In case you need another reason to adopt a dog in need of a forever home, there’s this news to consider: Dogs are good for your health. That’s the latest headline from a Swedish study that says that living with a dog is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and even death! Sound too good to be true? Read on for all the doggy details.
The study, found in the journal Scientific Reports, found that for singles living alone, owning a dog decreases your risk of death by a whopping 33 percent! And dog ownership helped to shrink cardiovascular death specifically for those living alone by 36 percent! (The benefits were not as great for families who owned a dog, though it was still beneficial.) But why? Having a pup in the house may simply be good for your heart because you have to take your pooch for daily walks and get them outside for exercise, come rain, snow, or sunshine. And that daily exercise—even if it’s just a little bit—is good for your ticker.
Walking or running with your pup may also help ease pain because endorphins—our body’s natural painkillers—are released during exercise. So that aching back or neck may actually get some relief when you take Fido for a quick stroll around the block. And then there’s your blood pressure. Just looking at or petting your pooch releases oxytocin, the love hormone, which makes you feel happy and relaxed (read: your blood pressure goes down, down, down). And that’s another good thing for your health, since stress may be one of the biggest risk factors for heart health.
But it’s not just dogs that do a body good. All pets have been shown to have positive impacts on their owners. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pet owners have decreased blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels; they feel less lonely; and they have increased chances for exercise and socialization. And all that is a win-win!
Of course, one of the biggest benefits of owning a dog is the companionship. They don’t call dogs “(wo)man’s best friend” for no reason. Studies have shown that dogs can help decrease depression especially because people can focus their attention on their furry friend rather than dwelling on less positive aspects of their life. We think it’s time to welcome a new fluffy friend into the family, don’t you?
Source: DLP Marketing