Most people know that owning a dog brings playfulness and fun to a household — but did you know it also offers health benefits? Research shows that people who own dogs reap several major perks for their health — including a reduced risk for certain illnesses and diseases, and even potentially an increased length of life. There’s a lot more to getting a puppy than you may have known. Interested in learning more? Here’s a look at some of the ways owning a dog is good for you.
For many people, mental health can be as much of a battle as physical health. That’s why it’s worth mentioning that owning a dog is a powerful way to fight loneliness. When you have a dog to take care of, you’re more likely to get out and among other people, as well as to enjoy the time you have with just your pet. Dogs are great for cuddling, having someone to accompany you through your days and, all around, having fun with someone else.
For many people, another key piece in the mental health puzzle is learning to slow down and be mindful — an area where dogs can help. By making time to play with your dog or go for a walk, being present in the experience, you can lower stress and improve overall health.
An active lifestyle
While sedentary lifestyles are increasingly the norm in modern society, here’s one easy way to fight the urge to loaf: Get a dog. Owning a pup can ensure you get at least some measure of physical activity in your life. Studies have shown dog owners are much more likely to get regular exercise than peers without pups. When you have a dog to walk, you can’t help getting out and moving — and that means boosting your heart rate, burning calories and enjoying the endorphins that come with exercise.
Improved heart health
Given that dogs get you physically active, it’s no surprise to say they’re good for cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that owning a dog goes so far as to decrease your risk for heart attack and heart disease. More than that, if you’re someone with a history of heart issues and you experience a cardiac event at home, owning a dog makes you more likely to survive it.
Lowered cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure
While it’s not known exactly why this is the case, people who have dogs tend to have lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides — both metrics that point to overall better health. Perhaps due to the calming effect pet ownership has on the body, dog owners typically have lower blood pressure, too.
If you’re looking for ways to reduce stress and relax more, owning a dog is one of the best and most enjoyable solutions. Caring for a dog has been shown to lower anxiety, boost the happy chemicals in the brain and reduce stress levels. Dog owners tend to be less depressed and more satisfied with life, perhaps because dogs offer a strong sense of purpose and routine.
Strengthened immune system
When you live with a dog, you’re constantly exposed to the bacteria your dog possesses, which helps to diversify your microbiome, as well as pet fur and dandruff. This can boost your body’s defenses against illness. In fact, some studies have shown benefits that may seem counterintuitive: Having a dog can reduce the risk of allergies and/or asthma in kids.
As the list above demonstrates, it turns out there are many good reasons for why dogs have the reputation for being man’s best friend. Canine creatures enrich the lives of their owners, while also boosting all kinds of health benefits. They can make you happier, healthier and more satisfied with life. They’re faithful companions and excellent motivators to get out and get moving.
If you’ve been thinking about adding a playful, loyal, lovable pup to your household, think of all you have to gain! While it is a big responsibility, the health benefits of owning a dog is a choice that benefits your mental, physical, and overall health and well-being.
Alec Hutchins is Chief Marketing Officer of Recherche Kennels – Goldens, a professional breeding and training facility. Recherche Kennels has over 10 years of experience breeding with top parent bloodlines and training puppies to be the perfect family pet.