The Health Benefits of Dog Ownership

By Rebecca Jones

Everyone knows that a dog is man’s best friend but did you know he is also good for man’s health? In honor of Bring Your Dog to Work Day here are 5 health benefits of dog ownership.

Dog Owners are Happier

It’s hard to be sad when you come home to a smiling face and wagging tail every day.  Having a loyal companion reduces loneliness and depression which in turn increases quality of life. Owning a dog can even affect your brain chemistry, releasing endorphins that act as a natural anti-depressant.

They Live Longer

Not only are pet owners happier but research shows that they live longer as well. Dogs help you cope with stress, aid in social interaction and reduce depression. Because of the higher quality of life in general people are less likely to suffer from illness, feel more empathy towards others and tend to have higher self-esteem all of which are contributing factors to longevity.

They Have Lower Blood Pressure

Dogs help reduce stress in humans, this combined with the added exercise dog owners tend to get can help lower cholesterol and keep you healthier in general. Recent studies indicate that even when a pet owner is not with their dog they still tend to cope better with stress then their non-pet owner counterparts.

They Have a Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Dog owners tend to have lower cholesterol than the rest of the population. This combined with lower blood pressure, and regular exercise makes dog owners less likely to suffer from heart disease.

They Recover Faster From Illnesses

In a recent study researchers found that dog owners that suffered heart attacks were twice as likely to fully recover as those without dogs. Whether it’s the feeling of responsibility or just the overall increased well being that comes from pet ownership dog owners have a much higher rate of recovery after serious illness.

There’s no denying that pets are good for our health. Whether they are getting us out for exercise or just being sympathetic after a hard day at the office dogs can greatly improve the quality of our lives with their unconditional love and devotion.