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Why Owning a Dog Could Save Your Life

To all the proud dog owners out there – you were right. They are the best pets to have, and not only because they always love you and consistently want to cuddle, but because a new study has proven that they might actually help to improve your health. Cat people can hear the “I told you so’s” from miles away right now.

Dogs are miracle workers

This brand new study, which was recently published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes, seems to prove that dogs truly are miracle workers. The study’s focus was on examining the association between owning a pet and good heart health. Data was gathered on 1,769 people to see how owning a pet affect humans’ seven ideal health behaviors and factors, also known as “Life’s Simple 7”. This includes diet, body mass index, physical activity, blood pressure, blood glucose, total cholesterol, and smoking status. According to CNN, this study was done on people who had no history of heart disease, which means that the findings are pretty accurate.

Image: Twenty20

Once researchers had obtained enough data, they compared it to people who don’t own any pets. The general outcome showed that people who own pets are more physically active (unsurprisingly) and also follow a healthier diet and have healthier blood sugar levels. Not too shabby, eh? The best part about this research is that researchers didn’t stop there – they went ahead and compared the data to dog owners, and their findings showed that those are the people with the best cardiovascular health, no matter their age, sex, or education level. Dogs make the world go round y’all.

Image: Twenty20

Other studies support this

These findings are consistent with other studies that have shown that dog owners are more active than other pet owners. Cat lovers, fear not, the study also showed that owning any sort of pet aids in reducing your stress levels and boosts your self-esteem, as well as making you more social. As a cat person myself, I cannot really say that the latter is true, except if having long chats about life with my feline friend means that I’m being social. Then yes, my pet is improving my social life.

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Dogs also aid in helping to reduce the symptoms of depression. According to MindBodyGreen, dogs have been shown to improve mental health as well as the feeling of social isolation. These are both risk factors for heart attacks, which dogs seem to combat quite effectively. A study done by the University of British Columbia showed that people’s depression symptoms are eased by the prospect of owning a dog. According to holistic psychotherapist Alison Stone, LCSW, this is because dogs rarely let their owners down. “We humans are capable of disappointment, criticism, judgment, and betrayal. For the most part, pets just want to love and be loved. Studies have shown that just 10 minutes of interacting with dogs can raise our oxytocin levels.”

Image: Twenty20

What makes this new study so different?

One of the lead researchers on the team of the latest study, Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, says that this research is considered quite significant because it managed to show the benefits of owning a dog that goes way beyond just having an increase in physical activity. This particular study made sure to include other factors that contribute to heart health, which as it was shown, dog owners have because they follow a healthier diet. According to Lopez-Jimenez, this study was all about “putting everything together and not just [focusing] on a single factor.”

Image: Twenty20

Lopez-Jimenez did, however, point out that some of the results may be a bit skewed since so many people own dogs. In fact, of the 42 percent of those with pets who took part in the study, 24 percent were dog owners.

Adopt a dog, improve your life

It is, however, quite clear that all of the studies that have been done so far prove that you’re better off having a dog than going about life without one. And let’s be honest – having a constant, overly optimistic companion who always has time to cuddle is more than enough to make life look less bland.

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22 Comments

  1. Avatar

    lisa

    December 18, 2020 at 7:37 am

    That’s a lovely pet. I have got one too. Where can I buy some good Cleaning Supplies for my Pet.savannah cat for sale

  2. Avatar

    lisa

    July 23, 2021 at 8:51 am

    Great article! It can be a massive responsibility for a kid to have a pet especially getting a dog. Great life lesson for kids to learn.pet food supplier singapore

  3. Avatar

    lisa

    July 24, 2021 at 2:36 am

    Oh yes I see it does kind of defeat the point, I see what you mean. That is interesting to hear you clearly had different advice. Thanks for reading cute cat

  4. Avatar

    lisa

    September 19, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    Most people in lieu of adopting a pet will not adopt a starving child, or divert every disposable dollar to children’s charities. But, it makes a huge difference to the life of that one adopted animal to come to a loving home.how much does it cost to buy a maltipoo

