Dog Therapy – 10 Ways dogs are great for your health
In our daily lives as adults we are busy in the corporate world trying to meet our daily need and as a result, neglecting our health. More hours are put into our work and we forget to rest and take care of our physical health. Our way of life has evolved, we eat junk, we exercise less and rest less which has brought a lot of illnesses and increased our stress levels. Time with family and friends has been neglected but people are changing and recent studies have highlighted the huge and often therapeutic value of pets.
More people are opting for pet ownership as a way to improve vigor and vitality. Most households have a pet or are considering having one as we are a nation of dog lovers. These furry friends are improving our health to a tremendous level. This is the best thing one can do to his/her health and wellbeing in this age when technology has taken over our lives.
These 10 ways will show us how dogs are great for your health
Happier and full of energy
Less stress at work
I love hiking and to my amazement, my dog has been accompanying me up the hill on weekend rounds and is faster than I. I have a hiking partner now. I do not have to go alone as now I know I always have a companion with me. Pet owners have slightly lower cholesterol due to these constant activities with their dogs.
Dogs are known to trigger allergies but studies have shown households with dogs are less likely to be bothered by animal hair and fur as you become immune to them in later life.
The benefits of dog ownership extend to your mental health as well. Dogs better our health as the act of petting a dog lowers heart rate and blood pressure. People who own dogs get better sleep at night and are less sick as studies have shown. People suffering from anxiety or depression can lack a sense of purpose in their lives and by becoming a pet owner can add an element of responsibility as it adds a positive focus to the owners life. It reminds them of their own value and importance because they are taking care of their four legged friend.
Dogs have an added benefit of needing to be walked and played with numerous times a day. This means as a dog owner you can take 30 minutes of walk or jogging which is exercise daily lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and adding a burst of activity into your day for both you and your dog.
The love and interaction with your dog help you stay positive. Just the act of looking at your pet increases the amount of oxytocin, the feel good chemical in the brain. Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than non-pet owners. Our dogs are without judgment, opinions or critics and their lovable nature reduces symptoms of depression.
People tend to befriend and trust pet owners than random people on the street. Even if you live alone, having a dog has the same emotional benefit as that of human friendship.
People who bring dogs to their workplace seem less stressed throughout the day as they take breaks to walk and play with their dog and return to work re-energised. This leads to great job satisfaction and productivity compared to people who do not bring a pet to work. Most employers are adopting a “pet welcome” policy to lower staff stress levels and improve productivity. The growing number of pet friendly workplace has brought light on this epidemic and the solution that a pet comes with.
Dogs can be trained to detect cancer and some dogs do this by sense of smell. Many dog owners have reported sniffing and licking of some swelling on their bodies by dogs which turned out to be cancerous. The dog might actually save your life if it detect it early.
Studies have shown petting a dog lowers a person heart rate and most dog owners are less likely to survive a heart attack compared to non-dog owners.
Dogs can be an effective home security system. Just knowing that you got a dog who can use it keen sense of hearing to detect anyone prowling around can help increase your sense of security. This is good for both your mental and physical health to enjoy your peaceful sleep with ease.