6 Ways Dogs Keep Us Healthier

Beautiful ocean view with a young golden retriever sitting side view staring out at the water

Dogs are simply amazing creatures. They have an infectious "paw-sitivity", that we find hard to resist. They make us laugh with their antics and help us see the lighter side of life through their eyes. But we are far more lucky to have these beings in our world than we could ever guess. Here are 6 ways dogs may keep us healthier.


1. Exercise

This may be the most obvious point but it's an important one. Dogs love to be outside, walking, running, and exploring with their noses. This by default requires us to get outside in nature more than we might without them. The amount of exercise a dog may require can vary depending on age, breed, and health so choosing a dog to be your pal does come with the added responsibility to make sure your lifestyle fits in with the dog's activity needs. By having a dog of any kind, getting outside more often will be easier and even more enjoyable.

Photo of a dog (beagle) on a leash from side view, outside on a gravel trail



2. Dogs Make Us Happier

There is no doubt that dogs love us. They stare up at us with an unmitigated adoration that is hard to resist. We think of dogs as family members and we spoil them with toys, treats even clothes in some cases. But did you know that the joy a dog brings has very real health benifits? Dogs cause a human's brain to produce a hormone "oxytocin" known sometimes as the cuddle chemical. Interestingly this is the same chemical released between mothers and infants. It is also believed to have had a hand in the domestication of dogs.

Photo of dark haired woman smiling while hugging a yellow lab



3. Dogs Are Good For Your Heart

Besides the benifit of added exercise with a dog in your life there are more than a few other perks that can lead to a healthier heart. Many studies related to human interactions with dogs show a connection with lower blood pressure, less risk of heart disease, and fewer heart attacks.  Snuggling or even petting a dog can have a calming feeling called the pet effect that lowers stress, keeping blood pressure from spiking. The arguement for dog lovers certainly seems more pro than con.


4. Companionship For Health

Everyone needs a friend they can trust to be there for them, especially when they are upset, sad, or just plain lonely. For some of us there is nothing that matches the companionship of their dog. Dogs have a way of sensing when they are needed and when their person is feeling out of sorts. Many types of pets offer companionship and they are wonderful too but dogs display an empathy that sets them apart. They are able to read our body language, tone, and can often predict our mood perhaps even better than ourselves. It is a superpower that can set them apart from other pets.


5. A Dogs Work

It's unlikely that you will ever encounter a seeing eye cat or a police bird. These pets of course can make wonderful companions but dogs have a working role in our society like no other animal. From roles in law enforcement to search and rescue their jobs are many. There are service dogs that lead the blind, assist with anxiety attacks, and epileptic seizures. Some dogs can even help detect cancer in humans.  These are just a few examples of working roles dogs can be trained to take on that might improve quality of life, proving that they are simply amazing and society is better for them.

Dog in a harness with a person wearing work boots, dog is wearing a safety jacket



6. Stress And Anxiety Relief

Cancer patients, elderly homes, and hospitals are all examples of places that benifit greatly even from a short visit with a dog. Dogs that take on this role can be of any breed given the correct training. The smiles that always come out when a furry friendly face makes an appearance are unmistakable. But the effect is the same with any friendly dog in an average situation. Research shows that just petting a dog lowers the stress hormone "cortisol". So if it's your dog giving you snuggles or if you are lucky enough to come into contact with a friend or family member's pooch, make sure to take advantage of any moment you get for some amazing pupper love.

*It should be noted that having a dog is a responsibility not to be taken lightly and one should not get a dog solely for health.

What do you think ? How does your favorite dog help in times of stress?

Feel free to leave your comments below.


*Medical Disclaimer 

User acknowledges that the information in the website is provided as is and is for general and entertainment information only. It is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional consultation with a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your individual medical needs.


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