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I’ve always been an animal lover, and grew up consistently having at least one family pet as my constant companion. But things change when you become the adult responsible for caring for a family dog, and the extra cleaning that comes with having a pet was not on a list of things I was dying to do!
But my husband and kids were dying to have a pooch in the house so we recently adopted an amazing mutt from a local shelter. It didn’t take long for me to fall absolutely in love, of course, especially after seeing what a positive influence she was on our family. As a matter of fact, I have science to support my claims: Research has shown that dogs provide a number of different emotional and physical health benefits to the humans that love them. Here are a few unique ways man’s best friend has a healthy impact on our lives:
Dogs inspire their owners to get moving. To take the best care of our pups, we have to ensure that they are getting plenty of exercise throughout the day. One of the best ways to do this is to join them in the fun! This article points out how having a family dog can also be an especially effective way to encourage children to play with their pet, and ward off the risk for childhood obesity.
Pooches are an adorable stress-buster. The reason we tend to feel better around our dogs is because interaction with them literally tells our brains to be happy. This article the health benefits of our dogs explains that spending time with our critters releases a hormone called oxytocin, a neurotransmitter known as the “love hormone” because of its role in making us feel connected with others. The higher our oxytocin levels, the more naturally equipped we are to handle stress.
They have potentially-lifesaving olfactory senses. Dogs are known for their acute sense of smell, and now they are using it to help their two-legged companions. Research has shown that dogs are able to detect health issues such as low blood sugar in diabetics and even some infections. Scientists are also now studying the canine ability to detect cancer, and hope to create a form of technology based on dogs’ natural gift of smell.
They provide uniquely compassionate therapy to those coping with cancer. Because of their abilities to boost the mood of those around them, dogs are frequent visitors to cancer patients undergoing treatment, and can be instrumental in managing emotional stress that often leads to serious mental health issues like depression. According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, their presence also provides physical benefits such as a decrease in pain and blood pressure.
Dogs don’t just provide us with unconditional love and incessantly wagging tails. In fact, sharing our homes with them may actually provide many unique and wonderful health advantages. A new dog may even be the health remedy you’ve been seeking!
Thank you for this great information from our Guest Blogger, Vee Cecil! Please let us know how your pet whether a cat/dog/bird/hamster/or any pet has improved your life! We love your comments.
Vee Cecil is a wellness coach, personal trainer, and bootcamp instructor. Vee is passionate about studying and sharing her findings in wellness through her recently-launched blog.