Some people adopt dogs just to dress them in the latest Chanel couture; and yes, that is a valid reason. But dogs bring so much more to our lives, affecting our mental and physical health in so many ways.
8 Ways Dogs Benefit our Mental & Physical Health
1. More Time Outside
One of the best things a pet dog brings to our lives is more time outside. Dogs need to roam the world around them, which means that you will need to roam too. While it’s true that dogs are den animals, and like to feel enclosed and safe while sleeping or relaxing, their need to sniff and explore their world cannot be denied. Get used to fresh air!
2. Oxytocin Flood
Those magical, euphoric feelings sweeping over you while bonding with your dog are not just in your imagination. Locking eyes with your furry friend and gazing lovingly into that adorable face triggers the release of oxytocin, the “feel good” drug into your system.
Addicting, yes, but harmful? No! This calm and happy high is 100% natural, and available to you right now at your neighborhood shelter or animal rescue.
3. Reduced Stress
Stressed? A recent study found that families with pet dogs produce children with lower anxiety and lower levels of the "stress hormone" cortisol. Just the act of petting a dog can help center and relieve a child’s (or adult’s) anxious psyche.
4. Lower the Chance of Heart Problems
Heart disease affects 610,000 Americans and is the leading cause of death in the US; but don’t fear. That happy little guy that smothers you with kisses every time you come home also helps to protect your heart against disease. Research conducted on heart attack survivors even revealed that heart attack patients with dogs recovered more quickly.
5. Lower Blood Pressure
Want to lower your blood pressure? Pet a dog. A study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information revealed that petting a dog lowers hypertension. Other studies have shown that in some cases, dogs help reduce high blood pressure even better than medications!
6. Remind us to Play
We all need a reminder to set aside work and make time for play. Dogs know instinctively that goofing around is an important part of life. Playing with your dog relieves stress, boosts creativity and helps one feel younger.
7. Improved mental health
Many of us experience mental health issues. One of the best ways to improve mental health is to simply adopt a pet. 60% of pet owners suffering from severe mental illness declared their pets to be one of the most important aspects to their improved well being, affecting their sense of control and feelings of security.
8. Better sleep quality
The benefits of adopting a dog stretch far beyond how great they look in a fancy handbag (although that is important). These adorable creatures take care of us, love us even at our worst and benefit our overall health. Try improving your life by loving one of these incredible creatures.