Happy Dog, Longer Life: Health Benefits of Dog Ownership

Not only are dogs adorable, and cuddly, but they are also linked to health benefits for their owner. A daily dose of a dog can assist you both physically and mentally in your life. The relationship an owner cultivates with their canine friend is symbiotic in its purest form and a relationship many are unaware of health benefits that come along with it. Dogs are the four-legged friends we all need in our lives, who keep us active, stress-free, and unconditionally loved. Life is hard, but it is a lot easier with a furry friend by your side. It begs the question: who saved who?  

Perfect Exercise Buddy

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Want to pick up an exercise regimen, but do not seem to have the disciple nor persistence to stick to it? Get a dog. Harvard Health Publication found a direct link between dog ownership and weight loss. According to researchers, “dogs provided support in similar ways to a human exercise buddy, but with greater consistency and without any negative influence.” They are the ultimate hype-friends who will support you unconditionally on your fitness journey. Activity is fundamental for your dog’s life experience and for you too, so benefit one another by getting some form of daily exercise. 

Stimulates Your Social Life

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It is no secret when you walk your dog in public, countless people will stop and want to interact with them. Dogs are the perfect ice-breaker when meeting new people. You both clearly love dogs, which is an instant commonality established between you two. Nearly 2,000 dog owners were polled and researchers “found that nearly half of respondents have made new friends while taking their pet for a walk.” They also discovered owners believed owning a dog boosted their confidence, making it easier to converse with strangers. Dogs are truly the best wingman for making friends. 

Happy Dog, Longer Life

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Though you may have already speculated this was true, there are now studies supporting it. Scientific Reports found from their study of 3.4 million people, that "owning a dog is linked to a longer life.” They also provide a protective effect especially for those who are living alone such as the elderly. Because of the activity they require, it has helped owners lower their risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, owning a dog may help owners gain immune-boosting benefits transferring into adulthood. Dog ownership could be the key to decisive life longevity. 

Mood-Boosters

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If you’ve had a dog, you’ve experienced the companionship and unconditional love a dog radiates. According to Science, “oxytocin is boosted in both the dog and the human when a dog owner stares into the eyes of the dog.” Oxytocin is the “feel good” chemical in the brain, a chemical that is underrepresented in people suffering from mental health issues. The relationship you have with your dog is secure which in turn results in positive biological brain effects. Knowing they will love you regardless of who you are, will give you not only a sense of purpose but the validation that they will always be happy to see you.