14 reasons a dog will improve your life quality
If you own a dog you already know how emotionally rewarding this is. Especially when welcomed by an over-excited-tail-waving creature. Although hard work and a big commitment, dogs can bring so much fun and joy. Here are 14 reasons a dog will improve your life quality.
According to multiple scientific pieces of evidence owning a dog has many physical and mental health benefits. It can even enhance your intelligence.
Physical Health Benefits
1.Stay fit and active
Physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64 suggest they should be physically active every day. Ideally, do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week.
Dog owners are way more likely to hit that goal. Especially when they consider it a responsibility to the dog, rather than exercise.
Plus, this helps people stay more active in their 70s and 80s. A study in the journal Gerontologist found that older adults who walked dogs experienced lower body mass index and fewer activities of daily living limitations.
A study at the University of Missouri showed that walking your dog was actually more effective for weight loss than having a membership in a gym or joining a diet plan. In this study, public housing residents who walked “loaner” dogs five times a week lost an average of 14.4 pounds over the course of a year.
Research has repeatedly found that daily dog walks help you lose weight. This is because they force you to into moderate physical activity for 10, 20, and even 30 minutes at a time.
3.Improve heart health
According to a study based on 2017 data, in the US someone dies of cardiovascular disease every 37 seconds and has a stroke every 40 seconds.
Having a dog is linked to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, and decreased triglyceride levels. This contributes to better overall cardiovascular health and fewer heart attacks.
This is not only due to physical exercise. Dogs have the ability to make you feel calm. According to Harvard University, blood pressure goes down simply by petting your dog.
Growing up in a house with a dog makes children less likely to develop allergies over the course of their lives. This is one of the less-known reasons a dog can improve your life quality.
Early-life exposure to household pets has the capacity to reduce risk for overweight and allergic disease. Since there is some evidence that pets also alter the gut microbial composition of infants.
5.Spotting cancer and diabetes
Some dogs have been trained to sniff out skin, kidney, bladder, and prostate cancer, among others.
There is also evidence that diabetic alert dogs, smell a volatile chemical compound released throughout the bodies of diabetics. Chemists have not yet singled out the exact compound.
Mental health Benefits
6.Reduce stress and anxiety
The benefits of bringing a dog to work are increasingly evident. More companies are catching on. This is proven to lead to much greater productivity and job satisfaction.
Studies show that people who interact with a pet while working have lower stress levels throughout the day.
7.Helping with crisis and trauma
Dog ownership can help those with mental health problems, recover, and feel better. For example, owning a dog helps you recover from personal trauma, such as bereavement.
They also help recover from a crisis. Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine discovered that military veterans with PTSD do better both physically and mentally when they have a service dog.
Veterans with a service dog tend to have significantly fewer symptoms of PTSD. Their coping skills show improvement as well.
8.Natural mood boosters
Caring for a dog helps relieve symptoms of depression and encourages people to be more positive. Therapy dogs have been shown to be effective in easing depression for a variety of people, old and young, sick, and healthy. This is one of the most well know reasons that a dog will improve your life quality.
Dogs can naturally lift your spirit. A 2009 study in Japan found that staring into your dog’s eyes raises your level of oxytocin. This is also known as the “love hormone.”
In 2017 a study among people with AIDS found that those owning a dog are less likely to suffer from depression.
9. Create purpose and meaning
Dogs help prevent loneliness and isolation. This is key in starving off disease and cognitive decline. They help you think beyond yourself.
This is creating a new meaning in life. A purpose to get up in the morning and take care of another being. This is especially important when you grow older. When people retire they lose that sense of daily routine.
Owning a dog helps them have some structure and meaning again. Apart from being a constant companion, they force you to continue to do things.
Kristi Littrell, Adoption Manager at Best Friends Animal Society in Utah says: “So, even if you’re not feeling well emotionally or physically, the dog doesn’t care. I mean, they care, but they still want you to feed them and take them for a walk.”
There are many ways in which your dog makes you more sociable. Your dog will get you out and about. Maybe even trying new things that you never considered before. Like exploring a new area to make your dog’s daily walk more interesting,
It is highly unlikely to chat with a stranger when you are walking alone. However, you will be surprised at how many times you will greet fellow dog walkers. There is just a special bond created by a common denominator. Your dogs.
Researchers have found that about 40% of dog owners have an easier time making friends. This is especially good when you are getting older. Then it becomes harder to get out and meet new people.
They can even help you get a date. Research has shown that a dog’s presence may make people appear more likeable and attractive.
In addition to that, a study revealed that people who have a strong attachment to a pet feel more connected in their other relationships and communities.
Dr Sandra McCune, a scientific leader in human-animal interaction at the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition states that: “Simply seeing people out walking dogs can also make a neighborhood feel safer, particularly for women.”
Dogs can also provide security for your home. In many cases, burglars were scared off by dogs barking. Their keen sense of hearing can detect unusual sounds or movements. Quite a benefit for your mental and physical health.
Enhancing cognitive skills
12.Teaching valuable skills
Training a dog requires time, effort, and patience. Developing these skills can be useful in other aspects of life. These are not the only cognitive skills that dogs can add to improve your life quality.
Dogs teach us to enjoy the smaller things in life. Like appreciating a walk outdoors. They can also teach kids a lot about responsibility. By making your kid responsible for certain aspects of their life, like feeding or washing them. Supervision is advised of course.
Plus, a 2017 study shows that caring for a pet helps children develop empathy. Children with dogs scored the highest for pet attachment.
“Dogs may help children to regulate their emotions because they can trigger and respond to a child’s attachment-related behavior.”
13.Improve cognitive function
Stroking a pet has also proven to decrease agitated behaviors among seniors diagnosed with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. This is because touch is one of the last senses affected by their symptoms.
The Alzheimer’s Society charity encourages people with dementia to keep their pets for as long as they can care for them. Dogs can provide unconditional love, support, and a reassuring routine. These are important factors, especially during tough times.
14.Improve tolerance to pain
The reasons a dog can improve your life quality start from an early age and expand to the elder years.
The interaction between a dog and its owner have also shown to improve tolerance to pain.
According to Dr. McCune “Being around a dog can decrease both physical and emotional perceptions of pain in children,”.
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