There’s good news for all the dog-lovers out there! As it turns out, bringing a dog home gets you more than just unconditional love and loyalty. Hanging out with your four-legged friend can actually do wonders for your health and wellness. In fact, science has backed the innumerable physical and mental health benefits of being a pup parent.
The Many Health Benefits Of Dogs
1. Instant Mood-Lifters
It’s official – having a canine companion has been linked with higher levels of self-esteem and positivity. Several studies have also shown that dog-owners are less likely to suffer from depression and mood disorders. In fact, merely being in the presence of a dog can boost the secretion of Oxytocin, ‘the feel good’ chemical in your body. According to experts, for people affected by clinical depression and anxiety disorders, being a dog parent proves be therapeutic and helps them deal with their symptoms in better ways.
2. Stress Free Smiles And Hearts
Having a pet to come home to actually leads to lower levels of stress throughout the day. It has been proven that playing with a dog decreases levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in your blood. Just the simple act of petting a dog lowers heart-rate and blood pressure. The presence of a dog is also linked to many more concrete benefits like lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This in turn leads to better cardiovascular health and lowers the risk of a heart attack.
3. Say Goodbye To Sickness
Having a dog around the house means that more germs enter your home, but while that may sound like a bad thing it actually isn’t! When our bodies are exposed to fewer germs, we end up not building immunity to them. This is because the presence of germs ensures that our bodies build up resistance against a greater variety of bacteria that we are exposed to. Greater resistance means better immunity which means lesser illnesses and fewer visits to the doctor’s clinic.
4. No More Achoos And Cough Cough
While people usually associate being a pet parent with greater chances of allergies, studies have shown that growing up in a household with a dog actually makes children less likely to develop allergies over the course of their lives. Children raised in the company of a dog also have a significantly lower risk of developing skin allergies and eczema.
5. Woof Your Way To Weight Loss
Having a canine companion entails frequent walks in the park and endless sessions of playing fetch. This ensures that dog owners get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise in a day. Their active lifestyle keeps them fit and in a better overall shape as compared to their puppy-less counterparts. In fact, a study of more than 2000 adults found that regular dog-walkers get more exercise and were less likely to suffer from obesity.
6. Early Cancer Detection
For a while now, there have been anecdotal accounts of dogs being able to sniff out cancerous cells in the body. Many pet parents have narrated incidents of their dogs constantly sniffing, nudging or licking a mole or lump in their body that was later diagnosed as cancerous. And now, scientific evidence has backed these stories, with dogs also being trained to detect different forms of cancer.
So what are you waiting for? You can now bring home a puppy from the nearest pet store or adoption center and tell your parents it’s for ‘health reasons’!