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10 benefits of having a dog (they are good for your health!)

Author: Alexandra Wrigley

Do you live at home on your own? If not, perhaps you live with your partner, housemates, or family members?

Whatever your living situation is, sometimes you may feel that you’re craving more. That you’ve become used to your living environment but you want something.

One of the best things you can do is getting a dog home. Before we say anything further, you must have the time to dedicate to raising and looking after a dog. If you do, you’re in luck as there are many pros of having a dog.

What are the benefits of owning a dog?

We feel dogs are pretty epic, and there are more reasons than you think. But today, we’re really going to focus on the health benefits of why they can help you live a more fulfilling life. The benefits of having a dog are:

1. Dogs can make us happier

Dogs are fantastic companions to help better your emotional wellbeing. In fact, there are studies that indicate that they can reduce our stress levels, make us feel happier and more fulfilled.

In 2009 a study was conducted in Japan which showed that if you look into a dog’s eyes, your Oxytocin levels will increase. Oxytocin is known as a love hormone as it gives you warm and fuzzy feelings.

2. They can keep you active

benefits of owning a dog

Owning a dog is a big commitment; not only do you have to feed and clean them, but you have to take them out for regular exercise. Think of your dog as an accountability companion; they’re relying on you to take them out for a walk!

If you don’t take them out, their health will suffer too! That way, you will be both getting in moderate exercise every day and even more if you choose to run or play games with your dog.

There’s even been a study conducted by Gerontologist which showed elders who walked dogs visited the doctor less frequently and had a lower body mass index.

3. We can become more social

Are you an introvert who likes to stay at home? If so, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, sometimes as humans, we need to socialize and feel good.

When you’re walking a dog, people will most likely find you easier to approach, and it can be a good icebreaker. Just think about how many times you’ve struck a conversation or smiled at someone with a dog.

4.    They can help our heart health

Yes, dogs make you feel complete inside and wholesome, but they aid your heart health. There have been many scientific studies conducted that have showed that our hearts could become stronger.

Many studies have displayed a great reduction in cholesterol levels, blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and more. If you have reduced levels like the ones just mentioned, you will be less likely to have a heart attack.

5.    Your stress levels might decrease

There has been lots of research that has shown that your stress and anxiety levels can decrease when you spend time with a dog.

6. Dogs can add purpose to your life

Sometimes we can all be prone to question our life’s purpose. This is especially the case when we grow older and even more so after we retire. Dogs force you to get into a routine, do things and add value back into your life.

7. They’re fantastic for the elderly

benefits of owning a dog statistics

Ok, dogs are pretty great, but even more so for elderly people. First of all, studies have shown that dogs help the cognitive function of the elderly. Dogs are commonly used as therapy dogs to help elders fight off mental illness. There has also been a study conducted that showed dogs could help fight bad behaviors found in people with Dementia.

8. They can help us with our illness

Dogs are insanely clever animals. So much that they often can sniff out and detect many illnesses. Typical ones they can catch have been:

  • Cancers- Some dogs have been trained to sniff out particular cancers such as kidney, skin, bladder, prostate, and many more.
  • Dogs are also good at detecting epileptic seizures. It’s often believed that they can detect them up to 45 minutes before a seizure occurs.

9.    Dogs can make us more attractive

If you’re single and ready to mingle, then a dog might help you secure a date. A lot of the time, a dog can make people look more attractive and likable. A study found that more people swipe right on dating apps if the person has a photo with a dog.

10. They can help us deal with crisis

Dogs are great for our psychological health. A study ran from Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine that looked at veterans from the military suffering from PTSD. They found that those who had a service dog did better psychologically and physiologically. Similarly, they had fewer symptoms of PTSD and demonstrated better coping mechanisms.


Well, there you have the 10 benefits of having a dog. Do note that these are just a select few of many more out there! Owning a dog is rewarding and life-changing. However, only make that decision if you have the time, money, and enthusiasm to look after one.

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