Four Life-Changing Ways Owning a Dog Can Improve Your Health
June 5, 2019
It’s common knowledge that service dogs can help people with certain disabilities, but did you know that just having a pet dog can have a positive impact on your health as well? An increasing number of studies are proving that dogs might really be man’s best friend after all. Humans have been using canine companionship to make life easier and more enjoyable for thousands of years. Recently, medical research has begun to quantify and confirm the health-improving effects of owning a dog, which include the following:
1.Taking Care of a Dog Helps You Stay Active
Taking your dog on long walks is an easy and fun way to stay in shape without having to motivate yourself to exercise. Even if you have a garden and you let your dog do their duties outside on their own accord, eventually you’ll be tempted to engage in some playful activity with the energetic fur ball.
Before you go tackling the world with your dog, you might want to get them some pet insurance from Everypaw to make sure you won’t be caught off-guard by the stress of vet bills. Insurance for pets is essential. Without dog insurance, vet bills can soon escalate, but with insurance for dogs, you have peace of mind.
2.They Reduce Your Stress Response
Scientists have discovered that people who own dogs have lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels than people who do not own dogs during times of stress. This is somewhat old news, as a study conducted in 2001 showed that patients in the presence of their dogs were able to keep their blood pressure lower than patients who did not own dogs. Another study showed that owning a dog can reduce your risk of surviving longer after a traumatic medical event or accident. These points are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the mounting body of research that proves the stress-reducing ability of dogs.
3.They Can Help You Fight Depression and Anxiety
Did you know that doctors will certify your dog as a service companion as part of treatment for depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions? One added benefit having your dog certified as a service pet is that you’ll be able to legally take them into stores and on public transportation with you. Studies have shown that unaddressed mental illness can lead to an increased risk of physical disease, so they’re not just keeping you happy and occupied; they’re also lowering your chances of getting sick.
4.They Provide Affection and Comfort
Remarkably, science has proven that dogs can detect when their owner is getting sick or sad and they modify their behaviour to be more affectionate when they sense that something is wrong. Canine creature comfort also raises the levels of endorphins and serotonin, which elevate your mood and improve the quality of your sleep.
What Size Dog Should You Get?
While it is a common misconception that larger dogs aren’t good for older or more fragile owners, the truth is that there are many breeds that are gentle giants who can be great protectors of the elderly and disabled. However, there’s always a chance that a larger dog could become a nuisance if they’re rambunctious. Thus, if you’re concerned about being able to care for a large breed, it might be better to go with a small-to-medium size dog instead.