The benefits of having dogs as pets

February 28, 2020

Since the domestication of dogs 15,000 years ago, dogs and humans have lived together as companions. But while originally dogs were only kept by humans as work animals or protection, relationships with these animals have progressed to ones of love and empathy towards one another with 90 million dogs owned as pets in the United States in 2019. As relationships with dogs have grown and changed, so has our understanding of the physical, emotional and psychological impacts dogs can have on humans. 

As a dog owner, you are much more likely to stay active! Frequent exercise is always recommended by doctors to maintain health and keeping a dog exercised and happy requires you to be active. Walking your dog, going on runs or playing with them not only keeps them healthy but owners healthy too. Exercising with your pet can also help you maintain or acquire a healthy weight. 

Studies show that dogs are also beneficial for improved heart health. Dogs have been connected to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol and a reduced chance of heart disease and heart attacks. Dog owners who have heart attacks experience better survival rates following the attack.  

Research has shown that dogs and cats lower a child’s chance of becoming allergic to pets by up to 33 percent and may even strengthen immune systems. Individuals over the age of 65 who own dogs have also reported less doctor visits as opposed to those who do not. Dogs can also help their owner’s social lives as they are more likely to interact with people who are also dog owners. 

Canine companions also provide emotional and psychological relief. Pets have been proven to lower blood pressure and anxiety levels as well as release serotonin and dopamine in the brain which result in calm and happiness. Dogs have also been shown to ease tension in stressful situations. 

Dogs also add meaning, purpose, routine and structure to their owner’s lives. This is important because it prevents depression and loneliness as well as disease and a decline in brain function. Dogs are able to do these things because they force their owners to continue to do things in their daily lives instead of staying inactive at home.  

Having dogs as companions has always been to benefit humans, but only in recent decades have people realized just how beneficial dogs really are. Not only do they provide countless health benefits like lower stress levels and improved cardiovascular health, but emotional ones too like prevention of depression and loneliness. While not all people may want a dog as a pet, it is undeniable that dogs offer multiple benefits as companions. This is what will continue the timeless trend of dog ownership in the future. 

 

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