You’ve probably always known that your dog can make you happy, but did you know that an increasing body of research shows that your furry BFF can also make you healthy? We’re spillin’ the kibble on some of the many ways that pet ownership can bring wag-worthy wellness into your life. From improving heart health and reducing stress levels through daily walks, to decreasing social isolation by making new friends through your canine companion, to even improving your gut health by sharing some smooches with your pup, the benefits are pawsitively incredible. Not to mention, spending time with your dog can provide an instant mood lift and can even help diffuse tense conversations. So take a moment to give thanks to your doggo for giving you all the love and these amazing health benefits too! You’ve probably always known that your dog can make you happy, but did you know that an increasing body of research shows that your furry BFF can also make you healthy?
We’re spillin’ the kibble on some of the many ways that pet ownership can bring wag-worthy wellness into your life:
Walk the walk.
You may be tempted to skip out on daily exercise, but one look at that pair of expectant puppy-dog eyes can be convincing enough to lace up your sneakers and hit the walking path, leash in hand. The health benefits of walking are well established: it can improve heart health, blood pressure, stress level, sleeping habits, weight management, and more. If you and your walking buddy are bored with your current route, explore one of your local dog parks or dog-friendly trails.
Improves heart health
Walking is not just good for your dog; it’s also great for your heart. Regular walking can increase your heart rate, improve blood circulation, and strengthen your cardiovascular system. This low-impact exercise is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. So, take your furry friend for a stroll and give your heart a healthy boost!
Lowers blood pressure
Walking can also help lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure is a common condition that can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease and stroke. Regular exercise, such as walking, can help reduce blood pressure and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. So, put on your walking shoes, grab the leash, and enjoy the benefits of lower blood pressure with your furry companion.
Reduces stress level
Walking with your dog can do wonders for your stress levels. Spending time outdoors, surrounded by nature, and enjoying the company of your loyal companion can help you relax and unwind. Walking releases endorphins, which are natural stress-fighting chemicals in the body. So, take a break from your hectic schedule, grab the leash, and let your furry friend help you de-stress and find inner peace.
Improves sleeping habits
If you’ve been struggling with sleepless nights, your dog may be the key to a good night’s rest. Regular exercise, such as walking, can help regulate your sleep patterns and improve the quality of your sleep. By tiring out your body and mind, walking can promote deeper and more restful sleep. So, take your pup for an evening stroll, and both of you will enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
Aids in weight management
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall well-being. Walking is a simple and effective way to manage your weight and keep those extra pounds at bay. By burning calories, building muscle, and boosting your metabolism, regular walks with your dog can help you maintain a healthy weight. So, grab the leash, head outside, and let your furry friend be your fitness motivator.
A recent study found that dog ownership can lead to reduced social isolation in people, including seniors. Make a date with your pup – and a friend! – to do some shopping or chatting over refreshments. Many shops are dog-friendly, as are tons of restaurant patios and breweries.
Reduces social isolation
Dogs are known to be social creatures, and they can help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation in their owners. The companionship and unconditional love provided by dogs can improve mental well-being and decrease feelings of social isolation. Taking your dog for walks, visiting dog parks, or joining dog-related activities can provide opportunities for social interaction with other dog owners and animal lovers. So, grab the leash, head out into the world, and let your pup be your social ambassador.
Benefits seniors in particular
For seniors, owning a dog can have numerous benefits. Dogs provide companionship, promote physical activity, and reduce feelings of loneliness and depression. Taking care of a dog can give seniors a sense of purpose and responsibility, increasing their overall well-being and quality of life. Walking with their furry friend can also help seniors stay active, maintain mobility, and improve cardiovascular health. So, if you’re a senior looking for a joyful and fulfilling way to spend your golden years, consider welcoming a furry companion into your life.
Encourages socializing with others
Having a dog can open doors to new friendships and social connections. When you take your dog for walks or visit dog-friendly places, you’re likely to meet other dog owners and enthusiasts. This common interest can be a great conversation starter and help facilitate new social connections. Whether it’s chatting with fellow dog owners at the park or joining dog-related events and clubs, your dog can be a social catalyst and help you expand your social network. So, let your dog be your wingman and embrace the social opportunities that come with owning a dog.
Love a dog who can’t hold their licker? Kissing your pup may actually improve your health by contributing “good” bacteria to your gut microflora. And heck, if you aren’t grossed out by it, it’s a lot cheaper than those fancy probiotic yogurts!
Contributes good bacteria to gut microflora
The human gut is home to trillions of bacteria, collectively known as gut microbiota. These bacteria play a crucial role in various aspects of health, including digestion, immune function, and mental well-being. Owning a dog can introduce a diverse range of bacteria into your home, including beneficial bacteria that can contribute to a healthy gut microflora. So, go ahead, share a kiss with your pup, and let them help you maintain a happy and balanced gut.
An affordable alternative to probiotic yogurts
Probiotics, which are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial to health, have gained popularity for their potential to improve digestion and boost immune function. While probiotic yogurts and supplements can be expensive, owning a dog can be a more affordable alternative to promote a healthy gut. By simply sharing your living space with your four-legged friend, you can introduce a diverse array of bacteria into your environment, which can have a positive impact on your gut health. So, skip the yogurt aisle and let your dog be your natural and cost-effective probiotic.
Feel the love.
Spending time with your pet can provide an instant mood lift, and scientists also say that your dog can recognize human emotions and even help diffuse a tense conversation.
Provides an instant mood lift
The unconditional love and affection that dogs offer can have a profound impact on your mood and emotional well-being. Interacting with your dog, whether it’s through playtime, cuddles, or simply being in their presence, can release feel-good hormones, such as oxytocin and serotonin. These hormones are known to improve mood, reduce stress, and promote a sense of happiness and calm. So, take a moment to appreciate your furry friend’s love and let them brighten your day with their contagious joy.
Recognizes human emotions
Dogs have an amazing ability to recognize and respond to human emotions. They can pick up on subtle cues, such as facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice, to understand how you’re feeling. Whether you’re happy, sad, or stressed, your dog can sense your emotions and provide comfort and support. Their empathy and intuitive nature make them excellent emotional companions and trusted confidants. So, when you’re feeling down or in need of a listening ear, turn to your loyal canine companion for some unconditional love and understanding.
Helps diffuse tense conversations
Dogs have an uncanny ability to diffuse tense situations and bring a sense of calm and peace. When conflicts arise or emotions run high, the presence of a dog can help alleviate tension and create a more relaxed atmosphere. Their non-judgmental nature and soothing presence can help to redirect focus, encourage open communication, and foster a sense of unity and connection. So, the next time you find yourself in the midst of a heated conversation, let your furry friend be the mediator and bring harmony to the situation.
Take some time to give thanks to your doggo for giving you all the love, plus some pretty incredible health benefits, too!