Paging doctor dog
We’ve all experienced the sheer delight of coming home to a wagging tail or the comforting embrace of a purring cat. Our pets have a unique ability to brighten our days, but did you know they also have the power to enhance our overall health and well-being? In this article, we’ll delve into the remarkable ways our beloved pets, particularly dogs, contribute to our physical and mental health. So, prepare to be amazed as we explore the seven incredible ways your dog is improving your quality of life.
Petting a dog every day will keep the doctor away
As mentioned in the above text, a dog is forcing you, albeit kindly, to move every day. Your dog needs to stretch its legs and go outside to do its business. So, if you don’t go, you’ll be in for an unpleasant surprise. Moreover, how can you say no to those big puppy eyes?
1. Physical activity
Remember that enthusiastic tail-wagging invitation to play or go for a walk? Your dog serves as your personal fitness coach, motivating you to engage in regular exercise. The World Health Organization recommends adults to get 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75-150 minutes of intense physical activity a week. See the full guidelines here. With your loyal companion, achieving this goal becomes a breeze. Just 30 minutes of playtime and a stroll with your dog already clock in at 120 minutes of moderate activity a week. Say goodbye to tedious gym routines!
2. Lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease risks
Walking your dog isn’t just about exercise; it also brings a host of internal health benefits. Studies show that dog owners tend to have lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, and a reduced risk of heart diseases. Those daily walks are doing wonders for your cardiovascular health. It’s an excellent reason to take longer walks and revel in the fresh air.
3. Improve immune system
However, even if you stay inside your dog is boosting your health. With all the rolling in the grass and outdoor playing, you’ll find fur, saliva, and other dog bacteria in your home. Now don’t freak out, this actually improves your immune system. This article in Psychology Today showed data suggesting petting a dog does positively impact certain parts of your immune system. Moreover, stripping your home of all bacteria, which is impossible, is also harming your immune system more than helping it. Therefore, go and give your four-legged friend another hug. Just to boost your health.
Clearing your mind one paw at a time
Besides improving your physical health dogs also soothe your mental state
4. Reduce stress
After a long and hard day at work, you have probably felt some of the worries fall off your shoulders as soon as you open the door to your home and see your wagging, bright-eyed furry friend dashing towards you. Petting a dog, a cat, or any other furry friend helps to increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin. In other words, it helps you feel calmer, more relaxed, and happier. Of course, your pooch is not a miracle worker, but they are trying to lift the stress from your mind. If you are feeling particularly anxious, check out these ways to quickly manage stress (with or without your pet).
5. Reduce feelings of loneliness
Do feel like time is flying and you don’t have the energy to visit friends and family? Or even struggle to meet new friends? No worries your super dog comes to the rescue again. Petting and playing with your dog also increases levels of oxytocin, which helps to fight feelings of loneliness. Moreover, if you are looking for more human contact taking a walk with your furry friend will help you as well. Most people who are interested in dogs will want to stop for a quick word or conversation. Don’t worry if you don’t know what to say. Your favourite conversation starter will do all the work while staying by your side.
6. Create routine/structure
Have you ever been so comfortable in bed in the morning, you didn’t want to get out? Or felt restless with your ever-expanding to-do list? Even here your dog can support you. Not by taking over any of your tasks, or by snoozing your alarm. Unless you have a very specially trained dog that is. But what they do help with is creating structure in your life. A dog needs regular walks and feeding times. I’m sure your dog is close to their feeding bowl when it’s about to be dinner time. Or perhaps stares at their leash, when it’s time for your daily walk. As strange as it sounds, creating structure in your life helps you to deal with uncertainties. It also clears some space in your brain, because those tasks don’t require much thinking power. You already know what to do.
7. Become more mindful
And even if you get sucked into work or overthinking, your four-legged friend will steer your focus to what’s really important. Dogs are masters of mindfulness and living in the moment. They don’t dwell on the other dog in the park that didn’t want to play with them, or the bad sleep they had last night. Walking, playing, or petting your dog can help you reach a similar state of mind. Focus on the now, feel their fur under your fingers, breathe in the fresh outdoor air, and feel the tingling happiness flow through your veins. For a moment forget about work, money, and your to-do list. It doesn’t all have to be hard, just look at your pup.
Owning a pet is a major commitment
So here you have it, 7 amazing ways your dog is improving your physical and mental health. Despite all the benefits, it’s important to remember that a pet is not a miracle cure for mental health issues. Owning a pet is beneficial and comforting only for those who love and appreciate domestic animals and have the time and financial resources to keep them happy and healthy. If you’re simply not an “animal person,” pet ownership is not going to provide you with any health benefits or improve your life. Check here if you’re ready to add a dog to your family.
How does your dog improve your health and well-being? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for reading.