Anyone that’s ever lived with a dog knows of the many advantages to canine friendship. They are great listeners that rarely interrupt and always eager to see you. They are so excited when their human walks through the door, happily wagging their tails at your feet. And who gives better hugs and kisses than a dog? But what about the actual physical benefits to dog ownership?
-Immune System Booster
Studies show that we as a society are obsessed with germs. Antibacterial soap and germ fighting cleansers line the shelves, all promising to keep the public healthy. Unfortunately, while the public wages its war on bacteria and germs, weakened immune systems now struggle with germs that shouldn’t be a threat. Owning a dog brings the germs in, bolsters immune systems and strengthens a body’s ability to thwart illness.
-Don’t worry, Be Happy
Has petting a pooch brightened your mood when feeling down, or perhaps watching one play has gotten you to feel a little bit better when you were blue? That is what happens when a dog is around. Living with a dog, caring for him, and watching him play releases Oxytocin. When Oxytocin begins flowing, anxiety is lowered, stress is reduced and the blue thoughts turn pink and happy.
Exercise is important, but many people find excuses not to get out and move. Owning a dog will force a person off the couch and out into the open air. Breathing in fresh air while moving those muscles keep up with the happy dog can revitalize you. Trotting around the block may seem like torture at first, but eventually it will not be so bad. An owner may actually begin to look forward to these walks. Pretty soon, marathon running!
“Three dog night” is an expression for a reason. Before heated houses and pampered pooches, people and animals bundled together at night to keep warm. And the evening weather was decided by how many dogs were needed to maintain body heat. Times haven’t changed much; dogs are still incredible bed warmers. Especially on cold, windy nights—laying in bed, watching a scary movie.
Dogs can be trained to detect cancer, low blood sugar, life-threatening allergens in the air, as well as impending seizures. They may also increase the survival statistics of people who’ve suffered from a heart attack. Studies show that caring for a dog has been proven to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. It has also been shown the recovery rate for hospital patients that interacted with therapy dogs were faster than those patients that had not.
Dogs are goofy, funny, energetic, lively and love their family unconditionally. So all the health benefits associated with them is merely frosting on the cake!