We all know how good it feels to have a best friend with four legs. Dogs are loving, loyal and endless fun to be around. It’s no wonder that we are a nation of confirmed dog lovers. But did you know that having a dog is also good for your health? It’s true!
1. A Happier Life
There is plenty of evidence to show that owning a pet is beneficial for those going through a difficult time in life. However, a recent survey suggests that the benefits of dog ownership are much more wide ranging. Assessing variables such as depression, self esteem, loneliness, illnesses, relationships with others, and activity level, the survey found that those who owned pets fared better overall. Pet owners were found to be more outgoing, have higher self esteem, feel less lonely and get more excercise. However, the study also found that people who had dogs to ‘complement’ their life with humans, rather than to replace or compete with human relationships, were significantly better off.
Most dog owners get the recommended minimum thirty minutes of exercise a day by walking their dogs. This, of course, lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and keeps you in better shape!
3. Heart Health
Whilst exercise can keep your heart in good shape, simply petting a dog can actually lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Studies show that pet owners have slightly lower cholesterol and are more likely to survive a heart attack.
A study in China has found that those who own dogs sleep better at night, and are sick less often.
Speaking of getting sick less, this really is true. Having a dog in your house means that more bacteria gets in, and gets inside you. Don’t worry, though. This is actually good for you. It builds up your immunity, and is scientifically proven to help you get ill less frequently and less severely. Compared to those with cats or no pets at all, dog owners are healthier.
As if you needed any further excuse for owning and caring for a dog, the facts are plain to see! Caring for another being is always a hugely rewarding choice, especially when the one you’re caring for offers so much in return.