How do dogs positively impact our wellbeing?

Most dog lovers will instinctively know that sharing their lives, their homes, and, in an increasing number of cases, even their beds with their dogs is good for their health and wellbeing.

Still, it’s always pretty nice to be reminded of just how much goodness our best friends/furry children can bring into our lives, isn’t it?

So, here are 5 really great reasons having a dog is very likely to benefit your health and wellbeing:

  • Studies have found that, on average, dog owners have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, fewer heart attacks and, all round, suffer from less medical problems than average. This could of course partly be due to the fact that the necessity to walk our dogs encourages a more healthy and active lifestyle.

  • Dog owners have the lowest response to stress. Spending even a short period of time with our dogs can lower our anxiety levels and blood pressure and enhance our sense of calm and wellbeing due to an increase in serotonin and dopamine levels.

  • Dogs give us a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. Dog owners feel obliged to take care of their dog’s needs, whether they feel like it or not! Having a sense of meaning and purpose is commonly believed to help contribute to our wellbeing and even longevity.

  • Contact with dogs may help children develop stronger immune systems. Contrary to what used to be believed, recent research shows that dogs lower a child’s probability of developing an allergy to pets by up to 33%.

  • Having a dog encourages us to be more social.  Researchers found that about 40% of dog owners make friends more easily – perhaps because we are likely to speak to other dog owners on walks and other trips with our dogs and also because we have an obvious common interest and conversation starter: our mutual love for our dogs.