Three Benefits of Dog Ownership You May Not Know About…

5 Sep

Many people already know that there are benefits to owning a dog, but our wet-nosed companions are more than just alarm systems, body guards, outing buddies, and members of the family. Here are three benefits to dog ownership you may not have known about…

  • Owning a dog may lower the risk of heart disease. An American Heart Association-sponsored study discovered a link between lower levels of heart disease and dog ownership. The group states that it is unclear whether dog ownership and cardiovascular health have a direct correlation, and it is possible that healthier people are more likely to be dog owners. However, having a dog meant that owners “engaged in more walking and physical activity than non-dog owners, and were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity.”
  • Dog ownership is good for people 60 years of age and older. Researchers at the University of Missouri concluded in a recent study that “Dog walking is associated with lower body mass index, fewer doctor visits, more frequent exercise and an increase in social benefits for seniors.” They added that seniors who have a strong bond with their dogs are more likely to walk their pets, which has the added benefit of socializing with other pet owners.
  • Benefits for children with autism. Children with autism spectrum disorder may benefit from contact with dogs. According to researchers, interacting with dogs can help children learn responsibility and provide stress relief and companionship in an environment of unconditional, nonjudgmental love.

Getting a dog can have many benefits, but it is important to remember that many of the rewards come from the development of a relationship. A person should be ready to provide a loving and protective home for a dog before bringing one home.

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