Over 54 million U.S. households own more than 77 million dogs, according to the American Pet Products Association. As you can probably relate, dog lovers enjoy pampering their fur babies and treating them just like part of the family. Without a doubt, man’s best friend gives unconditional love that is therapeutic to our health. Research is showing all ages benefit from having dogs in the household, babies to elders.
Of course loving my dog brings daily happiness, but how does my health benefit?
Read below and learn how your pup helps you more than you know!
Dogs are comforting and naturally sense your feelings. A study by Goldsmiths College showed that dogs are more likely to approach someone in distress or crying than someone who is not. This proves that dogs are empathetic and eager to comfort people in pain. Not only do dogs sense our mood, our furbabies also give us comfort when we need someone to cuddle with, or vent to.
Forget Facebook and digital dating sites – get a dog! The British Medical Journal has concluded that dogs act as “social catalysts” which encourage people to be more outgoing. Not only are pups great conversation starters, you could meet your wife/husband by simply walking your dog in the local park. Secluded in our technological world, dogs increase face-to-face communication because after all, human interaction is beneficial for your health. And the best thing: dogs will keep your secrets!
Having a dog can also help with raising your newborn. A recent study showed that babies who share a home with dogs are healthier than those without, reporting fewer coughs, colds and ear infections. Researchers believe the reason for this is because dogs track in dirt and germs, thus boosting the child’s immune system.
Studies have also found that older people who own dogs average at least one doctor’s appointment less per year than those who do not. This can be attributed to the positive vibes and good feelings that dogs bring out of their masters, even in the worst of times.
Doctor Ambrose, a medical practitioner and dog owner, feels that owning a dog improves a person’s state of mind, therefore improving their health. In a sector study of people over the age of 60, it was found that even the most highly stressed dog owners in the study saw their doctors 21 percent less than non-dog-owners.
A 2012 study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management of a 550-employee company found that workers’ stress levels declined over the course of the day if they brought their dogs to work. The opposite was true for dogless employees and those who left Rover at home.
LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
Studies have shown, for instance, that simply petting “a familiar and friendly” dog can lower your heart rate, make your breathing more regular and relax your muscles, Coren says. In one unpublished study, people had significantly lower blood pressure just two months after adopting dogs when compared to pet-parents-to-be who were still waiting for their puppies, reports the American Heart Association. The organization concludes that owning a dog “may have some causal role” in reducing heart disease risk.
Reader – Who do you know who would benefit from owning a comforting dog? Encourage and help them adopt a canine today!