Having a pet is fun. Besides being so cute and adorable, pets can be very beneficial for our mental and physical health. They affect us in a way you can’t imagine. After reading this article, you won’t be so surprised!
Really, pets – especially dogs – can be a key to improving your health, mood, and even life!
They are not only a play toy but when you learn to appreciate your dog, you will see that they give you unconditional love to your life, just like mothers love.
Check out the top 10 reasons why dogs make us happier and healthier.
1. Supports You Physically Active
If you know dogs, or any kind of animal, you most likely know that they don’t like to be captivated in a cage. Instead, they are your initiators for your daily exercise, more precisely, your daily walk. You will both have each others company, and he will presumably push you to walk more than 30 minutes, that has an incredible impact on your health and happiness.
A 2006 study printed in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine discovered that among western Canadian adults, those who owned a dog engaged in milder to average physical activity than those who did not. Dog owners walked an average of 300 minutes per week, compared with non-dog owners who walked an average of 168 minutes per week.
Furthermore, a 2011 study published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health examined the impact of dog walking on leisure-time physical activity from a survey of Michigan adults. It obtained the results saying that dog walking was associated with more walking and leisure-time physical activity, however, a substantial proportion of dog owners do not walk their dog.
Don’t be lazy and be responsible dog owner!
2. Reduces Stress
Another excellent yet surprising benefit of owning a dog is that they aid overcome stress!
Dog time help raise levels of oxytocin in your brain and reduce the production of cortisol, a stress hormone.
A 2006 study published in the Medical Journal of Australia reports that walking a dog has potentially greater health benefits as a buffer against stress in senior citizens than walking without a dog.
Another study published in Research and Theory for Nurses Practice in 2012 implied that communication with canines may help decrease the biological effects of stress that affect human health.
3. Fights Depression
We all need it this so called pet therapy. It can lead to a reduction of anxiety, sadness, and depression in individuals with a variety of mental or physical health problems.
Additionally, pets give an unconditional love that can be very effective to people with depression.
A research done in 2015 by researchers at the University of Maine’s Honors College noticed that there are many mental benefits of first-year college students socializing with dogs, specifically about developments in a positive mood.
4. Lowers Heart Disease Risk
Keeping a pet also is connected to a decrease in cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and a lower likelihood of obesity.
5. Detects Cancer
Dogs have an amazing ability to detect different types of cancer. With about 220 million scent receptors, dogs are becoming famous for detecting cancer, such as skin, breast, lung, prostate and bladder cancer.
A black lab named Marine could save your life. The specially-trained eight-year-old dog can detect when a person has colorectal cancer 91 percent of the time just by sniffing the person’s breath. And if she smells stool, she can detect whether the person has colorectal cancer with 97 percent accuracy. It’s estimated that a dog’s sense of smell is up to a million times better than a human’s.
6. Builds Empathy
We spend a lot of time training our dogs but those furry creatures teach us a lot, too. Having a dog teaches us patience, commitment and selflessness. Caring for a dog takes a lot of responsibility and commitment, and it also teaches us to be more patient and less selfish. You also learn to be less focused on yourself and more patient, as pets can sometimes test the patience of even the most tolerant people.
7. Reduces Allergy Risk
Getting your little one a furry friend can be beneficial. Growing up with pets, especially dogs, can make children less prone to allergies and they are less likely to have eczema. Plus, such children have higher levels of certain immune system supporters that keep them disease-free.
A 2008 study published in the European Respiratory Journal reports that dog ownership in early childhood protects against the development of inhalant sensitization and this effect cannot be attributed to the simultaneous exposure to house dust endotoxin.
8. Senses Emotions
Dogs really are man’s best friend, it seems, as researchers have shown they can recognize emotions in humans by combining information from different senses.
They are the only creatures outside of humans who have been observed to have that ability.
A team of animal behavior experts and psychologists from the universities of Lincoln and Sao Paulo showed dogs form abstract mental representations of positive and negative emotional states, rather than just displaying learned behaviors.
9. Eases Social Isolation
Have you ever thought of your dog as your wingman? While your dog may not make you totally irresistible to the opposite sex, having one around helps you be more social, approachable and can help some get over shyness. Doing activities with your dog such as going to pet stores, dog parks, or special events is great for both you and your furry friend, as it is a great way to meet new people and mingle with other dogs and dog lovers. A study by Britain’s Warwick University found that 40% of people reported making friends much easier as a result of owning a dog.
10. Helps You Quit Smoking
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 43.8 million Americans smoke. It is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. In fact, smoking is linked to several diseases, from respiratory problems to deadly cancers.
Smoking is a habit that is hard to quit. But if you have a pet, quitting can be easier for you.