Health Benefits of Owning a Dog
The love of a dog is one of the most fulfilling relationships one can experience. Your dog does not just give you love, but he or she can actually improve your physical health as well. There is evidence that having a dog in your life can reduce the risk of getting the common cold and can even go as far as reducing blood pressure. Human/dog interaction can increase heart health as people whom own dogs tend to get more exercise than people without dogs. Dog owners tend to be less lonely if they in fact live by themselves. In a study done at University of Missouri-Columbia in 2004, dog owners’ blood pressure decreased within half of an hour of slow stroke petting The dogs’ blood pressure also decreased! In the same study, serotonin levels were shown to increase when owners were having direct physical contact with their own dogs.
According to an article in Psychology Today, muscle tension was reduced after a person’s interaction with their own dog.
The article further states that after such interaction, the beneficial psychological and medical effects are revealed faster than they are with medications. Currently, in the United States, there are an estimated 300,000 military veterans suffering from PTSD, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.) One of the ways medical and psychological professionals are treating patients whom are suffering from PTSD is by assigning them a dog as a treatment and best friend. They help our heroes recover from mental and physical isolation, in addition to improving sleep, and improves the state of emotional numbness some veterans feel.
If you are searching for a dog to help deal with a particular issue, do your research. Please, do not commit to a dog unless you are sure the dog has a compatible personality with your family. If you have children, be sure the dog is child friendly. Brining a dog into your home is wonderful, and beneficial to your health; as can be supported by direct medical evidence. However, always keep in mind, dogs become attached as much as you become attached. Having to part ways can be traumatic.