If you are a pet owner, you probably already know the incredible value of having a loyal companion in your life. Dogs can bring us so much joy and can positively impact our mental and physical wellbeing in so many ways. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the scientifically proven ways that dogs and other pets can improve our quality of life.
Why Pets Are So Important
Dogs have been around for a really long time, making them not only man’s best friend, but also our oldest one. Humans have loved and treated them well for most of human history, and dogs have also done the same for their people. Many dogs have even sacrificed their own lives to protect humans from harm. Without them, many of us wouldn’t be here.
One of the most amazing things about dogs is the positive impact they have on people’s lives. They can lift our mood, give us much-needed company, and even change our behaviour. People who own dogs often report feeling more sociable, happier, and more relaxed. They’re so well-loved that dogs are even considered sacred in some parts of the world, where they can be worshiped. If that isn’t love, we don’t know what is.
The Benefits of Owning a Dog
There are many physical and mental health benefits that come with owning a pet. Often, just the presence of a pet helps to lift our spirits and makes us feel calmer and more relaxed. Pet ownership can help to increase our empathy and compassion, which can also help decrease stress and improve our mood.
Pets can also help us to feel less lonely. Studies have shown that people who live with pets, experience less symptoms of loneliness and greater life satisfaction compared to people who do not have a pet.
How Pets Improve Mental Health
Research suggests that having a dog can significantly boost your overall mental health. Dogs may even be able to do more to improve your mental health than medical treatment, social support networks, or good sleep routines. According to researchers at the Centre for the History of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, dog owners are generally less anxious, and they also tend to have a better life expectancy. In fact, a study published in the journal Medical Care found that people with anxiety disorders were 36% less likely to develop an anxiety-related condition if they lived with a dog.
In addition to emotional support, pets may help lower your blood pressure and may even provide an overall sense of calmness.
How Pets Improve Physical Health
Owning a dog can benefit our physical health in many ways. Dogs help you to be more active and studies have found that when people have pets, they tend to spend more time exercising. Walking your dog a few times per week can improve cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure, and decrease stress.
Dogs also encourage us to socialise with others. Whether it’s meeting people on the street or in a dog park, or simply having someone come up to pat your dog, spending time with your pet can help to improve your social skills, whilst keeping you fit and healthy.
There are endless benefits of having a dog. They are incredible creatures who bring us so much joy, and many of us consider pet ownership as one of the best things we’ve ever done in our lives. As a pet owner, it’s great to know that your pet can have a profound impact on your wellbeing, and that there are scientifically proven ways that pets can make your life better.