Are regular dog walks prolonging your life? No matter how stressed you feel with your dog’s behaviour, recent research has shown you have nothing to worry about!
Dr Deborah Wells at Queens University, Belfast, published findings which indicate that dog owners are healthier than any kind of pet owner. The review looks at dog ownership compared to ownership of other pets in relation to the health benefits in the British Journal of Health Psychology. Amongst other results, she indicates that:
Social benefits – a person’s best friend really IS their dog
Dogs provide, in some cases, an even better level of social support than that from another human being.
Health benefits – a dog walk a day keeps the doctor away
Dog owners are generally healthier than any other kind of pet owner (including cat owners) as well as being healthier than the average population. Fewer minor ailments, fewer serious medical problems, and lower blood cholesterol levels. As we also know, dogs such as Medical Detection Dogs can indicate possible epileptic seizures and can alert to approaching diabetic coma, as well as being able to detect certain cancers. They can also assist people in recorvery from serious illness such as heart attack.
Stress Relieving – Dogs are great for calming us down
Dr Wells commented that, although she was not sure exactly why this happens, she felt “It is possible that dogs can directly promote our well-being by buffering us from stress, one of the major risk factors associated with ill-health.
“The ownership of a dog can also lead to increases in physical activity and facilitate the development of social contacts, which may enhance both physiological and psychological human health in a more indirect manner.”
So truly, next time you are thinking that your dog is causing you a lot of worry and anxiety… you may be better off with, rather than without, your gorgeous canine support-system.
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