Wondering whether it’s really true that dogs can make people healthier? There’s been a lot of press in recent years suggesting that having a pet can make you happier and healthier in a myriad of ways, but is this fact or fiction? Read on to find out…
Better Mental Health
You’ve probably heard that having a dog or cat can be beneficial for your mental health. It’s true, it really can. According to pet researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD, pet owners who have a good relationship with their animals tend to be less stressed, anxious and depressed than their peers who are living a pet-free life.
Improved Heart Health
Surely, owning a dog can’t improve your heart health, right? Wrong. If you own a dog, you may be less likely to suffer from heart disease. How does that work? Most scientists think it’s a combination of getting more exercise – you have to walk the dog right – and the calming effects of pet ownership that help to lower blood pressure.
Not only that but if you have already suffered from a heart attack, chances are you’ll recover faster and live longer than non-dog owners who’ve also had a heart attack. Make sure to buy that beautiful dog the best dry dog food and most fun toys you can find -he’s worth his weight in gold!
Petting your dog is a great way to lower your stress levels and maintain a healthy blood pressure. According to the Center for the Human-Animal Bond, it also helps to de-stress your pet too. It’s an I scratch your back you scratch mine kind of situation.
Improves Social Connections
Social connections are a vital part of maintaining a healthy mind. People who are isolated from their peers are far more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than more sociable individuals. This is another aspect of your health that your dog can help you with.
Think about it, when you’re out walking your precious pooch, how many people come over to say hi and pat his head? It probably happens all the time and it isn’t just fun for your dog; it can help you to connect with people in your community, thus improving your mental health and helping you to maintain a healthy immune system too.
Boost Baby’s Immunity
Babies that are brought up in a household with pets could be far less likely to suffer from asthma, eczema, hayfever and a whole host of other allergies, according to some studies. They will get the most benefit if they’re exposed to pets before they turn six months old, but even older children could benefit from the presence of a four-legged friend.
Support Autistic People
Autistic people, especially children, often find it difficult to relate to their peers. However, when they have a pet with them, research has shown that this becomes a bit easier.
Dogs in the classroom encourage children to get involved more and work together as a team and this has huge benefits for autistic children.
Dogs are truly amazing!