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Benefits Of Dogs: Are Pets Good for Your Health?

Updated: Mar 14




Caring for a pet can be good for your physical and mental health. An animal companion can be a loyal friend and a valuable member of your family, plus, pets provide companionship and unconditional love. Research over many years has documented the health benefits of dogs to humans.


The bond that develops between a human and a pet companion can be just as strong as the bond between two people.


Benefits Of Having A Dog


Companionship


They can bring fulfillment into the lives of those who might otherwise suffer from loneliness or depression. Dogs, specifically, provide a feeling of safety and help keep you active.


Mature adults, especially those who've lost a spouse, can find comfort and companionship in a pet. They often go through a period of feeling as if they're no longer needed, but owning a pet can fill that need.


Your Child's Best Friend


Children who are shy can benefit greatly from having a pet companion. Animals can help draw a shy child out of their shell. There are many other benefits of having a dog for a child:


  • A pet can be a good way to start a conversation and make friends.

  • A family pet can boost a child's self-esteem.

  • They can give a child a sense of protection and security.

  • Pet ownership can help teach children about interaction, compassion and responsibility.

  • They can also help children cope with and overcome fears. For example, a child that's afraid to go to sleep in his own room may adapt more easily if the family cat or dog is allowed to accompany them to bed.


They Make You Exercise


Pets can keep you active. Dogs need regular exercise and their owners can reap the rewards of keeping fit and healthy in the process. Having a dog forces you to get up and go outside whether you want to or not.


Taking the dog for a nice leisurely walk is a great way to get moving, enjoy the outdoors, and get some fresh air. If you feel up to it, you can always go for a run with your dog. You'll both get some exercise and have fun.


If health prevents you from walking a dog, consider getting a cat instead. Cats can be very lovable and energetic. Toss a ball across the floor or pull out a ball of yarn, and your cat will keep you both entertained for hours.


With a cat, you may not get as much exercise as you would with a dog, but you'll get plenty of laughs, and laughter is great for your health, too!


Health Benefits Of Dogs


Studies have shown owning a pet provides many health benefits. People with pets tend to have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system and are generally healthier. Pet owners who've suffered a major illness recuperate quicker than those without a pet.


Pets have even been shown to increase a person's immunity to allergies, especially in children. Owning a pet can reduce the risk of allergies, asthma and even heart disease.


They Relieve You Of Stress


People with pets also tend to be more positive and have less stress. They're better able to cope with anxiety and deal with stressful situations. The action of petting a dog or cat can relieve stress and lower blood pressure. Pets help people relax and can even improve their attitude.


They Help You Socialize With Others


They can help break the ice when meeting new people. Pet owners who are new to their neighborhood or have difficulty meeting people may find that their pets give them a chance to make new friends.


Animals are naturally curious and may run up to people in an attempt to make their own introductions. Conversations may start between two dog owners and a new friendship begins.


Study after study has shown the health benefits of having a dog, from reduced stress to improved heart health, to a better social life — the list just goes on and on.


There's a reason pets were put on this earth as companions, and we've only touched on some of them here. If you're considering letting a pet join your household, it's proven that they can do positive things for your health. Get a pet companion, and enjoy your life!


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