Everyone is familiar with the benefits of having dogs as pets. It might not be surprising to learn that dog owners live longer, healthier lives. A study conducted by Uppsala University in Sweden, and published in Scientific Reports, officially confirms this.
In Sweden, dog registration is mandatory. Visits to the vet are recorded in a national database. The study targeted 3.4 million people aged 40-80 who registered as dog owners for about 12 years. These people had no history of cardiovascular disease and researchers followed their health records from 2001 to 2012. The results were very positive!
Dogs are good for physical health
Dog owners had a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and death from other causes. These results still hold true, even when adjusted for other factors. Other factors included smoking, body mass index and economic status.
Compared to those living in a multi-person household; individuals living alone have been reported to have higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death. Dog ownership was even more prominent as a protective factor for this group.
Cat owners may argue that their furry friends have a calming effect on them. Dog owners are likely to get more exercise. This means that dog owners live healthier as they get more physical activity daily, which is a major contributing factor to overall health.
Walking their dog also provides owners with opportunities to increase their social interaction; a bonus to single dog owners.
Dogs provide emotional support
Dogs are also proven to provide strong emotional support. In times of emotional stress, hugging our dogs usually helps us calm down our emotions.
We have all seen videos of how soldiers grow attached to their canine partners and end up adopting them as pets. Some soldiers make great effort to adopt the dogs they have befriended; even if these pets are from another country.
The study also found that owners of pointers and retrievers have the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease. This may be because the dog owners choose these breeds to fit in with their already active lifestyle. Just like their dogs, they enjoy being physically active and engaging in outdoor activities.
Health benefits aside; a dog helps each member of the household feel loved and valued. This is true for a solo dog owner or a family living with a dog or dogs. Your dog greeting you cheerfully whenever you come home, shows just how much they love and value you.
Adopt a Dog
If you want to get yourself or your family a pet dog, adopt one from an animal shelter. There are so many shelter dogs who are looking for loving homes and caring dog owners. Each dog has a unique personality and you are sure to find the perfect pet among these dogs.
One of the best qualities of dogs is that their hearts are bigger than their bodies. Shelter dogs have been abandoned by their owners. Yet, they are still ready to give you all their love.
Check out these pet shelters around Metro Manila to find the perfect dog for you and your loved ones.
- Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF): Website + Facebook page
- Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS): Website + Facebook page
- Compassion and Welfare for Animals (CARA): Website + Facebook page
- Help Mandaluyong Animal Shelter: Facebook page
Try to research and find an animal shelter near your local community too.