Why owning a dog can be good for your health

Why owning a dog can be good for your health

We all know that adopting a dog is a good for the dog, but did you know it can also have lots of health benefits for the new owner? The Waltham Petcare Science Institute have been partnering with leading universities and research organisations worldwide and there is increasing evidence that owning a pet can bring physical and mental health benefits.

Here we take a look at some of the ways a canine companion can do wonders for your wellbeing.

Dogs can benefit their owner’s heart health

Dogs don’t just make our hearts happy, they make them healthier too. Studies show that having a furry friend is linked to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, and decreased triglyceride levels, which contribute to better overall cardiovascular health and fewer heart attacks. Findings even show that pet ownership can help people to recover from heart attacks.

Dogs make you more likely to exercise

It might not surprise you to know that dogs are very good at making sure everyone goes walkies (just you try resisting those puppy dog eyes!). In fact, a 2019 British study discovered that dog owners are nearly four times more likely than non-dog owners to meet their daily physical activity guidelines. The health benefits of regular physical activity are legion and include everything from lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, to making your bones, muscles and joints stronger. It also helps you to keep your weight under control.

Dogs can improve your social life

Any dog owner will tell you that when you take your four-legged friend out for a walk, you often get chatting with other dog owners. It’s easier somehow to strike up a conversation with a stranger when you have a shared talking point. This social contact is important – in fact, it’s thought to be one of the largest factors in maintaining both physical and mental health

Dogs can make us happier and less stressed

Spending time with your dog isn’t just a lot of fun, but can lower anxiety and blood pressure and increase your levels of serotonin and dopamine (the so called ‘happy neurochemicals’).

There are even some studies that suggest that owning a dog makes people less prone to depression.

Dogs make us feel less alone

The expression ‘man’s best friend’ didn’t come from nowhere and it’s hardly surprising that dog owners are less likely to struggle with loneliness since they have a constant source of company, emotional support and unconditional love.

Caring for a dog also gives your day purpose and reward. It can offer a sense of achievement, especially if you’ve given a second chance to a dog who used to be in a shelter.

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