Dogs have earned a well-deserved titled as man’s best friend. Since time immemorial, they have served a number of roles beside their human masters. Now, while we already know that they’re great to be with, did you also know that they can be ultimately great for your health? Here are the biggest reasons why dog people live much longer than your run-of-the-mill, average non-dog folks.
Dogs help cardiovascular health.
One of the first things that you notice with dogs is that they’re crazily active—they’re always running all over the place. As dog owners, you likely have had to run to keep up. At the very least, dog owners get a lot of heart healthy walking time when taking their beloved pooches outside. So long as you stick to this, you’re likely to stay healthy longer. In fact, a Swedish study has found that dog owners are 21 percent less likely to die of heart-related causes and many others.
Dogs are great for well-being.
It isn’t just with physical health that dogs can be beneficial—they also boost mental health and well-being. Dogs are very attuned and sensitive to the moods and feelings of their owners. That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised if your dog is all over you when you’re feeling down. They’ll start jumping at you, initiate cuddling and start to lick you a lot. It’s their way of cheering you up—and it works. Dog owners have reported feeling less negative emotions because they have a dog around to perk things up.
Dogs fend off loneliness.
There have been many other studies that have shown that dogs are great companions for those who are advancing in age or even those who are suffering from empty nest syndrome. That’s when their kids are grown up and out of the house already. The addition of a dog has a potent cheering up effect because they become something to be cared for and nurtured. More than that, the vitality and energy that dogs bring into a household is often enough to jumpstart dampened energies in those who are feeling lonely.
Dogs breed responsibility.
Taking care of a dog isn’t a walk in the park, and it shouldn’t be. Your pet needs to be fed, cleaned after, and even nurtured when sick. All these are responsibilities that need to be taken care of. Households that do meet these responsibilities regularly are likelier to breed people who are themselves conscious and responsible. Those are critical behaviors that play into the long term survival and even success of any person—making them more likely to develop and succeed.
Dogs lower allergy occurrences.
A final big benefit has been found in children who are brought into households with dogs already present. Studies have found that these situations lower the incidence of children developing allergies. This is a particularly big benefit because allergies tend to put a dampener on the quality of life of a person. While an explanation hasn’t been found, many trace it to the constancy of exposure to dog hairs. The body adapts itself to the environment it finds itself in, therefore resisting that and other potent allergens.
Dogs are an indispensable part of many people’s lives. They’re great companions and great friends and add a lot of spark in life. More than that, however, they also help us live longer because of who and what they are. If you have a dog in your life, make sure to give them a thank you. They’re helping you live longer simply by being there.