Posted on 22 May 2013 by Charles Yarbrough
Want to stay healthy? Get a dog!
It goes without saying that there a plenty of benefits to owning a dog. But did you know that a dog could make you healthier? Well, there is an increasing amount of research which seems to suggest that is the case. For anyone that has owned a young pup, and knows only too well the exertion involved, this probably comes as no surprise! We probably all have anecdotal evidence of dogs helping to make healthier, more fulfilling lives, but here is a quick review of academic research which seems to support that view.
Keeping you fit and active
If you own a dog then you need to give it exercise. And research seems to suggest that this increase in regular exercise is enough to have noticeable effects. The American Journal of Cardiology conducted a study which followed major heart surgery patients for the year after their operations. Survival rates were much higher for those patients that owned a dog.
The University of Victoria, Canada, attempted to quantify just how much more exercise dog owners took on average when compared to non-dog owners. They found that, on average, dog owners walked for 300 minutes a week, compared to the 168 minutes of non-dog owners. The best way to keep active with your dog is to get out there and play with it! You can find hundreds of great toys, as well as dog clothes, training equipment, crates and dog beds with Dogs Corner.
Good for the kids
Anyone with kids will know just how hard it is to get them outside and active- especially with all the video games and social media sites which are vying for their attention. But there is one thing which will tear them away from the computer screen- a dog! In 2010 the American Journal of Public Health released a report which confirmed that children growing up with dogs were much more likely to take part in vigorous physical exercise on a regular basis.
You would imagine that owning a dog would be a no-no for those with allergy suffers in the home- and whilst it’s certainly something which you should consider and test, initial fears may sometimes be misplaced. In 2011, the Journal of Paediatrics looked at a sample of over 600 children and discovered that rates of eczema were much lower in those that lived with a dog.
Dogs can have an incredibly calming effect upon a wide range of people. These days it is common practice to see dogs being taken into old people’s homes and children’s wards- and several studies have shown just what an impact this can have. However, their therapeutic qualities may stretch even further. Research conducted by the Medical College of Virginia revealed that animal therapy sessions were much more effective than traditional therapy methods in reducing anxiety amongst mental health patients. There is still much research to be conducted in this field, and it will be interesting to see how dogs, and animals in general, will be used to help patients in the not-so-distant future.