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7 Surprising Health Benefits Of Owning A Dog

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Recent research shows that dogs can do so much more for our health than just reducing our stress levels! They can decrease the risk of asthma, improve your lifestyle, and more.

Here is our list of health benefits that owning a dog provides.

7. They make you more active

The results of the research done by the Journal of Physical Activity & Health back in 2013 show that dog owners tend to be more physically active than those who live without a dog, as they regularly walk long distances with their pets.

More than 60% of dog owners walk with their dog for more than 160 minutes per week, with an average frequency of four times a week, which is considerably longer than a usual walk.

In 2011 the same journal published a study showing that most dog owners keep their daily schedule of visiting a park regardless of the weather, while most people who don’t own a dog prefer to stay at home when the weather is bad. So, having a dog will make you more active, which in turn has a huge positive impact on your health.

6. They make you happier

In a study made by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, scientists studied the lives of 167 pet-owners and 50 non-pet owners and measured their levels of happiness, well-being, and depression.

Results indicated that owning a pet makes you considerably happier and provides you with a greater sense of well-being.
Furthermore, dog owners, in particular, tend to be less lonely, less depressed, and have higher self-esteem.

5. They make you less stressed at work

Employees in Greensboro, North Carolina, conducted an unusual self-reported test of taking their dogs with them to their workplace. Interestingly enough, those who did report lower stress levels than their colleagues who did not.
The results of the test were published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, and also indicated that bringing a dog to work benefits not only its owner but all the other workers as well.

So, if your workplace allows dogs, you might want to bring them along to help your workmates and yourself enjoy lower levels of stress.

4. They make your kids less susceptible to different allergies

Having a dog also means that your kids have a lesser chance to suffer from asthma or childhood eczema.

Two studies presented in 2017 by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) at their Annual Scientific Meeting found out that those babies who were born in a house where a dog was already present during their mother’s pregnancy run a lower risk of experiencing allergic eczema during the first 10 years of their lives. The studies also found out that, oddly enough, dogs can protect kids from asthma, even if those kids are allergic to dogs.

3. They might detect your cancer

There are many rumors and stories regarding dogs sensing cancer in their owners far earlier than the owners themselves notice it, but there is also some science behind them.

A 2011 German study proved that dogs can indeed detect lung cancer from breath samples. During the experiment, dogs were even able to differentiate between those patients who had lung cancer and those who suffered from obstructive pulmonary disease.

There was more evidence of this in Japan, where a Labrador retriever detected bowel cancer reliably in its early stages in the patient’s breath.

2. They make you feel safer

It might seem like an obvious fact, but studies run by Mayo Sleep Clinic prove that having a dog in your bedroom makes you sleep better – if they are staying on the floor and not trying to jump on your bed.

“Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption,” says Dr. Lois Krahn, author of the study. “We found that many people find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.”

Your dog might also protect you from intruders, which is a very comforting thought if you think about it.

1. They make you age more gracefully

Just the presence of a dog in your house lower your chances of suffering Alzheimer’s or dementia outbursts. A study run in 2002 found out that among those who suffer from Alzheimer’s, the dog owners experience fewer behavioral problems.

Having a dog can benefit an elderly person – you always have somebody to walk with, talk to and take care of. Statistics also say that heart attack survivors and those who suffer from abnormal heart rhythms live longer if they own a dog, which is yet another benefit for older people.

No matter how old are you, having a dog has its benefits. But let’s face it: do you need any more reasons to share your home with one of those good boys?

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