They say dogs are a man’s best friend, with their unlimited love and constant companionship. But did you know that in addition to their best friend status, they can also add years to your life?
Whether you stay active with frequent walks in the park or find emotional support through their unlimited devotion, dog ownership may have more benefits than you think. Here are some of the unexpected benefits of canine companionship.
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The most obvious health benefit of pet ownership is their excellent source of exercise. Though each individual breed and pup will require different levels of activity, all dogs need physical stimulation to stay healthy. If you’re looking for a higher-energy friend to motivate you to move, you can opt for high-energy dogs like well-bred English Cream Golden Retrievers to keep you on your toes.
Whether you stick to simple walks around the neighborhood or challenge yourself with dog-friendly hikes, keeping up with the physical requirements of a pup can improve your overall health.
Pets make you happier
Another argument for getting a dog is their ability to improve your mood drastically. Lavishing attention to a dog boosts oxytocin, the hormone responsible for happiness and other positive emotions. As a result, it lowers stress-related hormones like cortisol, allowing you to release anxiety.
In addition to the increased oxytocin levels, petting, scratching, or stroking your dog can increase endorphins, ensuring your mood gets a lift. Because dogs can be like emotional sponges, they’re quick to seek their owner or other family members out if they suspect something might be wrong.
That’s one reason why emotional support animals are so effective. Dogs instinctively encourage humans to engage in activities guaranteed to make them feel better, whether the human wants to or not.
There’s a reason behind recent global events triggering an uptick in pet ownership. One of the unexpected health benefits of dog ownership for people who feel isolated is their ability to provide a source of comfort and companionship.
They’re also excellent conversation starters while out on walks. Strangers naturally gravitate towards pets, often leading to the pet owner engaging in conversation.
It’s not just the dog-free who seek the chance to be civil to strangers. Once you have a dog, you naturally become aware of other dog owners. And assuming their dog is sociable or willing, most people love to stop and swap dog tips, tricks, and advice.
Pets and pain management
Finally, a surprising health benefit of pet ownership is pain management. Though research is ongoing, current studies suggest that dogs can help reduce discomfort in long-term health conditions.
Some dogs even visit hospitalized patients to help them during critical recovery stages, reducing mental and sometimes physical pain.
Pet ownership has various benefits, ranging from improved moods to increased fitness. Whether you need an excuse to go on regular walks or seek someone to connect with, adopting a furry friend may be the key to a new and improved life.