Owning a dog brings a lot of joy into your life. But did you know that it is also good for you?
Science shows that dog owners tend to be healthier and happier than those that don’t own a pet.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of owning a dog, and some great reasons to get yourself a puppy now.
Health Benefits of Owning a Dog
Who knew that having a dog can make you healthier? Here are some health benefits of owning a dog.
Boost Immune System
In case you didn’t already know, dogs are dirty. They slobber and lick you and make a mess of their food. They track a lot of dirt, dander, and bacteria through the house. While they can be a bit of an effort to clean up after, this has its benefits for the family.
Regular contact with dogs means increased contact with a greater diversity of bacteria, resulting in a stronger immune system and more resilience to illness and viruses. This means that as a dog owner you won’t get sick as often.
Increased Allergy Resistance
Growing up with a dog in the house can also help to prevent autoimmune disease and makes children less likely to develop allergies and less likely to develop eczema. This is due to a greater exposure to dirt and allergens. Yes, all that mess is useful again.
It is well known that the more exposure kids have to dirt and microorganisms early in life, the more resistant they become to developing autoimmune diseases and allergies later in life.
Owning a dog is good for your heart health. It is known to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, can lower cholesterol, and make you more likely to survive a heart attack.
This is most likely due to the fact that you will get exercise more with your dog, and also that owning a dog helps to lower stress levels.
More Physically Fit
Dog owners tend to get more exercise than people without a dog. Dogs need regular walks and energetic play which means dog owners will get more regular exercise. As we know, physical exercise lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and provides a host of healthy benefits.
Most dog owners meet the recommended 30 minutes of exercise daily. The exercise dog owners get is also usually better quality as dogs tend to walk faster so you will cover more ground. Having a dog also makes you more likely to stick to your exercise routine as well.
It also benefits children who grow up with a dog in the house as they become involved in exercise and outdoor play. We all know how important it is for our kids to be healthy and fit.
Recommended Reading: Easy Dog Walking Tips That Really Work
Dogs have the ability to detect cancer in the human body. Similar to detecting bombs and drugs, dogs can be specially trained to sniff out cancer in humans.
While this is usually specially trained dogs used for research, there are reports of dog owners who say their dog sniffed out their cancer before they knew themselves.
Mental Health Benefits of Owning a Dog
Having a dog can also boost your well-being. Here are some instances by which our fur babies can bring benefits to our mental health.
People who regularly interact with a dog have lower stress levels and owning a dog can make you feel more energized. Petting your dog and playing with your dog can help to lower cortisol levels, reducing stress and anxiety. It can also help to ease chronic pain, as less stress and anxiety means less pain.
Your dog can make you happier. Have you ever looked at your dog and just smiled. Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression, and having a dog around can help to ease depression for those who suffer from it.
The interaction and love owners receive from their dog increases levels of Oxytocin, the “feel good” chemical, released in the body. More Oxytocin means more positive, happy feelings. Being active and outside with a dog also leads to more positive feelings.
Just having a dog around can lift your mood. Just looking at your dog can make you feel happier. You should do it more often.
Pet owners tend to have higher self-esteem than those that don’t own a pet. People with a healthy self-esteem are more likely to have greater life satisfaction and improved well-being.
Children with a high self-esteem are more likely to be happy and to make and keep positive friends in their life.
Other Benefits of Being a Dog Owner
Improved Social Life
Owning a dog helps to improve human relationships. Between walking your dog, going to dog parks, and social play with other dogs and their owners, dog owners have more contact with other people leading to a richer social life.
Having a dog can help to ease people out of social isolation and assist those who are shy. Owning a dog is ideal for people who live alone as it helps to improve the likelihood of social interactions when they are out of the house.
Having a dog increases a person’s opportunities to socialize. So make sure you get out and about with your pup. Especially if you are looking for love…
Dog owners may find it easier to meet new people. People are more likely to approach you if you have a dog with you when you are out and about. It is a great conversation starter and a way to break the ice when meeting new people. Then there is this – owning a dog can make you more attractive.
Good for the Elderly
Dogs are great for the aged. A dog provides companionship and something to care for, a reason to get up in the morning. A dog will help to alleviate feelings of loneliness for the elderly who live alone.
You can talk to your dog about anything and they will listen and are non-judgemental. They will love you unconditionally. This is what makes them good service and therapy dogs and why they are trained to help veterans with PTSD.
Protection and Safety
Some dogs can be excellent guard dogs. You will feel safer at home with a dog in the house. Your dog can deter intruders and warn you of anyone prowling around your home.
Improve Child’s Development
Children can also benefit from having a pet in the house. They will learn the responsibility of caring for them, nurturing them, and how to treat them. This teaches them empathy and the importance of routine.
Petting a dog can also be soothing for kids when they are stressed or upset.
Recommended Reading: Stimulating Brain Games Kids Can Play With Your Dog
Time to Get a Dog!
Owning a dog can make you happier, healthier and live longer. So if you don’t already have a dog you should get one. If you do have one you should spend more time with them and love them for making you a healthier, happier person.