sure they’re not sleeping on the staircase. This could be a life/death scenario for not just the elderly, but people in general.