They are funny, uplifting and sometimes seem to understand us in a way no other human can. Science is continuing to prove that the animals in our lives offer us much more than companionship. Simply by sharing our homes, pets can help ease our distress and protect us from allergies. Specially trained dogs can even sniff out developing diseases and warn us away from foods we should not eat. Here is a list of ways in which having a dog around can affect your health for the better.
Dogs don’t just fill your heart; they actually make it stronger. Studies show that having a canine companion is linked to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, and decreased triglyceride levels, which contribute to better overall cardiovascular health and fewer heart attacks. What’s more, dog owners who do have heart attacks have better survival rates following the events.
To study the link between dogs and longevity, researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden reviewed national registry records of Swedish men and women, ages 40 to 80. They focused on 3.4 million people who had no history of cardiovascular disease in 2001 and followed their health records—as well as whether they registered as a dog owner—for about 12 years. Dog ownership registries are mandatory in Sweden, and every visit to a hospital is recorded in a national database.
They found that dog owners had a lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease than people who did not report owning a dog, as well as a lower risk of death from other causes. That was true even after adjusting for factors such as smoking, body mass index and socioeconomic status.
One of the most practical perks of having a dog is that they’ll guard your home and your loved ones.Home invaders are far less likely to intrude on your home if they hear or see a dog present.
Dogs will bark anytime anyone tries to enter your home which will alert you to the danger and warn the intruder to back off.
You’ll sleep better at night knowing your furry friend has their ears perked up and listening for any signs of danger.
Scientific reports of dogs sniffing out cancerous growths go back at least two decades. According to a 1989 case study in The Lancet, a patient reported that her dog would constantly sniff at a mole on her leg, and once even tried to bite the lesion off. Prompted by this, she had her mole checked out and found it to be a malignant melanoma.
But dogs are not only good at sniffing out skin cancer, some can also detect bladder, lung, breast, ovarian and colon cancer. In fact, a specially trained eight-year-old black Labrador named Panda correctly detected colorectal cancer in 33 out of 37 samples of people’s breath and stool that scientists had collected. Moreover, according to the article in the journal Gut published this year, Panda appeared to be highly accurate at detecting early-stage colorectal cancer.
Dogs provide a calming, familiar presence that decreases stress and anxiety levels. One study revealed that Alzheimer’s patients who owned dogs had fewer anxiety-induced outbursts than Alzheimer’s patients without dogs.
Dog ownership enables many – from adults to young children – to learn basic responsibility. From refilling the food bowl to giving the dog a bath, dog owning coaches responsibility because a dog fully relies on its owner for attention, meals, and cleanliness.
Getting a dog is a great decision but it comes with a lot of responsibility. In next post we will discuss are you ready to be a dog owner both emotionally, physically and financially.
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