  5. Avatar

    lisa

    September 24, 2021 at 10:23 am

    I keep laughing at this post because I’m trying to imagine trying to make characters out of these creatures. trying to make a pacu fish cute.pet

  6. Avatar

    emma

    December 2, 2021 at 8:52 am

    Also good job with mentioning that toys can be dangerous for little puppies. The parent must set the boundaries for what is and is not appropriate for the dog to behave with kids.Dog park

  7. Avatar

    LISA

    December 8, 2021 at 7:54 am

    Supposedly, several locals where the fish lives have had pretty bad run ins with it. It is mainly a vegetarian, but will chomp on whatever is in it’s way. Yikes for sure!!Bengal cats & kittens

  8. Avatar

    emma

    December 11, 2021 at 8:25 am

    Also good job with mentioning that toys can be dangerous for little puppies. The parent must set the boundaries for what is and is not appropriate for the dog to behave with kids.Lost pets

  9. Avatar

    emma

    December 14, 2021 at 6:50 am

    I’m trying to imagine trying to make characters out of these creatures. trying to make a pacu fish cute.PET ANXIETY

  10. Avatar

    lisa

    December 22, 2021 at 8:52 am

    Virtual pets have come on leaps and bounds since when we had Tamagotchis in the 90s. Today’s digi-pets are almost as good as the real thing and are a great way to encourage kids to be responsible for feeding and looking after an animal. One key benefit of a robot dog toy over a real dog, is that you won’t have to deal with the poos!Nodytalk

  11. Avatar

    emma

    January 5, 2022 at 7:24 am

    I would tickle its belly like the Pillsbury dough boy. I don’t like the teethy fish either, too close to home. Caleb reads your blog? Uhm, coolest son ever alert.Snuffle Mat

  12. Avatar

    lisa

    January 9, 2022 at 4:53 am

    The Bengal cat is a unique example of the successful crossbreeding of wild and domestic breeds. They are active, playful, and sociable pets. The Bengal breed combines the best features of their ancestors: not only an attractive appearance, but also intelligence, curiosity, activity, and friendliness. Learn more about Bengals at Bengal Cat Breeder list

  13. Avatar

    lisa

    January 20, 2022 at 5:25 am

    Interesting idea, but the dog will eventually lose interest if he isn’t able to catch the hot dog once in a while. It’s the same thing with toy rope tug of war; you have to let them win sometimes.Paws Bistro

  14. Avatar

    lisa

    February 25, 2022 at 10:03 am

    Today’s digi-pets are almost as good as the real thing and are a great way to encourage kids to be responsible for feeding and looking after an animal.cibo per animali

  15. Avatar

    lisa

    March 4, 2022 at 10:30 am

    That is interesting to hear you clearly had different advice. Thanks for reading rottweiler

  16. Avatar

    lisa

    March 8, 2022 at 9:05 am

    The Bengal breed combines the best features of their ancestors: not only an attractive appearance, but also intelligence, curiosity, activity, and friendliness.AuthorityAquarium

  17. Avatar

    lisa

    March 26, 2022 at 11:01 am

    It’s amazing that proper ‘pet people’ can have so many animals around them and it’s no trouble at all to them, whereas for people like me it seems like hard work!Golden Yorkie

  18. Avatar

    emma

    April 6, 2022 at 6:06 am

    The parent must set the boundaries for what is and is not appropriate for the dog to behave with kids.Hund

  19. Avatar

    lisa

    April 14, 2022 at 10:51 am

    I am a yoga and cat lover, a music addict, and take my tea with two sugars. French fries are my guilty pleasure.Savannah Cat

  20. Avatar

    lisa

    April 23, 2022 at 11:22 am

    I don’t like the teethy fish either, too close to home. Caleb reads your blog? Uhm, coolest son ever alert.maine coon for sale

  21. Avatar

    emma

    May 1, 2022 at 7:46 am

    I’m trying to imagine trying to make characters out of these creatures. trying to make a pacu fish.outdoor pet house

  22. Avatar

    emma

    May 17, 2022 at 10:46 am

    The water bear is so cute! If it were bigger I would tickle its belly like the Pillsbury doughboy. I don’t like the teeth fish either, too close to home. Cream Champions

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