The Health Benefits of Dog Ownership

Research suggests that dog ownership is associated with several health benefits, and the perception is that dog owners are generally in good condition.

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The Health Benefits of Dog Ownership

Some findings supported by scientific evidence:

Increased physical activity: Regular walks and doggie playtime, leads to higher levels of physical activity among dog owners compared to non-dog owners. Studies have shown that dog owners are more likely to meet recommended physical activity guidelines.

Improved cardiovascular health: This regular physical activity can have positive effects on cardiovascular health, including lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol levels, and decreased risk of heart disease. Some studies have found that dog owners are less likely to develop cardiovascular problems.

Reduced stress and anxiety: Interacting with dogs has been shown to reduce levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and increase the release of oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and relaxation. Dog owners often report lower levels of stress and anxiety compared to non-dog owners.

Social support and companionship: Dogs can provide emotional support and companionship, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation. Dog owners may have larger social networks and experience better emotional well-being because of their bond with their pets.

Better mental health: Research suggests that dog ownership is associated with lower rates of depression and improved mental health outcomes. The presence of a dog can provide emotional support, companionship, and a sense of purpose, which may contribute to better psychological well-being.

Increased immune function: Exposure to pets, especially during childhood, may help strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of allergies and asthma. Some studies suggest that children raised in households with dogs have a lower incidence of allergic diseases.

Please note

While these findings suggest that generally dog ownership can have positive effects on health, it’s important to note that correlation does not imply causation. Other factors, such as lifestyle choices and socioeconomic status, may also contribute to the observed health benefits among dog owners.

If you don’t have a dog but would still like to enjoy the benefits of increased cardiovascular and immune function, alongside decreased stress and better mental health then please talk to us.

How Optimal Health Can Help

We recommend starting with an Initial Health Consultation for new patients. We connect online,  listen clearly to your health concerns and priorities, ensure our philosophy meets your needs, and recommend the starting point for an Optimal Health Treatment Pathway©

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