Dogs are considered man's best friend. But did you know that having a dog gives you several health benefits?
In studies done by medical professionals, dog owners benefit from their pet's presence in several ways:
1. Improved cardiovascular health - Dog owners have been proven to have blood pressure and cholesterol lower than ordinary people. These factors reduce the chance for cardiovascular diseases. Stroking a pet has long been known to reduce blood pressure.
A study from the New York State University found that these benefits continue even without the pet available. The study tested a group of stockbrokers with hypertension. They concluded that just being a pet-owner can lower blood pressure.
Dog owners also have blood cholesterol levels lower than normal. Five thousand four hundred people were tested by the Baker Medical Research Institute of Australia and with the results showing pet owners having not just lower blood pressure but also lower levels of blood triglycerides and cholesterol compared to people who didn't own any pets.
2. Faster recovery time and higher survival rates - Hospital studies have found that seniors and recently operated on patients responded better to treatment and got better quickly while they were in contact with dogs and other therapy animals. Just petting a dog can be relaxing and therapeutic for recovering patients.
Also, dog owners have a greater chance to survive after suffering from a serious illness. Several studies have discovered that pet owners who suffered from a heart attack were more likely to be alive a year after they were discharged from the hospital than those who did not own pets. Another New York study found that pets affected their survival rate more even more than the presence or company of family members or friends.
3. Fewer visits to the doctor - Studies conducted at Cambridge and UCLA have found that owning a pet corresponds to overall improved health and less need for hospital visits. A Medicare study of its elderly patients also discovered that those who own dogs visit the doctor less than those who don't have a pet. Pets save our time and money too!
4. Mental Wellness - Patients who have dogs have also been known to have better emotional health than their counterparts. They offer unconditional love and affection; their presence alone helps reduce loneliness for sick people who have otherwise been isolated. Several studies of people with major illnesses have shown that the stress of fighting the disease is significantly reduced when they had a dog as company.
As you can see, having a dog is a great health & wellbeing support, for the joy that you get from owning one and the health benefits that you can receive!