If you love dogs, then there’s some good news for you. Did you know that having a dog is good for your health? According to a report in the Harvard Health Letter companion animals have more dependable behaviour in comparison to our human companions. Dogs, as we all know, offer unconditional love and form a completely non-judgemental bond with their owner. Dogs are being recommended as a holistic way of dealing with stress because having a furry friend lowers blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety levels.
Dr Warwick Anderson of the Baker Medical Institute in Melbourne demonstrated that pet owners had appreciably lower risk factors for cardiovascular disease than non-owners. The McHarg et al. survey also reported enhanced physical and mental health among dog-owners. Dog owners visited doctors less often and faced less issues like heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or insomnia. In the survey, 79% of pet owners found it restful to be with their pet when things went wrong and 91% felt very close to their pet.
Dog owners also tend to be more physically fit. When you walk or exercise your dog, you too are getting your daily dose of heart-healthy exercise.
Pets also act as emotional substitutes for spouses, romantic partners and children. A 1986 survey in the Rhode Island metropolitan area (USA) revealed that the people who felt closer to their pets were probably those without a current spouse or romantic partner, who have no children or whose children have left home.
Dog ownership, studies show, also help to strengthen family bonds. Apart from this, one tends to make new friends owing to having a pet.
In today’s busy world where people seem to have a closer relationship with their phones and find themselves increasingly isolated, owning a dog can bring love and companionship into their lives and thereby make them healthier and more peace.