Benefits of Dog Ownership

May 7, 2022by DOGuide0

If you’re a dog owner or thinking of becoming one, it’s good to know what the benefits of dog ownership are so you can truly appreciate your role.

 

The Benefits of Dog Ownership

Dog ownership isn’t like anything else. It’s not like owning a cat, fish, birds, or even having a child. Dog ownership is so unique that it warrants a deep dive into research and survey data to truly understand the power of it.

Physical Benefits of Owning a Dog

The physical benefits of dog ownership can lead to a healthier, longer life. The following identifies what contributes to these effects:

Lowers Risk of Death

People with a four-legged friend are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease because of lower levels of stress on the body, according to a study in AHA Journal.

Lowers Blood Pressure

People with dogs at home are more likely to have lower blood pressure than those who do not have a four-legged friend. The American Heart Association contributes low blood pressure to lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Reduces Cortisol Levels

Washington State University researchers found study participants who petted a dog for 10 or more minutes has lower levels of cortisol – a hormone released during stress that can cause health issues over time.

Increases Physical Activity

Dog owners are more likely to meet daily physical activity guidelines than those that don’t own a dog a 2019 British study found. They walk 300 minutes a week vs. 100 minutes a week by non-pet owners.

Fewer Health Problems

Participants in one study reported fewer health problems than those that didn’t own any pets.

Fewer Doctor Appointments

Dog owners report needing fewer doctor visits annually even when taking gender, age, marital status, income and health-related factors into account.

Lower Heart Rate

Multiple studies show a statistical difference between dog owner’s heart rates and non-dog owner’s heart rates. Dog owners have lower heart rates, which greatly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and improves heart health.

Weight Loss

Wellness Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital Chicago found that people who are overweight were more successful at losing weight when they owned a dog. Researchers believe dogs act as an exercise buddy, similar to how someone trying to exercise more has a human buddy. The advantage of having a dog exercise buddy is that there isn’t any negative influence like there can be with humans who struggle with consitency.

The Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction found people who walked their dog 20 minutes five-days a week lost an average of 14.4 pounds a year WITHOUT a change in diet.

Mars Petcare, a dog food manufacturer, found that dog owners walked 30 more minutes a week vs. non-dog owners.

dog ownership benefits

Mental Health Benefits of Owning a Dog

Dogs make their owners happy, especially when they are happy. That’s why Dog Ownership Guide stands behind its motto – Happy Dogs ~ Happy Owners.

Dogs make their owners happy in many ways, including:

Reducing Lonliness

An Australian study found that people who owned a dog were less likely to feel lonely.

A United States survey by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute found that 85% of the respondants felt that interacting with pets reduces lonliness. Most of them also believed that pet ownership can prevent social isolation.

Lowering Stress and Anxiety

Many studies have found that dogs are highly effective in helping people lower their stress and anxiety levels. This is why therapy dogs are growing in popularity.

Recovering from Psychological Trauma

Military veterans suffering from PTSD experience fewer or milder symptoms if they have a service dog, according to Purdue University’s Collarge of Veterinary Medicine.

Boosting Mood

A 2009 study found that just looking into a dog’s eyes can raise oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is known as the love hormone. It’s responsible for making people feel elated and happy.

Decreased Risk of Depression

AIDs patients in a 2017 study found that those who owned a dog were less likely to suffer from depression.

Improving Cognitive Function

One research study found that pets improved cognitive functioning of older adults suffering from mental lillness, according to PSYCHOGERIATRICS.

Reducing Dementia Symptoms

Older adults who own a dog and suffer from dementia are less likely to feel agitated. They are more likely to engage in social interactions as well reports American Journal of Alzheimer’s and Dementias.

Alzheimer’s Support

University of California at Davis concluded that Alzheimer’s patients had fewer aggressive outburts when they had a dog or cat at home with them.

Social Benefits of Owning a Dog

Man’s best friend help people become healthier physically and mentally, but pet owners also reap the rewards of being more outgoing and socially accepted.

Appear Happier and More Relaxed

One study asked participants to rate people in photographs on how happy and relaxed they appeared. Participants rated the people in photographs with dogs in them as happier and more relaxed than photographs without dogs in them.

More Attractive

Pet Wingman’s study found that women on a dating app received more attention when their profile picture included a dog in it.

Easier to Make Friends

Making friends may be easier for some dog owners, according to this study. Many dog lovers enjoy meeting new dogs and dog owners love talking about their dogs, which leads to many social interactions turned into friendships.

Another reason it’s easy for dog owners to make friends is because people see them more approachable concluded one study.

More Neighborly

Researchers in the U.S. and Australia asked people how much they interacted with their neighbors and the results were that dog owners interacted with their neighbors much more than non-dog owners.

Deeper Social Connections

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University found that people who have a strong attachment to their dog often have a strong connection to people and their community.dog ownership senior benefits

 

Additional Benefits of Pet Ownership

The list goes on for the benefits of owning a dog.

  • Adopting a dog may make people happier and healthier because people who do feel as though they are doing a good deed. This altruism increases people’s self esteem leading to great happiness and less stress, which improves health.
  • Children suffering from seperation anxiety may find being away from their parents easier when there is a dog to turn to during those times of separation.
  • Dogs help people understand what unconditional love is because even though a furry friend may chew through a favorite pair of shoes or have an accident on the new, expensive rug, most dog owners quickly rekindle their love for their four-legged friend.

A Happier and Healthier Life with a Dog

It’s plain to see that dogs are truly beneficial in many ways, besides just having something cute to look at every day. Therapy dogs are effective because of all the health benefits associated with them. Cherish your dog because he/she is one vehicle to a long, satisfying life. Dog Ownership Guide helps you do that, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter and visit regularly for dog products and information you can use to keep your dog happy and healthy.

Now that you know all of the benefits of dog ownership, check out this article if you’re ready to become a dog owner: Best Dogs for First Time Dog Owners

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