There are of course a million reasons why having a dog is the best thing. Life with a dog is good and it’s also very good for your health too.
A new study conducted by the University of Liverpool found that dog owners were estimated to be four times as healthy as non-dog owners.
So how is owning a dog good for your health?
For starters, owning a dog can lead to lower stress levels and lower blood pressure. Playing or just smoothing a dog can increase levels of stress reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease the production of the stress hormone cortisol.
Also, dog owners get more exercise. You have to walk your dog so they can get their daily dose of exercise and dog owners usually get more physical activity than those who don’t.
It is also very good for older people. The University of East Anglia released a study that showed that walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter. Researchers discovered that owning or walking a dog was one of the most effective ways to beat the usual decline in later-life activity, even combatting the effects of bad weather. Dog owners were sedentary for 30 minutes less per day, on average.
Talking about older people, A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology established that animal-owning older people “reported fewer doctor contacts over the 1-year period than respondents who did not own pets.” And while cats, birds, and other animals were helpful, “Owners of dogs, in particular, were buffered from the impact of stressful life events on physician utilisation.”
Dog ownership also improves your social life. If you’ve ever walked your dog through the park, you’ll know that plenty of people will stop to say hello. It also gives you something in common with other dog owners so it’s easier to make friends as you have a reason to engage.
It’s also believed that dog ownership can help to kick depression. Having a dog to take care of gives people a sense of purpose and also have a calming effect on their owner. Just by stroking, sitting next to or playing with a pet can gives owning a chance to relax and calm their minds.
So if you’re thinking of adding a dog to your family, here are some great reasons why it can be good for your health as well as being a wonderful addition.