The Many Health Benefits of Having a Dog as a Best Friend

Humans are social animals, hence we constantly need other living beings around us to love and show love. The ability to develop and show affection towards each other is not limited to humans and is in fact a common trait among all living beings. Dogs are one of the most affectionate in the animal kingdom. Their affection is not limited simply to their own species; they are fiercely loyal and friendly to humans as well. Humans are considerably lucky to have such loyal pets that stay with them through thick and thin. This company that barks is not just a fun pet but is also highly beneficial for our physical, mental, and social well-being.

Physical fitness

Depressed Woman Hugging Her Cute Dog For Comfort

Sad Woman Hugging Dog

As much as dogs love being petted and stroked, they also love the occasional walks in the park. This nature of dogs has made millions of people walk at least 30 minutes per day simply to take their dog on a walk. Scientists have proved through countless researches that walking 30 minutes per day can significantly reduce the risks of numerous life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, coronary vascular diseases, etc. Research has proved that 30 minutes of walking daily can elongate our life span by decades.

Mental and social well-being

In the era of social networking, each person has hundreds of social connections online but few that matter and none that they actually meet on a daily basis. Social networks may have increased the number of people one knows but they have resulted in loneliness and depression among millions of people. Dogs are a lot of work and a big responsibility. In addition to needing exercise, they require regular feeding, vet checkups, reliable dog health insurance, grooming, petting, and attention. All these things can help a person feel needed and responsible. It can also help develop a feeling of purpose which is especially helpful for someone who is suffering from depression. The affectionate loyal nature of dogs has comforted depressed people going through tough days that would otherwise have been spent alone.

Therapy dogs may sound over the top but they do exist. Physically challenged people initially used therapy dogs to aid them through life. However, therapy dogs are increasingly being prescribed to people with social anxiety, depression as well as people with suicidal thoughts.

Affection and love are a two-way street, in order to receive them, we need to reciprocate them. Hence, Dogs need constant care and regular health checkups as well. Annual health checks ensure not only the health of your dog but also prevent the transmission of diseases from your pets to yourself. Vaccinating your pets at a young age is crucial to prevent them from acquiring and transmitting infectious illnesses.

References

The power of support from companion animals for people living with mental health problems: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the evidence

Do animal-assisted activities effectively treat depression: a meta-analysis

I Walk My Dog Because It Makes Me Happy: A Qualitative Study to Understand Why Dogs Motivate Walking and Improved Health

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