Health Benefits of Owning a Dog
There are many kids all over the world who would like nothing better than to get a dog as a pet. While these canine companions may take a lot of time and effort, they do bring benefits as well. After all, pets in general have been known to improve the well-being of their owners, both physically and mentally.
There have been actual studies conducted on how having a dog or a similar pet can help people lead healthier lives. If you need to convince someone to go for a pet, tell them about the health perks below!
1. Helping the Heart
Cardiovascular health is highly important in this day and age, especially with the sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits we follow. Heart attacks are unfortunately on the rise, and health supplements that claim a boost in heart health are flying off the shelves.
In such situations, consider having a dog or even a cat for the sake of making your heart healthier. With a pet always around to cuddle, take care of, and reduce your anxiety, your heart could actually grow much stronger than before. There have been studies linking time spent with a dog to better blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and even controlled triglycerides.
When all these health factors are taken together, they can ward off the possibility of a heart attack to a large extent. According to statistics, even if someone does suffer from a heart attack, they have better chances of survival if they have a dog or cat at home.
2. Keeping Fit
Losing weight could be a huge obstacle for those leading a modern lifestyle. We travel on trains, cabs, or buses. We down calorie-laden, sugar-packed coffees and sweet treats like waffles for breakfast. We have access to a wide range of junk food, fast food, and processed foods that are serious downers for our health and any weight loss efforts.
Luckily, an active dog owner can easily keep fit and trim by living life to the utmost with their canine friend. They have to walk the dog, play games with it, and generally stay on their toes to make sure it doesn’t get into trouble. Even if the activity is moderate, even a consecutive ten minutes of it could up your metabolism rate.
Studies have shown that the people who walked their dogs regularly managed to lose more than ten pounds a year on average. This is without even trying to reach a certain weight goal. For dog owners, this would be great news! After all, walking your dog isn’t a punishment but a responsibility you have to fulfill in order to keep it healthy.
3. Staying Active
Adult humans need around 2.5 hours of exercise every day, according to the recommendation of health experts. Those who live a sedentary lifestyle and simply watch TV and snack when they’re free from official work are not likely to get that. Numerous health issues could arise from this habit, including weight gain, diabetes, irregular blood pressure, and depression.
When one owns a dog, they have to talk it out for walks. When they do this themselves instead of hiring a dog walker, they get some much-needed exercise as well. Apart from walking, many dog owners run, play catch, and perform other activities with their pet that they would not do otherwise. They’re burning calories and having loads of fun at the same time!
In general, a dog keeps you on your feet. This would help you keep your body moving, which will surely come in handy when your golden years approach. Many folks who led an unhealthy lifestyle in their youth pay for it once they’re aged. However, regular walking results in a lower BMI and fewer visits to the doctor and, consequently, enhances your health.
4. Expanding Your Social Circle
Making friends in school or college may not have been easy, but making them as an adult is extremely difficult. Dog owners, though, may find this adult obstacle quite a bit easier. This is because dog owners have to take their pets out for walks, which automatically allows them to come into contact with other people. They’re also more likely to talk to dog owners and be sure of at least one shared interest.
In this day and age, it’s horrifically easy to just stay at home in your spare time. The internet, video games, and social media may make a person even more anti-social than usual. With a pet that needs to go out for exercise and drags you with it, you can be sure to get out and about. Making new friends and starting conversations about your dog would eventually become natural!
5. Stress Management
Therapy dogs, or just therapy pets, are extremely effective in calming down those with anxiety or emotional disorders. Just a few minutes of time with a friendly animal has proved to increase those ‘happy’ chemicals in the brain, more scientifically known as dopamine and serotonin.
The same goes for performing well in a high-stress environment. People tend to automatically relax when there’s a dog or any pet they enjoy having around. Hence, having a canine around could ease tension in an office or even a rocky marriage!
You don’t have to be a dog owner in order to be around canines. If you love them but can’t keep them at your home for some reason, consider becoming a volunteer at a shelter or a dog walker.
However, you should keep in mind that there are certain health risks as well with keeping a dog. Tens of thousands of falls are caused by pet dogs every single year. This could be a serious health hazard, especially for elderly folks and pregnant women. Make sure you have mobility control and try to reduce the risk of falling if you do choose to keep a dog at home.
Finally, one needs to make sure that the saliva and waste of a dog are not left out where it can contaminate any human being. There can be some highly harmful bacteria in these substances that can negatively affect a human while leaving a dog unharmed. Keep up the washing and cleaning; it’s just another exercise that comes with having a dog!