A statistical analysis done on a number of homes shows that there are several benefits of owning a dog. Having a dog as a pet has been linked to a longer and healthier life. These Canine companions are not only said to be good for human health but also tend to offer unparalleled companionship to their owners more so than those who live alone. Whether you are a dog owner, dog foster parent, or dog volunteer, just hanging out with your four-legged friends can definitely do wonders for your well-being.
Let’s look at some health benefits of dog ownership.
Dogs add meaning and purpose to life.
Owning a dog means that you have a faithful and loyal companion. As you grow older, you will eventually get to retire, and it is often challenging for many people to structure their new daily schedule after retirement. Having a dog can help you structure your day and also add meaning and purpose to your life.
Pet dogs are a health benefit of owning a dog because they help prevent isolation and loneliness, a critical factor in staving off cognitive decline and disease. Owning a dog means that you have the daily responsibility of feeding them and taking them out for exercise. Their need for your attention helps take your mind off stressing things, hence a healthier life.
Read about How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth.
Dogs can reduce a child’s allergies
Some people have a common belief that dogs are messy animals, hard to live with and that they contribute to a child’s allergies. Well, the reverse is true; living with a dog as a pet comes in handy with several health benefits, especially to your kids.
A study on the benefits of having a dog as a pet shows that kids who come into contact with dog fur and dander have fewer risks of developing allergies and asthma. This has been linked to the ‘hygiene Hypothesis,’ a concept stating that the bacteria carried by pets helps fire up your child’s immune system, which makes them capable of resisting the allergens they meet later in life.
Dogs help with disease and injury
These furry animals play a more significant role in health benefits provided to their owners than was once thought. Through extensive training and exercise, their natural talents ranging from an incredible sense of smell to a caring and protective nature can be harnessed to benefit their owner’s health-wise. They can be trained to help out in the following ways:
- Autism Assistance Dogs: These dogs are trained to support those with autism, allowing them to live a more independent life.
- Alzheimer dogs: These dogs help draw people with dementia out of their inner world in ways that humans cannot.
- Seizure response & alert dogs: These dogs do not only train to respond to a seizure but they have also been known to sense and predict the oncoming seizure. This has allowed them to protect their owner from potential injuries.
Dogs offer protection
Another benefit of owning a dog is that you get all their loyalty, making them even go to greater lengths of warning their owners against any impending dangers. They are very territorial animals with sharp instincts that trigger a reaction in them whenever a person breaks into their owner’s house.
Dogs help children with ADHD and ADD
Owning a dog comes with additional health benefits, like helping children with hyperactivity disorders. Kids who play with dogs in secluded pet play areas have reduced feelings of restlessness that are often associated with these disorders. This is another benefit of having a dog for your child because it will help teach them how to retain an unchanging routine, give them a sense of responsibility, and give them excellent care.
Dogs are good for your heart
Health statistics on the benefits of dog ownership also show that an interaction between humans and dogs involving touching or talking helps lower blood pressure. Owning a dog means you must often take them for a walk, which in turn helps reduce the chances of developing any heart disease due to reduced triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
Going for a walk with your dog gives you the perfect opening to also talk to others who also own dogs. Owning a dog does not just provide you with exercise, but it can also facilitate friendships and social networks by meeting other dog owners on walks and at dog parks. This is, therefore, another mental health benefit of owning a dog, for it helps establish sparking new relationships and keep the social networks thriving throughout the year.
Dogs motivate you to exercise.
Other pets are known to have positive effects on your health, but dogs have an added health benefit that needs you to take them for a walk and play with them. This is one crucial physical health benefit to dog owners for they get the chance to exercise daily, which in turn helps lower risks of getting any cardiovascular diseases, reduces stress, and keeps them fit.
Older adult dog owners who take their dogs for a walk tend to pay fewer visits to doctors due to low body mass and reduced day-to-day limitations.
Dogs can make you more mindful.
The mental and health benefits of mindfulness are well known to almost everybody. Staying focused on the present moment in life is something that a vast number of people find hard to do. Owning a dog can help you with all this since they offer an opportunity for mindfulness and the practice of walking meditation. As you take your dog for a walk, all that you focus on is you and your dog, the sights, smells, and sounds around you. As you walk with your dog, it will bring you into a mindfulness state. This, therefore, is a mental health benefit of owning a dog.
Provide a companion for the elderly.
Dogs can help reduce depression and anxiety among the elderly, making this another important aspect of owning a dog. They have the ability to forge connections with the elderly, especially those who suffer from disorders like Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Statistics on the benefits of owning a dog as a pet shows that dog owners who have Alzheimer’s will have few emotional surges, unlike those not owning a dog.
They can improve your mood.
This is also another benefit of pet ownership because pet dogs can significantly improve your mood and lower tension. Playing around the house with your dog boosts serotonin and dopamine body levels. They are well known for being the ‘feeling good’ neurotransmitters that play a significant role in elevating feelings of well-being and emotional stability.
Since you now know several reasons why you should own a dog, perhaps now is the time to start looking for adopting one. The first place you should begin viewing dogs is at your local, SPCA, Humane Society, or Animal Shelter. There are thousands of wonderful loving dogs around the world that are looking for new, loving, forever homes.