Six Ways Owning a Dog Can Keep You Healthy

| November 2, 2012

dog health benefitsThe benefits of having a dog — or two or three — in the home are many. Learn about the ways your four-legged family member can keep you healthy, both mentally and physically, then use DexKnows listings for pets and pets supplies to find businesses that can help you say thank you with a special treat.

1. Dogs Can Help You Relieve Stress

The enthusiastic greeting of your dog at the door can begin to erase even the worst day at work. Interacting with pets can lower your blood pressure and reduce anxiety, according to studies from both doctors and veterinarians.

2. Dogs Can Help You Fight Depression

Studies also show that interacting with your dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, nerve transmitters with pleasurable and calming properties. In other words: Petting your pup can work wonders on your mood.

3. Dogs Can Keep You Active

Your dog needs daily exercise. Without it, he can develop bad habits such as chewing and nuisance barking. Keep your pup and you healthy by taking a long walk at least once a day, if not twice. Even if you have a doggie door open to the backyard, heading outside with Spot for a game of fetch can engage your mind and muscles, as well as his. Stock up on squeaky balls and flying discs at stores that sell pets and pets supplies.

4. Dogs Can Help You Meet People

When walking your dog, you have the opportunity to meet not only your neighbors but also other dog lovers in the area. A strong support system that includes both family members and friends can result in a healthier lifestyle in general and help to ward off loneliness and depression.

5. Dogs Can Prevent Allergies From Developing

If you have young children in your family, your dog can help them develop fewer allergies. People doctors and veterinarians alike report that exposure to pet dander serves as natural immunotherapy for children.

6. Dogs Can Help You Live Longer

All of the above leads to healthier habits in general, which can result in a longer lifespan. Senior citizens at risk for osteoporosis also greatly benefit from walking a dog, and therapy dogs prove a common sight at rehabilitation centers, helping humans in their recovery from illness and stroke, while helping to keep their spirits high.

Now that you know all your dog — or dogs — does to keep you healthy, show your gratitude with a special treat, such as a new toy or a spa day. DexKnows listings can help you find such businesses, from stores that sell pets and pet supplies to pet grooming providers.

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Category: Pets

About the Author ()

Pamela Mitchell spent more than 15 years at daily newspapers such as the Hartford Courant and Houston Chronicle before becoming a full-time freelancer. She now writes about a variety of topics, from dining and entertainment to pets and travel.