Why Owning a Dog is Great for your Health
We all love and admire them, right? Dogs are the ultimate companions, our best friends, and the most loyal life partners you could ever want. Pets and especially dogs have a way of making us feel better and loved. Aside from this, studies showed that having a dog as a companion can help lower blood pressure, lessen anxiety and boost your immune system. So, it’s not just an emotional benefit, it’s also something you can feel with your general level of health.
So why not get a puppy as soon as tomorrow? Sadly, many people seem to think that having a dog is quite the job. Even some of my friends would love to be dog parents but worry they don’t have enough time for the pooch. But I say it’s time to stop overthinking the situation! A puppy will make your life better and you should try it!
After all, there are tons of gadgets and accessories you can use around the house. For instance, one of the ways to cope with puppy training is by using puppy training pads for easier house training. With the right kinds of tools, dog ownership is a lot easier than you think and less messy. So, if you’re still having second thoughts, let’s take a look at how your health and the one of your family can benefit from having a dog in the house.
Many people avoid getting a dog when there are young children in the house. The common belief is that young children can develop allergies from a dog’s fur, but this is not true. Your kids are already born with the potential to contract allergies which is why they have allergic reactions to certain triggers.
However, there are new studies suggesting that children living in a house with dogs and other pets are less prone to developing allergies and asthma. Even more, pets are actually the ones improving your kid’s immune system. So, if the doctor doesn’t say no, why not take your small bundle of joy a friend for life?
Lower Blood Pressure
Dogs are great stress relievers! While I don’t think this actually needs proof, let me tell you about a study conducted in that showed that people who had a dog or pet at home had lower blood pressure compared to people who lived without a pet.
To further prove that dogs are good for the heart, studies show that 94% of dog owners survived a heart attack compared to 72% of those that did not. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), dog owners are more likely to exercise, have lower blood pressure, better lipid profiles and be less vulnerable to the effects of stress making them more likely to survive a heart attack.
But you don’t need studies to tell you this! If you like taking walks with your furry friend and you love playing with him/her, then you already know you’re moving more. Actually I love more running with Betsy than running on a stupid, boring treadmill at the gym!
Dogs for the Elderly
Walking a dog or caring for them (if they are able) can provide physical activity for the elderly. Studies also show that elderly who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are less likely to have outbursts if there is an animal at home. Caregivers also feel less burdened when there is a pet.
Even if an elderly patient lived in a facility, owning a dog is still beneficial to their health. Older people who had dogs have lower blood pressure, reduced stressed levels and had better social interaction with other elderly patients.
I actually have a great story about this situation, with my neighbor Linda. She’s 87 now and she’s been alone for about ten years before her daughter brought her a cute lap dog. The cutie is a bundle of joy and he has enough energy for both of them! Ever since Linda met Terry, you can see she’s happier, more relaxed, and more open to discussions. Dogs are indeed warm souls and they will get you out of your box quite easily.
Maintains Activity Levels
Owning a dog helps you to stay active. According to the Journal of Physical Activity & Health, dog owners are more likely to achieve their fitness goals compared to non-dog owners. And the best part is this type of physical activity won’t cost you a dime! You simply go for a walk in the park and share a few moments of fun with your best friend!
Dog ownership is also very beneficial for families. A study from the University of Virginia showed that teens whose families owned dogs were more likely to be physically active compared to peers without dogs. And I’ve seen it happen! Dogs and teens connect extremely well and they develop true friendships along the years. Even more, dogs teach our kids to be more open, more responsible, and ready to tackle challenges. So stop worrying and let your teenager get a dog!
Prevent Chronic Diseases
Some studies (I won’t bore you with the details here) show that regular dog walking can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. This is due to an increased level of physical activity and a reduced level of stress.
A Loyola University study also discovered that people who regularly petted dogs needed 50% less medication after surgery. Research is currently being conducted to study the effects of petting and having therapy dogs for people suffering from fibromyalgia.
Dogs can have a very positive effect on your (or your kid’s) ADHD symptoms. They can help make your routine consistent, provide an outlet to burn excess energy, take the stress out of social situations, and most of all, they are always happy to make you less lonely.
So, now that you see how much good a dog can do by simply being in your life, what do you say? Will you reconsider your kid’s request and adopt a wonderful soul? He or she will be a full member of your family and you will have so much to learn about you and your family!