Dogs are wonderful little companions, and it’s always nice to have a pet who loves us unconditionally around the house. But the benefits of owning a dog go beyond personal satisfaction. Here are some of how owning a dog can improve your health.
1 – Exercise more
Experts recommend that we get about 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise every week, and walking a dog every day will likely put you way over that threshold. The added exercise is good for both your mental and physical health, and it can even help you lose weight.
Playing with dogs indoors can also help get the blood flowing, and there are plenty of outdoor exercises and activities you can do alongside your dog. Having a fluffy companion by your side can help get you motivated to more running, walking, and trail hiking, to name a few. Just make sure you don’t go past your dog’s endurance limits — they need time to build stamina, just like us.
2 – Boost your mental health
Dog owners often deal with fewer feelings of loneliness and isolation. And that’s important because feeling lonely can make you more prone to suffering from all sorts of mental health issues, including stress, depression, and anxiety. Not surprisingly, dog owners are statistically less likely to suffer from any of these conditions.
Playing with a dog’s hair can also have a soothing effect that helps alleviate stress. You can make sure your dog’s fur is always soft by using softening shampoo and drying them off using one of the best dog towels on the market. This Doggy Dream Team guide can help you find the latter.
3 – Improved cardiovascular health
On average, dog owners are less likely to suffer from heart disease, strokes, high cholesterol levels, and various other heart conditions. This should not come as a surprise, given that sedentarism and stress both increase your chances of developing heart conditions, and we already established that owning a dog helps mitigate both issues.
4 – Boost your social life
One survey found that 4 out 5 dog owners will strike up a conversation with other owners while walking their dogs. In a society where isolation is becoming a bigger problem every day, this is a huge finding.
This may not sound like a “health benefit” at first, but remember, humans are social creatures. Getting more positive social interactions will be good for your mental health, it can reduce your stress levels which is good for your heart, and you may even form some lasting friendships. All of which improve your chances of living a long and happy life.
Common sense warning
It’s important to note that while dogs can be very useful, they are not tools. The decision of becoming a pet parent should be taken with care, as your dog will need lots of love, care, and attention to grow healthy and thrive.
On top of that, regular grooming sessions and veterinarian visits will be needed to make sure your dog is vaccinated, clean, and free from infections and parasites. Not only is this good and necessary for their health, but it also makes sure they are not carrying anything that could jump to a human.