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The bond between man and canine is strong. If you’ve ever owned a dog, you know this. Even science says there’s some sort of emotional transference that often happens between the two of you: many dogs end up developing tics and traits similar to that of their owner.
Dogs bring more to the table than simply being a close companion or a working partner. They can actually boost human’s health, too. And even make you a better person. I’m sure you’ve heard these things in some capacity before, but today we’re going to spread some good news – just in case you need to convince someone that you need to foster a dog during these times (or get another one… or two or three…) because apparently, you’re just upping your chances for a better life.
Dogs make your life better and that’s a fact. Here’s why:
It seems like everyone these days could use this benefit. Called the “pet effect,” studies have found that humans blood pressure can be lowered just by touching a dog. This calming aid might have something to do with oxytocin, a bonding hormone that you get when you interact with your furry best friend.
Oh yeah, and according to the CDC, in addition to blood pressure, pet owners also generally enjoy better levels of cholesterol and triglyceride.
In recent years there’s been a rise of pet therapy to help even the most challenging disorders. Probably because of this: A Harvard School of Public Health survey found that 87% of people who regularly spent time with a pet reported it was an effective method of stress relief.
And then there’s this: they took kids who have trouble reading and has them practice aloud with a trained dog and handler. Guess what? Those kids showed fewer anxiety symptoms.
Plain and simple, dog owners are more likely to live longer, according to these scientists. It mostly has to do with cardiovascular disease.
This makes sense, since Harvard Medical School reports that owners who are out of shape also tend to have dogs who mirror them – and that obesity has reached epidemic proportions lately among canines, just as it has with us humans. If you have an overweight dog, it could be a sign that you need to tie on your running shoes and grab the leash. To back that up, the journal Gerontologist says they discovered that older adults who walked dogs went to the doctor less, and maintained lower body mass index and fewer daily living limitations.
According to TIME, a 2015 study said that growing up with a dog in the house can decrease allergies and asthma in children – AND may provide immune-boosting benefits for adults, too. Awesome.
Harvard says dogs help you be calmer, more mindful, and more present in your life – and I guess we could all use a little more of that, especially in this day and age. Here’s how they say it helps, exactly.
Dogs make you more social, that’s a given. They help create friendships. And pets can offer better social support, which helps combat depression, anxiety – even loneliness.
Basically the gist of the story is: dogs are good for you. And that a good rule of thumb is to remember that a healthy, happy dog probably means a healthier livelihood for you.
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