Having a dog in your life gives people indisputable joy. And while it’s commonly known that dogs make people happier, new research shows that dog owners are also healthier. A recent study found that dog owners around the age of 79 boasted much healthier bodies than their non-canine-keeping peers, with body statistics equivalent to those a decade younger.
1. They make you move
Regardless of the weather or how well you’re feeling, dogs need to be taken out to do their business. Having a dog ensures that you get out of the house and move around at least twice a day.
2. They get you into an active routine
You’re likely to fall into an active routine because you have to take your dogs out every day. The task might be more enjoyable if you make the walks longer than a tour around the block. If you’re ambitious, you might even consider turning your walk into a jog.
3. Their dawdling keeps your heart rate up
Dogs like to take their time doing their business. Although they’re not consciously thinking about keeping you active for more time when searching for that perfect spot, they do help keep your heart rate up.
4. They encourage you to spend time outdoors
Dogs are not meant to be kept up indoors all day - they thrive in the great outdoors. You know how excited they get when you just look at their leash, but you can’t let a dog wander the lakeside alone. Their need to be out in nature will encourage you to be more outdoorsy.
5. They encourage you to socialize
When you take your dog for a walk people, and other dogs, will say hello. Their cute, friendly natures encourage social interaction. Similarly, when you’re at the dog park, while your dog is socializing with other dogs, talking with fellow dog-owners passes the time. You already have being a dog-owner in common and, since you’re likely to see them regularly, you might as well make friends. Having friends can improve your health as it boosts morale.
6. They make you have fun
Dogs love nothing more than to run around and play games. Their enthusiasm spreads. Even if you’re not able to keep up with their running, a few rounds or fetch or frisbee can really add up. Every step that raises your heart beats a little more counts towards improving your health.
7. They make you laugh
Having a dog around can incite a good laugh at least once a day, if not being all laughs all the time. Laughter counters the effects of stress and worrying, which worsen your physical health. Laughter can help with blood flow, moderating blood sugar levels, improving your immune system and helping you sleep sounder.
8. They keep you company
When you’re not out and about or socializing because of your dog, they can provide terrific companionship when you’re lounging or busy working around your home. Your dog is a guaranteed friendly face to come home to and can boost your spirits.
9. They make fantastic workout companions
Having a dog will encourage you to be more active and you will start looking for activities to do because of them. There is no better way to spend time and bond with your dog than by letting him or her join you on a hike, bike ride, run or stroll.
10. They depend on you for their health
Your dog will trust you to provide him or her with a healthy diet, exercise and regular visits to the vet. When you are aware of their health and think about lifestyle choices for your much-loved dog, you will be encouraged to take care of your own so you can be there for them.