Reasons to Love Dogs: Dogs are Good for Your Health

 In case you had any doubts about having a dog, here’s a definite pro: dogs are good for your health! 

Having a pet, particularly a dog, may well lower your risk of heart disease, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement.

“Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably associated with a decreased risk of heart disease” said Glenn N. Levine, M.D., professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and chair of the committee that wrote the statement after reviewing previous studies of the influence of pets.

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Owning pets may be associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and a lower incidence of obesity. Dog ownership in particular may help reduce cardiovascular risk. People with dogs may engage in more physical activity because they walk them and play with them. In a study of more than 5,200 adults, dog owners engaged in more walking and physical activity than non-dog owners, and were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity.

Not only can dogs help your physical health, but they can also improve your mental health. It appears that Pets can have a positive effect on the body’s reactions to stress.  According to the study, the loyalty and love that pets display can help people overcome “stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness,”. Other studies also show that looking at the face of a puppy of dog and patting them can trigger chemical reactions in the body that help reduce anxiety. Dogs are often used now in Therapy Programs for patients with PTSD and Anxiety as with NSD pictured below.

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Another study conducted by the University of California and University of Michigan says that, “children who grow up with dogs may be less likely to get respiratory infections and asthma later on.” Using mice, the researchers concluded that early exposure to dog and cat allergens matures the immune system so that you are able to fight off more infections, like asthma and allergies.

Dogs really are man’s best friend for a reason!

Related articles you might enjoy:

http://www.torontosun.com/2013/05/09/pets-may-help-cut-heart-disease-risk-american-heart-association#

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/06/21/dogs-may-curb-asthma-in-kids-study

 

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1 Comment

  • Profile photo of Anna

    This article is so true! I work from home a lot and since I’ve rescued my Norman, the basset hound, he’s been such an amazing friend and walking buddy. He forces me to walk away from the computer and take for a walk midday. Also, a friend of mine Eloise Bright is a vet for Love That Pet and she suggested I get a dog to help transition to my move to a new city. Dogs can provide empathy and companionship when no one else is around. Great for mental and physical! Love it!