Pet lovers know that life is better with a furred friend around. You get a devoted companion, unconditional love, and daily entertainment. Science states that spending time with a pet companion does wonder for your wellbeing. For an active individual, a dog is a great companion because they join them for long walks, play fetch, and encourage them to stay healthy.
The American Heart Association released a scientific statement in May 2013 revealing that people who have a pet live longer and have a reduced heart disease risk. The research leans toward dogs that keep their owners healthier because they encourage them to be more active and spend more time outside the house. Recent research also states that adopting a dog is good for emotional and physical health because they make you healthier, happier and help you cope with a crisis. Let’s check how having a dog improves your wellbeing and health.
Pets make you feel less alone
Your furred friend is there for you when people can’t. They offer unconditional love, cuddles, and emotional support that help you feel better even when isolated from friends and family. A study revealed that people who have a dog feel less lonely because they have a companion to stay by their side when they need it.
The Human-Animal Bond Research Institute conducted a survey and revealed that 85% of people believe interaction with their cat or dog can lower loneliness. They think that spending time with their pets can help them fight social isolation, especially in the present context when social distancing is required to prevent the virus spread.
Dogs help your heart stay healthy
Having a dog companion can help you live longer. A collection of studies states that dog owners have a lower risk of death than people with other pets. Research shows that dog owners have lower blood pressure and respond better to stress; therefore, their cardiovascular system is healthier and stronger.
Harvard Health suggests that people who spend quality time with their dog can improve their heart health. Even just living with a dog can make a difference because the bond with a four-legged companion relieves stress. Stress is a major cause of health issues. Pet ownership is associated with a low risk of cardiovascular problems, but there isn’t a clear connection between the two to understand how it works. Dogs have a calming effect on people and get them to exercise more, and this can be one reason why pet owners have fewer heart issues. Some evidence also shows that owning a dog triggers lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
Pets help you fight stress
Your pet is a calming presence because it offers comfort and eases your worries. Studies tell that pets, and especially therapy dogs, can help you relieve anxiety and stress. When you arrive home after a busy day at work, snuggling with your pet makes you feel more relaxed and helps you forget about the issues you experienced throughout the day.
Even playing or petting a familiar dog or cat slows breathing, improves heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes muscle tension. The scientists at Washington State University concluded that spending time with a pet can positively impact your mental health because it boosts your mood. The study participants conducted registered a low level of cortisol, a hormone that triggers stress.
Pets, and especially dogs, help people recover psychologically from a traumatic event. The Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine states that military veterans struggling with PTSD feel better psychologically and physiologically after adopting a dog and spending time together. Veterans with a service dog have fewer PTSD symptoms than their peers who don’t have a pet and seem to cope better with adjusting to their new life.
A dog encourages you to be more physically active
A dog is the ideal exercise buddy because they have plenty of energy to keep you active the entire day. Even if you have a mini goldendoodle that adapts their physical activity to your style, you still are more active than if you didn’t have a pet because they need a couple of short walks daily. Hence, they encourage you to be more active and spend time away from your couch.
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A study from 2019 states that you are four times more likely than your friends who don’t have a pet to meet the recommended physical guidelines as a dog owner. Even the laziest dog takes you outside at least 300 minutes weekly, and that’s 200 minutes more than people who don’t have a furred friend.
When you have an active dog with plenty of energy, you need to develop training activities that keep them busy because if they get bored, they can wreak havoc on your house. So if you have a husky or beagle, you’ll soon get to know all paths, trails, and sidewalks in your city because they’re very active dogs.
A pet makes you more attractive
If you’re looking for a date, it may be the time to get a furred friend. Even if a turtle or a chinchilla can be excellent pets and companions, a cat or dog’s presence in your life makes you look more attractive and likable. You may think that a cat stays only indoors, and people won’t even know you have one. But you can share pictures with your new ball of fluff on social media and join cat lovers clubs to meet people who also have a cat. And with a little training, you can teach your cat to join you outdoors and behave similarly to a dog. Didn’t you hear about the social media influencers who take their cats with them on trips worldwide and even surf together?
If you’re not a cat person, then adopt a dog. Studies show that people look more relaxed and happier when they have a dog, making them look more attractive to other people. A study even reveals that both men and women swipe right immediately when they find a possible match with a pup in their profile photo.