When you look at your dog, what do you feel? There have been many studies that show just how much having a dog changes your life for the better – to the point that it is no wonder Thomas Jefferson fought so hard to put dogs into every single home when he first came from France. Spending time with your dog can have an extremely positive impact on your life, and your health in particular.
All pets do this, but having a dog in particular can really help you, and it all stems back to the meaningful relationships that you forge with your dog from that first moment. But how do they help your health? Let’s take a look:
1. Dogs Make Your Heart Healthier
For many people, having a dog means that you get outside more often and you become more active. Whether this means that you play frisbee or you go on long walks, it all helps. Even just getting up and down from the couch to take care of your dog puts a little more pep in their step. Dog owners tend to have lower blood pressure as well because they walk so much more. If you already have health problems, many doctors suggest a dog to heart attack survivors because studies show that they live longer.
From an emotional level, dogs make you feel loved and connect with you in a way that will make your heart happier.
2. People with Dogs Have Healthier Children
Babies who are raised in a house with dogs are less likely to get allergies, per some studies. On top of that, they will have fewer colds and ear infections than their peers. They are also more likely to behave in ways that are safe around other dogs.
As children age, those with dogs tend to be healthier and more responsible. They go outside more often and help with taking care of the dog, important steps on the road to independence and adulthood. Of course, you do have to take your time to introduce them, but it will be worth it when you see your child prosper.
3. Dogs Take Away Your Stress
If you have a bad dog, you might feel like you have more stress in your life. However, studies have shown that just sitting down and petting a dog can help to lower your blood pressure and will help your body release relaxation hormones that fight against stress. For years, this is why presidents all had dogs – to help them cope with the stress they were under.
Of course, the laughter and joy that the dog brings also helps with that.
If you don’t want to go through the training process, rescue and elderly dog. They tend to be calmer and just want someone who will sit and pet them – and they don’t often get adopted.
4. People Who Own Dogs Are Happier
It has been found that people who own dogs are happier and more trusting than those who do not. This is because dogs add a sense of belonging and meaning to their lives – someone depends on them and wants them to get home safely at the end of the day.
Dogs are a great companion for the elderly as well as for single people who need someone else in their lives. While cats are the stereotype, dogs can fill in there as well.
5. Dogs Make You More Social
Many dogs don’t really understand that not everyone wants to meet them. Dogs are extremely friendly and social by nature, meaning they will force you to talk to your neighbors and everyone who passes by you. In fact, people who use wheelchairs have said that people are more likely to talk to them if they have a dog. People who have dog pictures on their dating profile also get more interaction.
6. Dogs Are Great for Children on the Autism Spectrum
As we learn more about autism, it is evident that there is so much more to know and learn before we can truly understand. However, we have found that children who have dogs are likely to get involved in social activities, perform better in school, and have fewer problems with other students.
Since many autistic children like patterns, they are also some of the best at taking care of their dogs. One of the best parts, however, is that the dog will give you something to bond with your child over.
Getting a dog is one of the best things you can do for your health, inside and out. Dogs have a special way of working themselves into our hearts and taking hold. Whether you want to get a tiny dog like a Pomeranian or you want something as big as a husky, remember that you need to be prepared to take care of your dog and adopt, don’t shop, when possible.