Dogs do more than just boost your mood. Keep reading for dog people: 10 key ways your dog is keeping you healthy.
In the past, surveys have shown that the vast majority of Americans consider themselves to be dog people. In fact, about 74% of people say that they like dogs, while only about 41% of people say that they like cats.
Dog people love dogs for all kinds of reasons. They love how loyal and obedient dogs are. They also love how playful dogs can be and appreciate the affection that many of them display to their owners.
But maybe more than anything else, dog people love dogs because they often make them feel healthier than ever before. Here are ten ways your dog can help improve your health.
1. Brings Down Your Blood Pressure
About one-third of all Americans have high blood pressure.
Do you fall into this category or are you in danger of falling into it soon? If so, studies have shown that doing something as simple as sitting down and petting a dog every day could bring your blood pressure way down.
When you pet a dog, your body will release hormones that will help you relax and decrease your blood pressure. Do it often enough and you could start to see long-term benefits as far as your blood pressure is concerned.
2. Lowers Your Risk of Developing Heart Disease
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in this country right now. About 25% of all deaths are caused by some form of heart disease.
Many forms of heart disease are caused by the aforementioned high blood pressure. High cholesterol and a serious lack of cardiovascular fitness can also be to blame for heart disease.
According to Harvard Medical School, you can lower your chances of ever encountering heart disease by getting a dog and taking good care of it. Owning a dog can, as we already mentioned, reduce your blood pressure while also making your heart healthier.
You won’t have to worry about developing heart disease as much as you do now when you have a dog working wonders for you.
3. Eliminates a Lot of Your Stress
A few years ago, an alarming survey was done that showed that about 80% of Americans are stressed out to some degree. People stress out over everything from family life and work to politics and the future of the planet these days.
Has stress started to take a toll on you and your health? Dog people will tell you that the key to eliminating most of this stress is welcoming a dog into your home.
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It’s hard to feel too stressed out when you walk in the door at the end of the day and see your dog wagging its tail and ready to greet you. You’ll notice that your stress levels will stop soaring every day almost from the moment you introduce a dog into your home.
4. Encourages You to Get Outside and Exercise
Did you know that only about 20% of Americans get the recommended amount of exercise every week? It’s why the U.S. has, sadly, become one of the most overweight nations in the entire world.
Getting a dog isn’t automatically going to turn you into a workout warrior. You’re not going to start wanting to go to the gym every day because you have a dog.
But a dog will help you get outside and get exercise without even thinking about it. Whether you’re walking your dog or throwing tennis balls to them in your backyard, it’ll make you more active than you are now.
All of this extra exercise will get your body in motion and help you inch closer to getting the recommended amount of exercise.
5. Reduces Your Chances of Dealing With Depression
Depression is something that affects about 3% of the country right now. It’s a condition that can wreak havoc on people’s personal and professional lives and make it difficult for them to function.
If you’re one of the millions of people fighting the good fight when it comes to depression, your dog could make your depression problems a thing of the past. Studies have revealed that playing with and petting a dog can increase a person’s serotonin levels.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is believed to play a big role in a person’s happiness. By increasing serotonin levels, you might be able to keep depression at bay more often.
6. Gives Your Immune System a Big Boost
Do you have an infant living in your home?
In theory, it might seem as though it’s not a good idea to bring a dog around a baby, especially when their immune system is still developing. But studies have shown that raising a child in a home with a dog could actually prevent certain health conditions.
Dogs can expose infants and young children to “good” bacteria that they might not otherwise encounter during their younger years. This bacteria can help strengthen their immune systems.
This will stop your child from getting sick, and in turn, it’ll also stop you from getting stick after spending a lot of time around a sick child.
7. Fights Off Your Chronic Pain
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic pain is problematic for a large percentage of Americans. They’ve found that about one out of every five people has some kind of chronic pain.
A lot of these people turn to prescription drugs to deal with the pain. But interestingly enough, studies have found that dogs can help people manage chronic pain better than prescriptions can in some cases.
One study, in particular, suggested that people who go through animal therapy with dogs are better equipped to deal with chronic pain than those who rely on prescriptions alone. These people report turning to medications less often than others.
Try spending more time around your dog to see what impact it has on your chronic pain if you suffer from it. Make sure your dog is pain-free at all times, too, by providing them with the products available through Innovet.
8. Motivates You to Socialize More With Others
Socializing with other people can be great for your health. Those who spend a ton of time socializing will usually:
• Have stronger immune systems
• Improve their moods
• Lower their dementia risks
And when you have a dog, it’s almost impossible to get away with not socializing with others.
Almost every time you take your dog for a walk, you’re going to cross paths with other dog owners. You’re also going to run into people when you take your dog to the park.
The more often you and your dog are out, the more often you’re going to find yourself socializing with people. It won’t be long before you’re enjoying all the benefits of socialization.
9. Extends Your Life Expectancy
Thanks to all the breakthroughs that have been made in the medical world over the years, you would think that Americans would be living longer these days. But that isn’t the case!
In recent years, the U.S. life expectancy rate has gone down. Americans can still expect to live to be about 78 years old on average, but that number used to be almost 79 years old just five years ago.
So, why is the life expectancy rate plummeting? It’s partly because of things like high blood pressure, heart disease, and, of course, stress. It’s also because people aren’t making nearly enough time to get out and exercise.
As we’ve explained a few times now, dogs can help you make improvements in all of these areas. By doing it, you can bring your life expectancy back up and live a longer and more productive life.
10. Turns You Into a Happier Person Overall
If we asked you to guess how happy America is as a whole, what would you say?
You might think that our nation is very happy overall. But in reality, a recent report showed that the U.S. is only the 18th happiest country in the world.
Are you lacking happiness in your life? You can change that almost immediately by bringing a dog into the mix.
Dogs will make you forget all of the troubles you have when you’re playing with them or taking them for a walk. They’ll help you forget any problems that might be plaguing you and allow you to focus on what’s truly important.
This will turn you into a happier person, which will also make you healthier in both a physical and mental sense at the same time.
Dog People Tend to Be Healthier People in the Long Run
Dogs are awesome. From the second you take one home with you, you’ll fall in love with them and wonder how you ever survived without them.
You’ll also join the millions of other dog people who have seen their health improve after getting a dog. You’ll lower your blood pressure, get rid of stress, and start exercising more than you have in recent months.
Before long, you’ll start to feel healthier. You’ll also tell everyone you know about what a big difference your dog has made in your life.
Check out our blog for more great articles on dogs.