Pets provide us with unconditional love and companionship. This World Dog Day, let’s have a look at the science behind the benefits of having a furry friend.
Spending time with our furry companions does so much for our wellbeing, research shows that owning a dog is great for physical and mental wellbeing. They make us happier, help us to cope with a crisis and make us healthier.
Dogs make us feel less alone.
Dogs are there for us unconditionally when people aren’t. They offer love, emotional support, cuddles and can help us feel less isolated.
Dogs are good for the heart.
Owning a dog can help people to live longer. A comprehensive review of studies published between 1950 and 2019 shows that owning a dog can lower the risk of death. Studies suggest that owning a dog can lower blood pressure and can improve responses to stress.
Research shows that the bond between humans and dogs reduces stress, which is the main cause of heart problems, according to the American Kennel Club.
Dogs help with stress.
A furry friend can help with worries and offer a huge amount of comfort, lots of studies indicate that dogs and therapy dogs help to lower stress and anxiety.
Even petting a dog can lower blood pressure, slow down breathing and relax muscle tension. Scientists have discovered that stroking a dog for as little as 10 minutes can have a significant impact.
Dogs encourage us to get up and get moving.
A study in 2019 discovered that dog owners are almost four times more likely to meet daily physical activity guidelines and those long walks and hikes can help our mental health too. Many people say it is their dog that gets them up and moving in the morning!
Dogs make us more social.
Walking dogs can make us more approachable and spark a conversation. It is also a great idea to set up dog walking dates with friends or potential partners. Research reveals that around 40 per cent of dog owners also have an easier time making friends and are a great way to get to know strangers.
Dogs help cognitive function.
Dogs help seniors with cognitive function and can also help with mental health in the long term. Studies also show that, specifically in seniors, dogs can help with agitated behaviours and dementia.
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