Why Dogs Make You Healthier!

A Pooch-Snuggle Prescription? Sign Me Up!

Science now supports what pet owners have intuitively known for all time: Having a dog in the house makes you healthier! Among the many benefits of having a puppy pal (like lowering stress and boosting happiness), having dogs around can even help lower cortisol and diminish the risk of heart disease. Here’s a closer look at how it all works!

They can act as furry therapists

Pet therapy, or animal-assisted therapy (AAT) as it’s also called, has been linked to the reduction of anxiety, pain, and depression in people with a range of mental or physical health problems. Many people can benefit from pet therapy, including patients undergoing chemotherapy, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, and physical therapy patients working on their fine motor skills. Even some academic institutions are taking note. At Miami University, students can take advantage of pet therapy that alleviates feelings of homesickness and depression. Dogs are on call during midterms and finals when those feelings are at an all-time high.

They keep us moving

If you have a dog, you’ve probably walked it, right? Well, all that walking can add up. One study found that dog owners were 34 percent more likely to achieve their recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week than non-dog owners . And don’t dismiss walking as wussy exercise. Just because it’s low-impact (for your joints) doesn’t mean it’s no-impact (for your health).
They lower blood pressure

Blood pressure might sound like a concern for people in their golden years, but really everyone can benefit from keeping their numbers in check. And a study from the American Heart Association found when pet owners get support from their furry friends, it’s enough to lower blood pressure brought on by mental stress . We like to think that means we’re that much closer to getting a prescription for dog snuggle – via Greatist

We’re Better Off With Dogs

Assuming you’re able to care for a dog and that you’re a person who likes dogs, having a pup almost always means you’re better off in life. Not only do they provide hours upon hours of joy and entertainment, but the mental, emotional, and physical benefits run deeper than most people realize! Here are just a few more ways that you benefit from having a dog in your life.

A Healthier Heart

Your dog may make you less likely to get heart disease. Why? Dog owners walk more and have lower blood pressure than people who don’t have dogs. Pets can also be good for you if you already have heart problems. Heart attack survivors and people with serious abnormal heart rhythms who own dogs live longer than people with the same heart problems who don’t have pets, studies show.

Stress Soothers

Petting your cat or dog feels good. It can lower your blood pressure, helps your body release a relaxation hormone, and cuts down on levels of a stress hormone. It also soothes your pet, says Alan Beck, ScD, director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University.
– via WebMD

Have you ever had a dog? How does your pup impact your life?

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