Everyone knows that they’re a man’s best friend, but we always sort of just assume that’s because they’re so furry and adorable. It turns out, however, that dogs can have some incredible health benefits beyond just their cuteness.
5 Health Benefits to Owning a Dog
1. Fewer Allergies
Contrary to popular belief having a dog can actually make you and your kids less likely to develop allergies, or skin conditions like eczema. Dogs can be dirty at times, but that filth generally causes your immune system to grow stronger, not weaker.
2. More Exercise
When you have a dog you have no choice but to be active. They require regular walks. They like to play catch and tugofwar. They love to wrestle. And they don’t take no for an answer. If you have a dog, you will naturally lead a more active lifestyle.
3. Greater Social Interaction
Part of being a dog owner is interacting with other dog owners. It’s a natural conversation starter and is a great way to meet new people. Whether you are just looking for a new friend, or for a relationship, your dog can help you break the ice. “What’s his name?” or “Where is she from?” can quickly lead to “What’s your name?” and “Where are you from?”
4. Better Security
While dog barking can be annoying at times, if a burglar were to ever break into your home, you would know instantly. More generally, dogs are great at early detection of all sorts of health concerns. They can be trained to help people with diabetes, by alerting them when their blood sugar levels are low. They just have a natural instinct for knowing when something is up.
5. Improved Mood
There are times in life when we just need to be loved and a dog is a great way to get that affection. Whether you’ve been gone all day or just a few minutes, they’re always happy that you are home, and seeing that happy, furry little face can easily turn a bad day into a good one.
6. Lower Stress, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Having a dog can do amazing things to a variety of health indicators. Dog owners have been shown to experience lower cholesterol and blood pressure, perhaps due to the companionship, the exercise and the greater social interaction with other dog owners. In general, it’s just easier to relax when you have a pet that lives so freely and in the moment. They are a constant source of joy and relaxation.
7. Help Fight Depression
Dogs are great for helping people through tough times for a variety of reasons. People dealing with depression often don’t want to exercise, dogs force them to. Depression can cause people to withdraw, while dogs constantly invite more social interaction. They are a great reminder that you are loved and a great example of how to find purpose in life. They are no substitute a great deal.