Genuine love. Constant companionship and entertainment. Dog lovers know better than anyone that the benefits of having a dog are invaluable. But are those benefits based on feelings—or science?
Most of us dog lovers know spending time with furry companions does wonders for our wellbeing. Living with dogs brings out your happiest, healthiest self. They can help you cope with mental conditions—and so many more. This post is going to explore 10 science-backed benefits of owning a pet.
10 Reasons To Get A Dog
Alone No More
Dogs are there for you in a way that humans can’t. They love you unreservedly; they offer you emotional support and endless cuddles that help combat symptoms of social isolation. A small Australian study revealed that the benefits of owning a dog reduce loneliness.
Moreover, a national survey of pet owners and non-pet owners by the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute discovered that 85% of respondents think that living with dogs reduces loneliness. Most agree that human-pet interactions can help address social isolation.
Dogs Promote Good Heart Health
Living with a dog can help you live a longer, more fulfilling life. An extensive review of research published in 2019 found that long-time dog owners had lower blood pressure levels and improved responses to external stressors. Research has concluded that the bond between dogs and humans reduces stress, which is a significant cause of cardiovascular issues.
Dogs Help You Relax
Your furry best friend can offer more than comfort; dogs can ease your worries when you need to the most. Multiple studies reveal that therapy dogs help reduce stress and anxiety in uneasy people.
Even just caressing a spirited dog lowers heart rate, blood pressure, slows breathing and relaxes muscle tension. Scientists at Washington State University discovered that just 10 minutes of petting a dog can significantly impact your health.
Dogs Are The Perfect Crisis Buddies
Dogs can help you overcome a psychological crisis. Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine found that military veterans with PTSD do better psychologically and physiologically when they own a therapy dog. Ex-soldier with a therapy dog experienced significantly fewer symptoms of PTSD and displayed improved coping skills.
Dogs Encourage You to Exercise.
Living with a dog means daily walks outside. Those long walks along trails and paths add up to actual workouts. A 2019 British study found that dog owners are almost four times more likely than non-dog owners to meet daily exercising recommendations. On average, dog owners spend approximately 300 minutes every week walking with their furry workout buddies. That’s 200 more minutes walking than people living without a dog.
Dogs Add to Your Appeal—Even Online.
If you’re in your 20’s and dating around (unsuccessfully), getting a dog may help you get dates. A dog’s presence may make people appear more likable and charming.
In a series of studies, men were more likely to get a woman’s contact information when these men had a dog along with them. In a different study, researchers asked people to rate random people in pictures. They found that people looked more peaceful and happier when they appeared with a dog. Moreover, a study by Pet Wingman discovered that men and women get more right swipes when they include a profile photo of their dogs.
Dogs Make You More Approachable.
Walking with your furry buddy can make you more friendly and give people a reason to come talk to you. Think about how easily you’ve spoken with people, your neighbors, or new friends just because they own dogs.
Researchers have discovered that nearly 40% of dog owners had an easier time making friends. Dogs are a classic way to get to know people and build new friendships.
A study conducted at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University revealed that people who have a solid bond with their dogs feel more connected in their relationships and communities.
Dogs Are Adorable
There’s a reason why pups are so lovable: a puppy’s facial characteristics possess a “baby schema.” These “humanistic releasers” trigger a natural caregiver response in humans. So the next time you find yourself fixated on your new best friend, know those big eyes and floppy ears are scientifically appealing.
Dogs Make Us Happier
Just looking at a spirited dog can lift your mood. A 2009 study in Japan discovered that gazing into your dog’s eyes raises your level of oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone.” Besides the health benefits of owning a dog, they are the original mood boosters. According to a 2017 study, those with AIDS are less inclined to suffer from depression if they own a pet.
Dogs Help Elders with Cognitive Function and Social Interaction
Studies investigating the effects of dogs on seniors discovered positive results. One study revealed that pet therapy promotes the healthy cognitive function of residents with mental disorders in long-term care. Another study revealed notable reductions in troubling behaviors in seniors with dementia and improved social intercommunications.
Whether you’re considering getting a dog pet or in the last stages of adopting one, living with four-legged friends can do miracles for your wellbeing. There are several health benefits of owning a dog, from increased opportunities to exercise, go outside, and socialize.
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