For decades now, dogs have been fondly referred to as man's best friend. Although it is a term based upon a perceived mutual respect for one another, science is finding that perhaps the relationship between man and dog goes beyond that mutual admiration and need for one another's company. There may actually be some health benefits to enjoy as a result of the dog you keep in your home as a companion.
According to researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as noted by Animal Planet, having pets in the home can actually help young children build up a stronger immune system. Specifically, it was found that when children were exposed to pets and pet dander at a young age, they were much less likely to develop allergies to pets in the future. Generally speaking, having a dog in the home also helped build up a stronger immune system, meaning you'll get sick less often just by keeping a companion dog around.
Get You Moving
Whether or not you're a fan of walking, running, and getting outdoors for some fresh air, your dog needs those things to lead a healthy life of its own. Your dog's need for daily exercise can help to boost your own overall health by simply going for a walk with your pet. This will in turn help you better control your weight and fight back against diseases such as diabetes and other health-related illnesses. The next time Fido needs a walk, don't ignore the dog. Embrace the opportunity to bond and go for a walk!
Better Heart Health
Speaking of your health, the more your dog gets you moving, the better. Sedentary lifestyles and obesity have been directly linked to poor heart health. If your dog gets you up and active on a regular basis, it is doing your heart a major favor in the process.
There is a reason that animals are used as companions for returning veterans of war in the United States. Those struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, often go through bouts of depression or suffer from higher anxiety and stress in life. A dog companion can help alleviate a lot of stress by simply offering a loving presence in the home. Dogs don't care if you've had a bad day or a good day, they want give and receive love and attention all the same. The interaction between an owner and a dog can provide instant relief to those struggling with depression, stress or anxiety.
Improved Social Life
Last but not least, a dog is a great conversation starter. Everything from dog parks to training classes offer you the chance to mingle with other individuals who own a dog, and make it easy to break the ice as you talk about your four-legged companions. In fact, the federal government found in a study that disabled individuals with a companion dog received an average of eight friendly interactions while out shopping with their dog, compared to an average of just one for those without a dog.
Next time you're thinking about getting a dog or find yourself at the local humane society volunteering for a few hours, consider bringing home a pet that could change your life in more ways than one. If you have a four legged love, reward them with all natural Winnie’s Cookies. After all the ways they benefit us, we should make sure to show them how much we appreciate them right back!