The American Pet Products Association estimates that more than 70% of American households have pets, and over 69 million own a dog. Whether your love for cute puppy faces is unbeatable or you just need some company, you should consider adopting a puppy for many reasons. However, the benefits of owning a puppy go beyond having a furry friend in your home.
Those who have puppies may rave about how they enjoy the human-animal relationship. However, building such a relationship may prove challenging, and you should consider reviewing your getting a new puppy checklist before adopting one. Beyond companionship, here are the surprising benefits of owning a puppy.
1. It Helps You Stay Active
Owning a dog significantly increases the frequency and amount of physical activity, even without noticing. Dogs run and play a lot to stay active and healthy, and a Western Canada study found that dog owners who take their dogs for walks frequently walked for a total of 300 minutes per week, while non-dog owners covered half of this. Simple activities, such as playing fetch, are enough to burn several calories and increase your heart rate.
2. Dogs Relieve Pain And Anxiety
Through PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans, physicians have concluded that petting your dog shuts the centers responsible for pain processing in the brain. Touching your furry friend relieves pain and buffers anxiety without the side effects of using valium and other medications.
3. Dogs Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease And Heart Attack
Dogs also help reduce the chances of developing heart diseases and heart attacks. A 2013 American Heart Association study explored the associations between cardiovascular disease and dogs and found that 6% of heart attack survivors owned a dog.
The same survey also analyzed the difference between those who lived alone with a dog and those without pets. Interestingly, those who live alone have a 33% chance of surviving a heart condition after hospitalization if they own a puppy.
4. Dogs Lower Your Stress Levels
Whether you are stressed by work, financial challenges, or by your kids’ behaviors, having a dog can ease your life. Physicians recommend a host of stress-relieving techniques, including drugs and yoga, often overlooking the benefits of owning a puppy. Having a dog tops the list of many relaxation techniques.
Spending some time with your pet minimizes anxiety and lowers blood pressure by increasing serotonin and dopamine production. Serotonin and dopamine are important brain neurotransmitters that significantly influence relaxation and general wellbeing.
5. Dogs Boost Your Microbiome
Living with dogs exposes you to different bacteria found in dogs, diversifying your internal flora. As counterintuitive as it may sound, staying around dogs, specifically hypoallergenic breeds, helps children with asthma and allergic symptoms.
Owning a pup is a tough commitment that can take up most of your time. However, the commitment is worth the unconditional love, constant entertainment, devoted companionship, and many other benefits that come with dog ownership.
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