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Benefits Of Having Dog For Your Mental And Physical Health

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Benefits Of Having Dog For Your Mental And Physical Health
Benefits Of Having Dog For Your Mental And Physical Health

The arrival of a pet to a family is a moment full of happiness and responsibility. Those of us who have or have had a dog knows that his presence can make us tremendously happy. Whoever has a pet has a treasure. Having pets is one of the best things that could happen to you in life; you have a faithful friend who will not tire of playing and being with you, infinite love, and a multitude of benefits for your physical and mental health. We are not saying it, but that reality has been more than supported by science with various studies that analyze the different benefits that caring for an animal has for health. 

We want to thank those beautiful creatures that have once given us all their love and tell you about the benefits that their presence at home offers us, related to the physical and mental health of humans. 

When it comes to the mental well-being part, pets give us affection; they don't judge, question us, or laugh at us. And they don't discriminate against us because of our physical appearance or because of the mistakes we have made. 

The company of animals are perfect to improve your physique at all levels with walks and games, while their unconditional love considerably reduces the levels of stress and anxiety that we may have, improving the mental health of their owners. It’s not enough, it has been shown that those who have pets are less likely to die of heart problems and are less prone to allergies simply because of taking care of them. 

Owning a dog as a pet improves our quality of life, both emotionally and physically some of which is listed below. 

Benefits of having a dog for Your Physical Health 

Having a pet has a restorative effect and improves the physical health of the owner 

1. Helps You Exercise 

Many people with a very sedentary standard of living who see their health gradually suffer can benefit greatly if they decide to have a pet. For many of them, it is an excuse to go outside and take several walks each day. Not only do animals’ benefit, but their owners become more active, especially those who have zero willpower to move. When you have a dog at home, you are more likely to feel a desire for physical exercise and outdoor activities, and obviously, you have more opportunities to go for a walk or jog. All of you who have dogs will have enjoyed those afternoons out for a walk with them.  Other pets provide many benefits, but it is not very common to take a cat (who usually enjoys greater freedom) or a rabbit for a walk. Dogs need to go outside to relieve themselves several times a day, and they need long walks in order to enjoy a healthy life. Accompanying them on these walks also benefits you, as walking is an excellent aerobic exercise. But not only the walk, because playing with the animal in the open air, throwing objects and even running can help to perform a more intense exercise. 

Did you know that walking helps you sleep better, increases life expectancy, or reduces the risk of Alzheimer's? If you want to know more about the benefits of walking, you can consult this article. DOES WALKING HELP IN ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION. 

2. Better Cardiovascular Health 

Having a dog improves your cardiovascular health.  It not only takes care of the health of your heart but also increases the life expectancy of those who have suffered a heart attack. Not only because it allows you to exercise, but because the simple act of petting a dog, lowers the heart rate and blood pressure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States "walking regularly or playing with pets can lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels." Research conducted in China found that dog owners have the lowest cholesterol levels and are most likely to survive a heart attack. Petting a dog not only takes care of the health of your heart but also increases the life expectancy of those who have suffered a heart attack. Scientists from the American Heart Association conducted a study that has shown that people who take their dog for a walk meet the energy levels 54% more that are recommended for the daily routine than those who do not have a dog.

 

3. Makes You Resistant To Allergies 

Although dogs can be the worst nightmare for those who are allergic to these pets, growing up in a house with dogs helps children develop fewer allergies throughout their lives. Several studies have shown that growing up with a dog at home help fewer allergies develop in children. Specifically, a study by researchers at the University of Cincinnati, "young children who live with dogs are three times less likely to develop allergies." Interestingly, cats have the opposite effect: they increase the likelihood of developing allergies. 

4. Improves Immunity 

If we come in contact with dogs at a very early age of our life, it can help us strengthen the immune system, thereby reducing the risk of developing allergies and respiratory diseases, among others. To corroborate this theory, an investigation was carried out on 397 children from birth to the first year of life by the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Finland, published in the scientific journal 'Pediatrics'. The research concludes that babies, who live with a dog, in the long term, suffer fewer respiratory problems. The little ones who share a house with an animal also suffer fewer infections in their ears. As a result, it was determined that the children who had more contact with the animals had a stronger immune system. Another study carried out by a group of researchers at the University of Cincinnati states found that children growing up in a house with dogs develop fewer allergies throughout their lives. What is concluded is that living together with a dog allows the immune system to be strengthened against the high levels of endotoxins (bacteria present in environmental dust) and that are found in dogs. Be careful, cats have the opposite effect. 

Benefits of having a dog for Your Mental Health 

First of all, it must be said that animals cannot cure a mental illness (that, only a specialist can solve it, accompanied by therapy) or an emotional disorder, but they can help, and a lot. Science has amply shown that those who have pets and have been diagnosed with a mental disorder greatly benefit from the company of animals. Symptoms such as insecurity or loneliness disappear thanks to the feeling of belonging and usefulness with animals, and for this reason many organizations dedicated to the care and research of this type of disorder advise doing therapies with animals. 

1. Improve Social Life 

A walk with the dog is not only an excellent opportunity to lose weight and enjoy greater cardiovascular health thanks to physical exercise but also it is a great opportunity to meet new people. The parks where dogs often go running are full of people who enjoy the same hobby as you: having a pet. Often, going for a pet walk is the excuse to meet people: in the parks, groups of dog owners form who coincide there, there are strangers who come to caress a puppy or there are conversations about anecdotes or the care of their pets. Could this be an excellent dating opportunity? Who knows? It depends on you. 

