Every pet owner is familiar with the cozy feeling of cuddling up to your best and furriest friend. Perhaps you can’t quite put your finger on why recounting the intimate details of your day, or sharing a snack with your dog makes you feel just plain good, but some doctors are trying to. A number of studies regarding pet guardians and their health have surfaced in recent years, and they all pretty much say the same thing: dogs are good for you.
1. They Keep You Active.
Dog guardians exercise more, it’s that simple. According to a 2006 Canadian study from the University of Victoria, dog owners more likely to participate in mild to moderate forms of physical activity. They tended to walk an average of 300 minutes per week. That’s nearly twice as much as non-dog owners, who averaged at about 168 minutes.
2. They Make You Healthier.
Having a dog companion reduces your risk of heart attack (it’s probably all that exercise!). But other studies have also shown that dog owners above the age of fifty had both lower cholesterol and blood pressure than their pet free peers.
3. They Keep You Organized.
Now while it’s true your dog isn’t going to paw through your day planner, pet guardians do exhibit a higher level of self-discipline. Dogs need structure. They have to be fed, walked, and bathed at regular intervals. So it’s only natural for dog guardians to organize their schedules around their best friend’s daily routines.
4. They Can Save Your Life.
Dogs have a life saving sixth sense that can help detect certain illnesses and dangers. Not really. Dogs are just better at using their senses of smell and hearing than people are. But the affect is still the same. Dogs can be trained to sniff out anything from food allergens, to seizures, to low blood sugar, and even cancer.
5. They Can be Your Therapist.
And they won’t even make you sit on the couch. Unless, of course, they’re in your lap. Jokes aside, therapy dogs can be real miracle workers. The British Medical Journal published a review in 2005 stating dogs to be ‘social catalysts’. Dogs lead to a higher degree of interaction between people, and can also help relieve feelings of loneliness, especially in patients with physical disabilities.
6. They Make You a Better Person.
Pet adoption saves lives, both human and animal. And you know what they say: A person who is good to their dog, is a good person.
Written by Nichole Celauro