How Owning A Dog Can Improve Your Health
When most people consider getting a dog, they usually want one for the companionship. However, what many people don't know is that dog ownership could increase your own lifespan! This article covers the numerous ways dogs can benefit their owners, for the simple price of care and affection.
They Reduce Stress
Spending time with a pet induces actual chemical changes in your brain that can leave you relaxed and happy. Even ten minutes of petting a dog will release serotonin and dopamine in your brain, and pet owners have been found to have lower blood pressure than their petless counterparts. They also have lower rates of depression. This is in part due to the reduction of loneliness that accompanies a dog. Besides having a faithful sidekick, you're bound to meet new people while out and about walking your pup. Increased human contact is a great way to combat depression.
They Make You Exercise
Dogs are active creatures, and there's nothing like a bouncing pup to get you out the door! I'm not sure I need to enumerate the many benefits of regular exercise, but suffice to say that a couple walks a day with your dog will drastically improve your quality of life for decades. Your bones will be stronger, your joints less prone to arthritis, and your cholesterol lower. Heart attack victims with pets are more likely to survive than those without, and survive longer before getting medical help. Exercise, of course, is also great for your dog!
They Boost Your Child's Development
Children raised with dogs tend to mature better both mentally and physically. In fact, dogs are often used as therapy animals for children with developmental disorders. The responsibility of dog ownership can add structure to a child's life and can help combat ADHD. Autistic children often spend time with dogs as a less stressful way to learn communication skills. Growing up with a dog also reduces a child's allergies and strengthen the immune system. The influence of a dog on a child can follow him or her throughout their whole life.
They Know When Something's Wrong
Dogs have incredible noses and powers of observation. About one in three pups can detect when a diabetic's blood sugar drops and warn them in time to eat something. They can also sense oncoming seizures and notify epileptics, as well as protect their master while he or she is incapacitated. Dogs can sniff cancer, push an emergency button, and alert their owners to unseen dangers. Remember how Lassie always brought help when Timmy was in mortal peril? Your own pooch could very well do the same for you one day (although it's best not to rely on it!)
Dogs are our best friends, in ways they can't even understand. But we do, and we should always remember the many benefits they give us in exchange for our time. Unconditional love is just the first of their gifts to their masters. So if your dog is asleep right now, or looking at you like the most neglected beast in the world, do yourself a favor and give him some attention!