Five Ways Dogs Can Benefit Your Health

What's better than having an amazing friend who's always excited to see you, doesn't argue about what to watch on TV, and loves you unconditionally?

Young woman playing outdoors with dog labrador retriever is one example of how a dog can benefit your health.

Dogs remind us of the importance of play, which can be rejuvenating.

That amazing friend also happens to be a health booster, and not just because he forces you to go for a walk twice a day. Over the ages studies have observed how pets help lower blood pressure, ease stress, and lessen anxiety in owners. According to WebMD, pets help lower blood pressure, lessen anxiety, boost immunity, and can even help you get dates! It may sound too good to be true, but it's not. Consider these five great reasons why dogs in particular can help improve and maintain your good health.

  1. Routine. Dogs provide their owners with a consistent friendly presence, but they also give regularity to our lives, from morning and evening walks to meals and grooming. Caring for a four-legged friend reinforces a kind of responsibility that engenders comfortable familiarity - the right kind of routine - in our lives. The stabilizing effect is cumulative and can help lower anxiety in everyone from children to the elderly.
  2. Play. Games and fun are essential parts of human nature, though we tend to leave them behind as we grow older. Dogs are there to remind us of the importance of play. A game of catch, tag (your dog will probably win), or just a tussle on the floor can be a hugely rejuvenating experience. You won't necessarily feel like a kid again, - you'll just feel more like yourself.
  3. Immunities boost. Medical studies have shown the potential boosts that growing up with dogs can give to children's resistance to allergies and asthma. Dogs don't keep clean the way humans do, so kids growing up in a pet-friendly environment will have harmless but important exposure to bacteria that they might not otherwise get, which might end up helping them somewhere down the line. According to ABC News, owning a dog may even lessen your kids’ chances of getting the common cold!
  4. Love. To owners, this may seem like a given, but to potential owners, it cannot be stressed enough. Dogs provide love and devotion that is both unqualified and unconditional. That sort of appreciation is impossible to overestimate.
  5. Relationships. Be it a question about breed or behavior, dogs can be a natural conversation starter and can help many people ease out of social isolation or shyness. Fellow animal lovers will be sure to notice you and your companion!

Picking the right dog is an important part of pet adoption. Those with busier schedules or limited capability for play and exercise will want smaller breeds, like Pugs, that require fewer walks. Folks fond of the outdoors will want a dog eager to climb, jump, and swim - like the Labrador retriever. Find the dog that's best for you and start feeling great - it'll take no time at all.

This content is provided by the pet wellness experts at Hartz. We know that adopting a dog or cat is a huge commitment, so we're here to help you feel confident and become the best pet parent you can be.