Need A Little Help with Your Health? Get A Dog! Dogs are considered  man’s best friend. But did you know that having a dog gives you  several health benefits? 

In studies done by medical professionals, dog owners benefit from their pet’s  presence in several ways: 

1) Improved cardiovascular health – Dog owners have been proven to  have blood pressure and cholesterol lower than ordinary people. These  factors reduce the chance for cardiovascular diseases. Stroking a pet has  long been known to reduce blood pressure. 

A study from the New York State University found that these benefits  continue even without the pet available. The study tested a group of  stockbrokers with hypertension. They concluded that just being a pet-owner  can lower blood pressure.  

Dog owners also have blood cholesterol levels lower than normal. Five  thousand four hundred people were tested by the Baker Medical Research  Institute of Australia and with the results showing pet owners having not just  lower blood pressure but also lower levels of blood triglycerides and  cholesterol compared to people who didn’t own any pets. 

2) Faster recovery time and higher survival rates – Hospital studies  have found that seniors and recently operated on patients responded better  to treatment and got better quickly while they were in contact with dogs and  other therapy animals. Just petting a dog can be relaxing and therapeutic for  recovering patients.  

Also, dog owners have a greater chance to survive after suffering from a  serious illness. Several studies have discovered that pet owners who  suffered from a heart attack were more likely to be alive a year after they  were discharged from the hospital than those who did not own pets.  Another New York study found that pets affected their survival rate more  even more than the presence or company of family members or friends.  

3) Fewer visits to the doctor – Studies conducted at Cambridge and UCLA  have found that owning a pet corresponds to overall improved health and  less need for hospital visits. A Medicare study of its elderly patients also  discovered that those who own dogs visit the doctor less than those who  don’t have a pet. 

4) Mental Wellness – Patients who have dogs have also been known to  have better emotional health than their counterparts. They offer  unconditional love and affection; their presence alone helps reduce  loneliness for sick people who have otherwise been isolated. Several studies  of people with major illnesses have shown that the stress of fighting the  disease is significantly reduced when they had a dog as company. 

As you can see, having a dog is a great investment, for the joy that you get  from owning one and the health benefits that you can receive. So, go out  and get a dog! 

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