They’re fluffy, cute, and adorable dopes that give us hours of side-splitting entertainment. But that’s not all dog’s can do for us! Behind all that fur is an adorable fluff-nut that loves us so much that dogs can save our lives. Research shows that having a dog can help make us happier, healthier, and live longer.
How Dogs Can Save Our Lives
So today, we are looking at seven researched-backed ways our dogs are improving our health. You’ll probably want to have a treat ready to give your puppy after reading this.
They Keep Us Active
If you ask most people whether they’d rather play fetch with their pup for 20 minutes or hop on a treadmill, most would shout “dog” before you could finish. What’s great about going on walks with your dog or playing fetch with them is it often doesn’t feel like you’re exercising. But guess what, you definitely are!
Studies conducted at the University of East Anglia, Michigan State University, and the Australian Research Council, all revealed that dog owners get an extra 30 minute of exercise a day compared to those without a dog. That comes out to 3.5 hours of exercise a week which is the recommended amount of exercise set by the CDC.
They Can Help Us Kick Bad Habits
When you see people talk about their recovery from addiction and other dangerous lifestyle choices, you often hear how their pet kept them going through the darkest periods.
Research on how dogs can assist humans with their health goes all the way back to the 1860s. Since then studies have shown how dogs can help lower the emotional stress that keeps people tethered to their addictive behavior. That’s just one way they help too! A recent online poll by Henry Ford Health found that one in three people were motivated to give up smoking not just for their health but for the health of their pet.
Having A Dog Can Improve Our Mental Health
It’s not hard to see how having a dog can improve our mental health. They provide us with unconditional love and companionship, give us someone else to care for, and they help get us out into the sun to soak up all that vitamin D — nature’s antidepressant.
Dogs are just attuned to our emotions and will go to great lengths to support and comfort us when we’re stressed, sad, or upset.
They Give Us Stronger Immune Systems
How awesome is it that research is indicating that having a dog means we get sick less? Now, the truth of the matter is your immune system is stronger because you’re coming in contact with more germs. Dogs do have the habit of loving all things gross, and germs also love all things gross.
But hey! if it helps to improve our health, what are we to do?
They Can Lower Our Blood Pressure
In 2012, Andrea Beetz and three others reviewed 69 studies on how animals have helped assist people in therapy and education. They researched everything from how dogs make us more empathetic to how they can reduce our stress and cortisol levels.
One of their other focuses was whether dogs could help lower blood pressure and heart rate.
Their research saw a majority of studies showing that just being in a room with a friendly dog can help lower your blood pressure. As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to want to play with every dog we come across.
Having A Dog Keeps The Doctor Away
Ditch the apple and grab your best buddy a treat! Because one study in the Australian Social Monitor shows having a dog is good for public health and saves on healthcare expenditures. That’s right, dog owners go to the doctors less and yet they are just as healthy — if not healthier — than non-dog owners. That’s great news for many of us who don’t go to the doctor as much as we should.
They Keep Us Social
It seems like the older we get, the more our social circle seems to dwindle. Evidence shows that staying social and being around other humans improves our health and keeps us living longer.
Taking your dog for a walk, hitting up the dog park, or taking training classes are all fantastic ways to meet new people. Best yet, you have the easiest ice breaker of all time when you’re yelling at your dog to get their nose out of another dog’s butt.
If you haven’t given your dog a treat for improving your health yet, now’s the perfect time to do so. What’s fantastic is having a dog can improve our mood, health, and life.
So remember, since they are helping us stay healthy, make sure you’re doing the same so they can live happily and healthily for years and years.