7 Health Benefits of Dog Ownership
If you’re a dog owner, you constantly experience the loving nature of these canine wonders first hand. Dogs are naturally affectionate and loyal creatures that have served as companions to mankind for centuries.
Having a dog in the home, especially if you live alone, will boost your emotional well-being. In fact, having a canine companion increases your sense of security and safety.
Dogs also help you learn how to be responsible – as you take care of them and cater to their needs you’re also developing your accountability and reliability as a person.
It’s also known that having a dog contributes significantly to your physical and mental health. This article focuses on the health benefits of dog ownership. Keep reading to know more.
Benefits of Owning a Dog
These are some of the significant advantages associated with dog ownership:
- Improved Heart Health
- Happier Life
- Less Sickness
- Allergy Resistance
- Active Social Life
- More Exercise
- Cancer Detector
1. Improved Heart Health for Dog Owners
Improved cardiovascular health is another benefit of having a canine companion. A good number of studies have proven this.
Heart rate and blood pressure are normalized when you’re interacting with your dog. With this knowledge, perhaps dogs should be adopted as a medical solution for patients with coronary conditions and high BP.
In fact, scientists at the American Heart Association said that dog owners have a 24% reduction of all-cause mortality.
2. Dogs improve owner mental health
Thanks to the affectionate nature of dogs, dog owners are exposed to a lot of love from these canine wonders. In fact, having a dog at home reduces your risk of developing depression; people who have also been diagnosed with the condition are positively affected by having canine friends at home.
In the process of catering to your dog’s needs, you’re more exposed to the outdoors where you get to meet other people, and possibly their pets – this way, you have more acquaintances and your life is more active.
Summarily, interacting with your dog daily has positive effects on your mood. The affection shown towards you by your dog improves your happiness and fights loneliness in your life.
So if you are looking for dog ownership benefits, what’s better than having a happier life in general.
3. Dog owners are less prone to sickness
Studies have shown that having a dog at home generally reduces the number of times that you fall sick. How is this possible? Here’s an explanation: the idea behind this effect of having a canine wonder at home lies in the presence of germs.
Lots of people deploy various machines and chemicals to clean their home and effectively rid their house of germs. Because of this reduction in the germ level at home, the human body is rid of most types of germs. This absence of enough germ diversity in the body makes us fall ill more often.
This is where dogs come in. Dogs carry various types of germs on them. This biodiversity in dogs introduces all the needed germs within the house. This then leads to the needed biodiversity within humans in the home, and they won’t fall sick often.
In fact, a study conducted on dog ownership by the Scientific Journal Pediatrics revealed that babies who grow up in homes with a pet (dog or cat) are less likely to fall ill as compared to babies who live in pet-free homes.
4. Dogs promote resistance to allergies
Another health benefit of having dogs at home is improved resistance to allergies. You might be wondering how this is possible since pet hairs are known to kick-start allergies in humans.
The idea here is that kids born into a home with dogs are likely to develop resistance to allergies. Assuming that a woman is with child, and she has a dog living in the same house, the child is born with a resistance to allergies.
This is because bacteria are mutually transferred between the dog and the pregnant woman. Checking the child’s body system will likely reveal the presence of allergy-curbing Ruminococcus and Oscillospira.
5. Dogs facilitate an active social life
Dog ownership can also improve your social life. If you take your dog out on a walk, light jog, or some exercise at the park, you’re likely going to meet and interact with other people – both dog owners and non-dog owners.
You might just notice people coming over to pet your dog and admire its adorable looks. As this happens, you also get the chance to start up conversations with new people and expand your social circle.
If you own a dog, you won’t just leave it in the house all week. Instead, you would have some scheduled time each week to exercise your dog outdoors. The advantage here is that while exercising your dog, you also get some additional minutes to exercise your own body.
6. Dogs encourage you to exercise
With dog ownership, you will participate more frequently in activities such as walking, hiking, low pace jogs, treasure hunts, fetching games and many more. As you engage in these exercises with your dog, your physical and mental health will be improved.
7. Dogs have been known to detect cancer
Lastly, cancer detection is also a benefit associated with having dogs at home. It has been discovered that these canine wonders can detect cancer in people.
Studies have shown that dogs have a keen sense of smell that detects the presence of cancer, such as colon, prostate, breast, and even skin cancer.
Looking for further ways to boost your health? Check out the WAGSTA walk and weight tracker app. Track your dog walks, compare calorie burn with your dog and track weight together!
Pete Decker is the lead editor at TheGoodyPet.com. For the past 20 years, Pete has been working professionally with dogs, and he has spent time volunteering in animal shelters across the USA and around the world. Now, Pete dedicates his time towards TheGoodyPet, a pet educational website made by pet lovers for pet lovers. You can find more from Pete on his website or by following TheGoodyPet on Twitter or Facebook.