Health Benefits of Owning a Dog

June 30, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Dogs

It has long been thought that a pet can have a beneficial effect on its owner. This is realized almost daily in people who own dogs. Here are some of the health benefits that owning a dog can do for you.

Before we go any further it bears to be noted that dogs function better in the family unit when they are trained. As puppies they are cute but also unruly. Some of their primal instincts dictate that certain dog breeds will try to challenge their owners for dominance. If this urge isn’t nipped in the bud in the beginning, your dog could become a behavioral problem.

So, owning a dog and reaping mutual benefits from them will involve training of some sort. This can be done by you, the owner, through crate training and other forms of instructive discipline. Or, it can be done by professionals in dog obedience classes.

Once a dog learns how to behave and work with their owners, the benefits to their health will begin to form. If you are thinking about getting a pet, these reasons may affect your decision.

1. Lower rate of obesity in some dog owners – Dogs like activity. Many dogs, especially large ones, need to be walked several times a day for exercise as well as to use the bathroom. All of those walks are also good for the owner who also improves their cardiovascular health.

2. Calming effect on mood – Sometimes life happens. When it does, coming home to a companion who is waiting and glad to see you can help brighten your mood. No matter what is going on in the outside world, your dog is ready to show their affection. Pets provide unconditional love that can help to combat bouts of depression, sadness and the “blues.”

3. Lower stress levels – Just like a soothing bath can help to drain away stress from your body, so can stroking your pet. Spending time cuddling with your dog after a hard day can melt away those stressful thoughts with each pass.

4. Lower cholesterol levels
– This is also related to the activity that your dog needs each day. Getting regular exercise can lower your level of cholesterol in the blood. With lower cholesterol, there is also a lower risk of heart disease.

5. Stronger immune system – What saps your immunity? One element is stress. Exposure to long term stress can compromise immunity leaving you open to all sorts of illness. Since dogs help to boost mood and reduce stress, this fact can increase immunity along with regular exercise with your pet.

6. Companionship and long life – As we reach our golden years, a pet can be a constant source of companionship to thwart loneliness. They can bring back new life leading to a longer healthier one for you.

There are many health benefits to owning a pet, especially a dog. Consider those when you are looking for a pet.