If you’re considering adopting a pup from an animal shelter, there are many benefits to doing so. In addition to potentially saving a dog’s life by providing care, did you know that your dog can improve your health?
One study found that owners who had their dogs with them at the time of heart surgery or treatment were less likely to die from heart disease than those without a canine companion. Another study showed that people who walked their dogs twice a day had significantly lower blood pressure readings and lower rates of depression, as well as higher self-esteem.
Here are eight ways how your dog can improve your health:
Encourage an Active Lifestyle
Research from the American Heart Association has shown that dog owners, in particular, tend to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Dog walks can be an excellent way for the whole family to get moving together.
So you might have assumed that dog owners just lay around on the couch all day. But apparently, they’re a lot more active than those who don’t share their home with four-legged companions! One study found that dog owners did a lot more walking and physical activity than non-dog owners and 54% more likely to get what’s recommended. On average, people walk about 8 hours per week to care from daily walks.
Studies show that pets can make even the most isolated person feel less depressed, even when living in a house fully occupied.
The human-pet bond is a source of crucial emotional support, not to mention its benefits for physical health. Beyond this one-on-one companionship, research has found that pet owners end up socializing more with their neighborhood pals – another great perk! This is due to pet owners naturally initiating conversation based on others pets, which naturally progress into friendships. Pet owners also have more access to meeting places, such as training centers, vets, parks, and groomers. As dogs are such a vital aspect of our lives, many opt for pet insurance for treatment coverage.
When was the last time that someone told you they were having an awful day? There’s nothing better than curling up on the couch with our four-legged friend for some quality “cuddle” time while we catch up on Netflix or Hulu. Studies have shown that interacting with animals can help increase oxytocin levels, making us feel happier and more relaxed after doing so – just like a double shot of espresso!
Dogs make an excellent companion for your daily stress and anxiety. They help slow down the heart rate and breathing, which prevents producing more stress hormones. This creates a sense of calmness that is hard to find anywhere else than with your favorite furry friend!
Save a Fortune on Healthcare Costs
It turns out that all the fun your pup is having while you’re walking him or her may be helping you lower your risk of obesity. A recent study found that dog walkers have a healthier average body mass index and fewer visits with doctors than those who don’t own pets.
According to recent statistics from the Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI), around 9 million Americans suffer from various health conditions that can be attributed at least in part to their lack of pet ownership. Millions of pet owners have saved significant amounts of money, with $11.37 billion in savings from doctor visits. Additionally, 20 million households that walk five times a week are less likely to be obese thanks to these fuzzy companions, saving $419 million on healthcare costs alone.
Helps Develop Better Immunity Against Asthma
Your child is less likely to develop an allergy if you expose them to cats and dogs at a young age. Research has shown that children who grow up with pets have lowered asthma rates, making the best pet for your family more evident than ever!
The relationship between children and dogs is a fascinating one that has been well-studied by scientists. Some psychologists argue exposure to the dog’s dirt and bacteria–from their fur, paws, or even just breathing in allergens helps build immunity, introducing them to less dangerous versions of those microbes. Similarly, babies who lived with cats during the first year of their life are more likely than others to be non-allergic towards felines later on in life (maybe due also thanks to all that cat hair!).
How it Benefits Older Adults
As you age, your priorities shift, and the things that occupied your time start to disappear. Pets can fill this void by providing a sense of purpose in life. When adopting an older pet from a shelter, it’s also rewarding knowing they were saved and given another chance at happy living with their new family. A new pet can boost confidence, morale, physical health and reminds us the world is worth cherishing.