Dogs are truly remarkable animals. They were the first animals to reside with humans and have been found in human societies all over the world. While they were first domesticated for survival needs, dog ownership now evolved into a close companionship with their owners. This is primarily due to the growing awareness of the positive effects this relationship can have on human health and psychological well-being. Whether you’re a dog lover or not, we’re here to share the health benefits of owning a dog with you!
Physical Benefits of Owning a Dog
First, let’s start physical. For someone who doesn’t exercise daily, a dog can motivate you to go on more walks. Not only does this help you get exercise and stay healthy, but it might help your social life since people are more likely to stop and talk to you when you’re walking a dog. I mean, who doesn’t want to pet a cute dog they pass outside?
Furthermore, when you’re at home, dogs can be an effective home security system. Studies show that barking dogs discourage burglars, while it’s very helpful having someone with a keen sense of hearing to detect anyone prowling around. This is especially vital if you suffer with anxiety, paranoia, or simply live alone.
Health Benefits of Owning a Dog
Owning a dog can make you feel less stressed. Research reveals that petting your dog, playing with your dog, and simply watching your dog can reduce stress hormones as well as lower your heart rate. In addition, dogs expose their owners to germs, which can help build a human’s immunity to diseases and allergies. Dog owners have also been found to have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, less heart attacks, and fewer medical problems in general than those without dogs. Who knew?
Emotional Benefits of Owning a Dog
Dogs affect us physically and emotionally. You’re less likely to feel depressed with a dog and more likely to have a higher positive outlook on life. Research has shown that it only takes about 15–30 minutes with your dog to feel more relaxed and calm. Playing with your dog raises your brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that are associated with pleasure and tranquility. Thus, dogs can significantly improve your mood in just a short amount of time.
Let’s not forget: dogs make us better people in general by teaching us valuable skills in life such as commitment, selflessness, care, responsibility, and patience. Regardless of when or where dog ownership started, human’s long attachment to these animals is still going strong. Today, Americans own about 78 million dogs, as the benefits they bring keep on growing as well. Next time you see your pet, make sure you thank them for bringing you these positive assets in your life!
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