It may look as if they are pampered pets but our dogs do a lot of work when it comes to enriching and even prolonging our lives. Dogs not only give us laughter and love, but also help us stay healthier. Here are just some of the major benefits dogs give freely to their owners every day.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Perhaps the most documented medical benefit of living with dogs is that their presence helps lower the dog owner’s blood pressure. Blood pressure lowers when the person is petting or generally goofing off with their canine companions.
Helps Reduce Depression
Some dog owners suffering from depression found their symptoms lessening through regular care of their dogs. Walking dogs helps gently force people to exercise and interact with other people they may meet on the walk. They can also see the immediate benefits of their actions helping the dog.
Helps Reduce Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or RA need to keep moving their affected joints with gentle exercise in order to feel better. However, this is easier said than done. Having a dog helps make an RA sufferer move the affected joints. Playing with dogs or watching their antics can also help reduce the stress many RA sufferers feel about their condition.
Stimulates Learning in Children
Studies done with learning impaired children show that interacting with dogs helps them focus their attention for longer periods of time. Dogs have also been known to help encourage children to read out loud (and thus continue reading) when they get to read to dogs. Dogs are a non-judgmental audience that help the child to keep on speaking and reading. Dogs also keep the child’s mind from focusing entirely on himself or herself. This helps a child become more empathetic to others.
Helps Keep Hearts Healthy
Not only do dogs lower blood pressure which can lead to a heart attack, but they can also help people recover who have already suffered a heart attack. Pet owners that had a heart attack live for a year or more with the help of their dogs.