How Owning a Dog Can Improve Your Health

by Yoga Digest | December 7, 2019 3:37 am

When injury and illness strikes, your road to recovery can be one filled with therapies and medications. You will require a lot of TLC, physical activity, and therapies. Healing is no easy task, and that is why you must show your body kindness, especially when you are in pain. Even so, there are times you find that whatever you need is not always found over-the-counter; neither is it in any product isle. It is sometimes found sleeping near your bed, licking your face, asking for treats,[1] or running around your yard. This is the power dogs have when it comes to health improvement.

Simply put, owning a dog can have many positive impacts on your life as a whole. These furry companions give our lives more meaning and also teach us about companionship, love, and loyalty, and all they need is the best grain free dog food[2]. Even though they can sometimes be frantic, dogs come with a specific serenity. They are intensely in tune with your emotions, especially when you have experienced a loss, illness, strife, or any other challenge. Dogs also experience these profound feelings, just like their owners.

According to animal behaviorists[3], dogs also have their way of mourning e.g., they eat less, move slower, and sleep more. They also tend to stay away for extended periods from the ones they are closest to, be it canine or human. Those who are lucky to own dogs can confess to their profound ability to sympathize and also heal, thus improving a person’s health. That is why you find dogs are also brought to rehabilitation centers and hospitals to make patients feel better both spiritually and physically.

Health benefits that come with owning a dog  

1.Heart health

Dogs not only fill a person’s heart but in essence, make your heart stronger. There is research that has linked owning a dog to reduced triglycerides levels[4], reduced cholesterol, and low blood pressure. This, in turn, promotes fewer heart attacks and complete cardiovascular health. Dog owners who have heart attacks also have higher survival rate after the ordeal.

2. Keeps You Active and Fit

Most health experts recommend about 3 hours of exercise weekly. Owning a dog makes it possible for you to hit this goal. Taking your dog is beneficial to both you and your canine companion. Owning a dog will also ensure that you remain mobile even when you are in your 70’s and 80’s. This, in turn, means fewer visits to doctors and fewer living limitations during old age.

3. Weight loss

Wondering how you can lose those extra pounds? Get you a Fido and see the weight coming off. Several researchers have found that walking dogs is useful for weight loss[5] because you will be required to walk the dog for at least 20 minutes a day. A small study conducted in 2010 discovered that people who walk dogs at least five times each week lost an average weight of 14.4 pounds in a year.

4. Social life improved

As you age, you will find that there is not much time left in a day to go out and meet new people. The same cannot be said for those who own dogs. According to researchers, 40% of people who walk their dogs make new friends quickly. This is because dog owners tend to converse with other dog owners with ease since they already have something in common.

5. Reduced stress levels

Therapy dogs have proven to be useful when it comes to reducing stress levels[6]. Spending a few minutes with your dog can lower your blood pressure and anxiety and also increase dopamine and serotonin levels. These two neurochemicals play significant roles when it comes to your wellbeing and calm. If you perform stressful tasks, you may find it more comfortable with a dog around. Dogs have also been said to reduce the levels of stress between married couples.

6. Keep off depression

It has been said that dog owners tend to stave off depression as compared to those who do not own dogs. This is most especially true for therapy dogs. They have been used, over the years, to help depressed people ranging from the young to the old, healthy, and sick.

While owning a dog[7] comes with its share of responsibilities, and losing one is pure heartbreak, it is always a risk worth taking. You will notice that you get more positives out of owning a dog than not. Caring for a dog or any other animal has helped bring people back to full health. Even so, if you are not ready to own a dog, you should halt getting one until you fully understand what it entails to own one. You will need money and time to spend on the dog, so only get a dog when you are ready.

Endnotes:
  1. asking for treats,: https://doggiedesigner.com/best-organic-dog-treats/
  2. best grain free dog food: https://www.pupped.com/best-grain-free-dog-food/
  3. animal behaviorists: https://yogadigest.com/4-life-lessons-can-learn-dog/
  4. reduced triglycerides levels: https://yogadigest.com/5-ways-an-emotional-support-animal-can-help-ease-your-worries/
  5. weight loss: https://yogadigest.com/doga-yoga-with-your-dog/
  6. stress levels: https://yogadigest.com/contributed-article-3-ways-yoga-can-help-reduce-stress/
  7. owning a dog: https://yogadigest.com/turn-up-the-power-in-downward-facing-dog/

Source URL: https://yogadigest.com/how-owning-a-dog-can-improve-your-health/