Why Dog Owners Live Longer & Healthier Lives

As any animal lover knows, the unconditional love we get from our four-legged friends is beyond compare. They also help us to live longer, happier and much healthier lives. Perhaps one of the most obvious health benefits comes from walking and exercising our beloved canines, which also reduces health risks for them as well.

A recent Harvard Medical School publication reported that having a dog will also become your heart’s best friend. Exercising and walking four-legged friends will greatly reduce the risk of their humans contracting cardiovascular diseases. Studies show people who walk their dogs regularly are far less likely to become overweight or obese compared to their peers without pets.

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From a social and psychological standpoint, the University of Berkeley shared information from that people with pets don’t replace relationships with humans, but instead complement them. Some people are provided with more social support from their animals and other people around them that are drawn to these canines. People who have pets also have higher self-esteem are less likely to feel alone.

Be Still My Beating Heart

Pet Helpers, an animal rescue organization based in Charleston North Carolina, released some startling statistics about survival rates associated with heart attacks and pet owners from a study by the American Journal of Cardiology. According to their research, those suffering from heart failure or an attack who had a companion animal, were eight times more likely to survive this life-ending event if they owned a pet.

Along with a Heart Rate Variability study, a measure of the heart’s ability to withstand sources of stress, those who had a pet were also at a reduced risk from suffering from depression and loneliness, both common conditions found with elders who often live alone.

Baby Benefits

Time released an article stating that studies have shown exposing infants to animals, especially cats and canines, can protect them from developing allergies later in life. Babies that grew up with furry four-legged friends in their household were found to be half as likely to have trouble with allergens when they reach their teen years.

While having animals as a pet teaches children about important responsibilities and life lessons, according to the study, the sooner the better when it comes to having dogs and children. The study also revealed that exposing children to animals past their first birthday didn’t offer the same results as those who had animals at infancy and above.

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BONUS: Cat Comfort

For feline fanatics, apparently the sound waves created from them purring has medicinal value for those suffering from bone and muscle issues. Investigators reported the consistent noise coming from a cat purring while inhaling and exhaling rings in between 50 and 125 hertz. At these levels, the frequencies that their purring emits can improve with bone density and promote healing. These frequencies are also effective with aiding with muscle, tendon and ligament injuries while assisting with muscle strengthening.

Whether your four-legged best friend is a cat or canine, it’s obvious from these types of studies, research and investigations, there’s many health benefits afforded with pet ownership. Along with their unconditional love and affection, they’re also providing us with longer and happier lives.

About the Author

Amber Kingsley is a freelance writer who has donated countless hours supporting her local shelters in Santa Monica.  Her focus with writing is on pet related food, health and training.

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