If you are an active individual, you probably know the health benefits behind taking a daily walk—and that going on them with a canine companion makes it all the more enjoyable. However, you may not be aware of all the other scientifically-backed health benefits of a four-legged friend. In this guide, you’ll learn all about how adopting a dog can do wonders for your physical and emotional health.
1. They are Good for the Heart
Comprehensive studies demonstrate that dog ownership lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, effectively decreasing the occurrence of heart failure. People with cardiovascular problems experienced a significant risk reduction for death.
2. They Reduce Your Stress Levels
Spending time with your dog can alleviate stress and anxiety levels. Because dogs tend to live in the moment, they inadvertently encourage their owners to become present and worry less about what is out of their control.
3. They Combat the Effects of Loneliness
Introverts or people who are touch-deprived find that dog ownership reduces feelings of loneliness—but why? Dogs provide love and companionship unconditionally, allowing their owners to be unapologetically themselves!
4. They Improve Our Social Skills
Researchers have discovered that 40% of dog owners have an easier time making acquaintances. Because of our strong attachment to our pets, we feel more connected in our human relationships and become motivated to nurture them.
5. They Increase Our Lifespan
Don’t believe it? Swedish studies prove that of 3.4 million people, dog owners demonstrated a 33% lower risk of death. This is because dog owners have improved cardiovascular health, a lower body mass, better socioeconomic status, and a more significant desire to stay healthy.
6. They Keep the Elderly Healthy
Compared to traditional forms of therapy, pet-focused programs tend to improve cognitive function in seniors better. In previous studies, seniors with dementia demonstrated fewer aggressive outbursts during group sessions with dogs.
7. They Keep You Active
There is no denying it—dogs get us to move! Compared to non-dog owners who live primarily sedentary lifestyles, those with pets tend to spend at least 300 minutes every week walking their beloved fur friends. Because of this, dog owners are typically happier, healthier, and take fewer trips to the doctor’s clinic.
8. They Boost Your Mindfulness
Many dog-centric activities such as pet yoga or daily walks allow owners to practice meditation. When you spend time alone with your dog, you tend to become more aware of the sights, scents, and sounds surrounding you.
9. They Reverse Symptoms of Depression
Because depression and addiction, among other mental health conditions, are inherently linked to loneliness, dog ownership can increase feelings of happiness and social engagement.
10. They Help You Lose Weight
Finally, yes—having a dog can help you shave off those unwanted pounds! A regular exercise buddy can encourage owners to stay active with greater consistency and reduce the occurrence of heart disease, arthritis, and even hypertension.
The Bottom Line
Making space in your home for a dog doesn’t just give them space to call theirs, but it also improves your overall health. Now that you know regular exercise can prevent devastating diseases like cancer, heart failure, or severe depression, taking a daily walk with your dog can make staying active all the more enriching. Visit Dog Embassy for accessible resources for dog care, nutrition, and training.