Owning a dog is something that many people think has a positive impact on their life. Dogs can be fiercely protective of their humans, defending them from wild animals and other humans. They are also loyal and seem to love their humans. Surprisingly, however, there are some additional health benefits to owning a dog.
From reducing stress to helping you get in shape, here are five surprising health benefits that come with owning a dog.
Reduced Stress and Other Mental Health Perks
Therapy dogs are becoming popular, and there are some good reasons for this. Not only can dogs help reduce stress as a result of petting them; dogs can also distract their humans from stress. This can be accomplished by dogs acting silly and being entertaining, or by cuddling with their humans. Dogs have been shown to help improve the moods of their owners and have been used as companions for children with ADHD. Other advantages to mental health include a decrease in depression for very similar reasons as those reducing stress. Overall, there are many mental health benefits to owning a dog.
Additional Meaning and Growth
Dogs make their humans participate in a set schedule. They can also give people who feel useless a purpose in life. This helps the elderly and those suffering from serious disease; there is a dog that relies on them for care, keeping loneliness from becoming overwhelming. Dogs are popular pets with people who have suffered from serious mental illness because dogs offer unconditional love and no judgment. Having a dog also teaches us about patience since dogs can be a challenge at times.
Because dogs tend to love their owners unconditionally, having a dog also teaches owners about unconditional love and shows us first-hand what that looks like. Since their dogs are such an important part of many people’s lives, when a dog gets sick or is in pain, it can be difficult to watch. In an effort to help pets find pain relief, companies like Canna-Pet have developed a hemp-based pet supplement to help cats and dogs who were suffering serious pain.
Help Getting in Shape
Some studies suggest that owning a dog can minimize the risk of having a heart attack. While this is related to lowered stress levels, we can also benefit from the extra physical activity of walking the dog. Dogs need to be taken on a walk at least twice a day and they need to play and be active. As a dog owner, this means that you are walking at least twice a day and playing with your dog. This can help you shed a few stubborn pounds or just remain healthy. Either way, regular walking is good for your health. Having a pet that both requires and loves walking and playing holds their owner accountable to be more active.
Having a dog has many benefits, and some of them are more surprising than others. From staying physically active to the many mental health benefits, owning a dog is a long-term commitment that can be well-worth the effort for you and your dog.