2. An Excellent Therapeutic Tool 

Within Animal Assisted Therapies (TAA), the animal that is used the most is the dog, as it is a pleasant pet that provides many psychological, social, and physical benefits. Children, adolescents, the elderly, and the mentally ill, benefit from the company with dogs. They are a therapeutic resource that helps to achieve benefits and improvements in people. Animal Assisted Therapies (TAA) are becoming more and more popular. It is confirmed that dogs have helped many people improve their lives in many areas, whether they are people with autism, concentration problems, people with hearing or visual impairment. For example, it is a great option for treating children with autism, as it can allow them to stimulate skills to connect with the outside world. Ultimately, our bond with animals and the enjoyment of nature are important to keep us active, healthy, and happy. 

3. You Will Be Less Stressed 

There have been a large number of studies that have shown that dogs lower stress levels. Petting your dog, playing with him or the simple fact of noticing his affection can reduce your stress level on a daily basis. Science shows that owning a dog reduces the stress hormone cortisol. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), of the United States, indicate that “interaction with animals lowers cortisol levels (a hormone related to stress) and lowers blood pressure. In addition, pets can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support and improve mood. When you have the unconditional love of a dog, it is easier to recover from personal trauma, such as the loss of a loved one or the breakdown of a relationship.

The team of Psychiatrists Sandra Baker from Virginia Commonwealth University (USA) measured the brain waves of different dog owners before and after spending time with them. These studies have revealed that having a pet and petting it frequently helps reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. So it is advisable to pet, play, walk and even talk with pets to clear the mind and feel well-being. 

4. Relieve Depression 

Owning a dog as a pet relieves possible symptoms of depression or anxiety. Animals are perfect for showing unconditional love and the benefits of having a pet to overcome depression are many. It is about discovering that unconditional love, without ulterior motives and without hypocrisy that a pet gives you. According to several studies, animals have the ability to considerably reduce all kinds of negative feelings. Fatigue, stress, sadness, loneliness, anguish, and depression go away as if by magic when we are around our pets. Research shows that interaction with animals, especially dogs, increases oxytocin levels in humans, which decreases stress and anxiety. In fact, just looking at or stroking a canine can cause the hormone to release and calm you down. "There have been studies of people who suffer from clinical depression, and those who have a pet tend to recover more quickly and need fewer pharmaceutical interventions. On the other hand, hearing the purr of a feline near us relieves anxiety and calms us immediately. 

Depressed people do not feel the desire to relate. When a person maintains a bond with a pet, they have a reason to get out of bed. You may not feel like doing anything, but you know you have to feed him, and in the case of dogs, for example, take him outside. The depressed person often does not vent to anyone, but they may feel able to talk to their pet. 

5. It Makes You Happier 

Dogs are perfect company because they are there for us in good times and bad. In fact, loneliness can increase the risk of death and dogs will not leave you alone.

Researchers have shown that dog sitters tend to suffer from less depression, as caring for these animals provides valuable companionship and helps people to be more positive. As we said at the beginning of the article, 74% of the Spanish population assures that living with a dog makes them happier. The data speaks for itself. 

Your dog will always welcome you happy by wagging its tail and jumping. Your body generates a chemical substance that causes great happiness just by looking at it, as explained by the Azuba University in Japan. It has been proven that when we stare with our dog, the brain produces more oxytocin, known as "the hormone of happiness." Pet owners, after sharing a time of games, experience an increase in oxytocin, the production of serotonin and dopamine is stimulated, and at the same time cortisol level is decreased, all these hormones help reduce stress levels and are a good antidote to depression. 

4. Increase The Sense Of Responsibility 

Having a dog is a great responsibility. Therefore, having a dog as a companion animal can make you learn great lessons in life. You have to feed them, take them out to relieve them; they need to be educated, etc. They hold us accountable for their care and teach us to prioritize ourselves. In addition to being a playmate for children, growing up with a pet is an opportunity to teach them to be responsible and respect animals. Dogs, for example, become excellent teachers, an inexhaustible source of stimuli that awaken the child's senses.

Having a dog requires discipline, motivation, and also requires proper financial management. Unfortunately, there are people who buy one on a whim and then realize that a dog needs to be cared for. That's why it's important to send one last message: let's love dogs just as they love us. 

5. They Avoid The Feeling Of Loneliness 

Are you going through a rough patch and feeling lonely? Have you been thinking for a while that you would like to meet new people? A pet is an ideal excuse to socialize a little more. Not only will you go out more, but you will meet dozens of people who, like you, maintain the same routine of walks and games with their animals. To break the ice, nothing better than talking about your animal or asking them about theirs. What better to enlarge your social circle?

Having a pet in the home helps the person feel more confident and protected. It can also help to avoid states such as depression due to feelings of loneliness since its company encourages physical contact and communication. They may not speak, or they may not follow the conversation, but you know, with complete certainty, that you are not alone at home and that you have company. 

6. They Reinforce Self-Esteem 

Pet owners are more likely to have higher self-esteem, scientists from the universities of Miami and Saint Louis concluded. It has also been observed that boys and girls with some difficulty reading aloud in front of their pets reinforce their security and self-confidence since pets are not going to laugh at how they do it or if they make mistakes. Animals are the best antidote to loneliness and low self-esteem. 

7. You Will Feel More Secure 

Dogs can be an effective security system, because in addition to alerting you to the presence of strangers with their barking, dogs are also protective of their owners. Surely if you need help, he will be there to protect you. Dogs undoubtedly increase your sense of security. 

8. They Entertain You 

Dogs can be a lot of fun and they can give you great times. In fact, children already enjoy the company of these pets at an early age. As we get older, having a partner with who to go for a walk on the beach, for a run or simply to play a bit with the ball entertains us and allows us to spend great moments with him.

Have you thanked your dog today for being part of your life? 

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