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8 Rewarding Benefits of Being a Dog Owner

It’s no secret that furry friends often make the best companions. They’re loyal, playful and more often than not, they’re willing to follow you anywhere just to be by your side.

Besides having a built-in snuggle buddy and a grade A listener, it turns out that the relationship you have with your pup is actually beneficial to your health. According to research, here are eight scientific benefits of being a dog owner:

pets

  1. You get more exercise

    Big or small, dogs need their exercise. Whether it’s a walk around the block, a trip to the dog park or a game of fetch in the backyard, dog owners tend to get more exercise than those who don’t share their home with a pet.

  2. You have better heart health

    Along with the heart health benefits exercise provides, your furry friend helps improve your cardiovascular health in other ways, too. Studies show that just petting a dog can have a positive impact on your heart rate and blood pressure.

  3. You’re more allergy-resistant

    Research shows that the more pets infants are exposed to early in life, the lower their risk of allergies, along with wheezing and atopic dermatitis. It turns out exposure to pet bacteria early on can help build up a child’s immune system to reduce their risk of reactions later on in life.

  4. You’re less stressed

    It’s no wonder more and more companies are allowing dogs in the office. Studies show that interacting with a pet while working can help lower stress levels throughout the day. Interacting with a dog can also increase your energy levels, job productivity and job satisfaction. Could it be time to talk to your boss about bring your doggy to work day?

  5. You have a more active social life

    The dog park isn’t the only place fido is welcome these days. You can find restaurants, wineries, breweries — even dog-friendly beaches or ice cream shops — where friendly pups are welcome. Setting up puppy play dates or simply bringing your furry friend along when you head out for the day can help improve your social life and build supportive relationships with others.

  6. You could be more likely to detect cancer early

    Stories of dogs detecting their humans’ cancer have been popping up more and more, and now, those stories are backed by scientific evidence. Studies show that some dogs have the ability to smell cancer in the human body. If you sense something off with your pup, it could be because he senses something off in you.

  7. You get sick less often

    As the “more pets, fewer allergies” research points out, being exposed to different bacteria isn’t a bad thing. Exposure to a diverse mix of germs helps strengthen your immune system. Having a furry friend who carries different types of germs than you can help beat the cold, flu and other pesky illnesses more often.

  8. You’re happier

Man’s best friend is a built-in mood booster. Studies show that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression, compared to those who don’t own pets. Believe it or not, even looking at your pet can boost your mood. Staring at his fluffy face increases a feel good chemical in your brain called oxytocin. The next time you’re feeling down, have a friendly staring contest with your pup. It might be enough to make you smile.

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