Health benefits of owning a dog

Many of us have dogs as part of the family – around 90 million in fact. That’s a lot of four-legged friends. As well as unconditional love, there are a number of health benefits of owning a dog that might see many more heading to the local shelter.

Keeping active

Of course, one of the many things that dog owners get to enjoy is spending time with their pet. Walkies will soon become a part of many owners’ vocabularies, and it looks as though all this exercise could be a push many need to keep fit and active. A dog can be the perfect motivation that many of us need to head outside, as well as helping keep people moving even well into their later life.

Health benefits of owning a dog

Making friends

Although many of us head out on a dog walk to spend time with our pets and get away from the real world, it seems as though these could help us make more friends in the long run. It’s shown that dog owners are often more extrovert than others. Plus, many will often talk to one another along the way meaning there are more opportunities to make friends.

Strong immune system

Yes, you read that right. Many people used to believe that having a dog or cat in the home would mean children were at a higher risk of developing allergies. However, that has now been shown to be the opposite of the truth. As well as less of a chance of having pet allergies, having a pet in the home is also shown to help strengthen children’s immune systems.

Lower stress

No matter how much we try and avoid the issues of the real world, they can often catch up with the rest of our lives and take hold. Sometimes, all we need is a dog to make our lives that little bit better. Studies have shown that stroking or walking a dog can have a significant effect on lowering our stress levels. The best bit? Dogs are likely to enjoy all that extra fuss, too.

Supporting dementia

There is a reason many care homes turn to animal therapy: dogs can have a significant effect on someone with dementia. It’s shown that dogs can help improve social reaction, relive memories, give many people a routine, and help to prevent any feelings of isolation. In fact, The Alzheimer’s Society recommends people care for their pets as long as they can before dementia means they are unable to anymore.

Health benefits of owning a dog

Healthy heart

The lower stress and more exercise are just two of the things that help dog owners have healthier hearts than those without a four-legged friend. It’s thought these pets also help to reduce cholesterol in addition to lower blood pressure. Even if dog owners do suffer a heart attack, it’s shown they have a much higher survival rate than others.

It looks as though there might soon be even more reasons to head to a local shelter after learning about all the health benefits of owning a dog. Who could ever have too many four-legged companions?