Seven ways your dog is improving your health

It’s no secret that owning a dog is totally awesome. But did you know being a dog parent also has some majorly marvelous health benefits? There are several proven benefits, including physical, mental and emotional improvements. Here are a few of the great things your dogs do for your health.

  1. Dogs boost your mood and lower stress. It only takes 15-30 minutes with your pup to feel more relaxed and calm. Studies have shown that playing with dogs can elevate serotonin and dopamine levels, which have pleasurable and calming properties. How amazing is that? This is why dogs are utilized for rehabilitation and to help patients who need a mood booster.
  2. Pups lead to healthier kiddos. Several studies have shown that children growing up in homes with dogs are at less risk for allergies and asthma, and will also have a better immune system. It also no surprise that kids with dogs at home have fewer sick days as they get older. Of course, your fur kids also do a lot for your four-legged kids besides improve their health.
  3. Dogs are great for meeting people. Furry friends are a great way to make human friends. They are a natural conversation starter, whether at the dog park or eating at your favorite dog friendly restaurant or bar. Not a social person? Don’t worry! Dogs can be great icebreakers, even when you’re meeting new people. There are lots of places to explore with your dog and people to meet at all of them.
  4. They are good for the heart. Research has shown a connection between owning a dog and reduced risk of cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In addition, studies have also shown male heart attack patients who have a dog survive longer than those without. Not to mention your dog makes your heart feel happy everyday.
  5. Pups build our immunity. Dogs are dirty…sometimes very dirty. Although this isn’t always the best part of being a dog parent, it’s not all bad. The extra dirt and allergens your pup brings into the house, actually boost immune system chemicals in their human owners. So next time you’re wiping off those muddy paws, say thanks to your pup for boosting your family’s immunity.
  6. Fido helps you stay fit. Who is going to walk the dog? It’s one of the questions frequently asked before a family brings home a new pet. Dogs definitely encourage you to exercise more. Walking, hiking, swimming, jogging and running are all more fun with your pup by your side. For the more adventurous, some dogs enjoy stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, surfing and doga (yoga for dogs). No matter which activity is your favorite, dogs give you motivation to get moving.
  7. Dogs teach responsibility and compassion. Being a dog parent is fun, but also requires commitment. You have to make sure fur kid has food and water, train them to behave, and provide some mental and physical stimulation. Taking care of a dog teaches humans, old and young, how to be responsible. Dogs also teach you how to be patient and selfless. No matter your age, everyone can benefit from that lesson.

What is your favorite way your dog keeps you healthy? Share your photos on social media and tag them #BarkHappy to be featured.