If you are considering adopting a pet, Medical News Today recommends a dog. According to Women's Health Magazine, dogs are the perfect fitness partner. Their unquenchable joy and vivacious energy make them the ideal partners for all of life. Here are just some of the ways canine companions can have a positive impact on your health.
1. They Help Ward off Depression
According to WebMD, there are a number of ways that dogs help chase away the blues. For one thing, dogs simply make people happy. Playing with your dog releases serotonin and dopamine, two feel-good hormones that are used to treat depression. Also, dogs are incredibly active, social creatures that practically force you out of the house. Once the two of you leave the house, your dog makes a positive impact on your social life. As it turns out, dogs are great conversation starters. People will come up to you to tell you how cute your dog is or ask you his name or what breed he is. Thus, dogs make it easier for shy people to make social connections. By gently easing people out of social isolation, your dog will help you steer clear of the doldrums.
2. They Reduce Anxiety
Psychologists acknowledge that dog ownership reduces stress and anxiety in many people. Dogs, larger dogs especially, give their owners a strong sense of security. Dog owners are less likely to feel threatened or become paranoid over unseen danger. Psychologist Allan Schwartz notes that anxiety and phobic symptoms are often alleviated by the presence of a dog.
3. They Encourage Physical Activity
According to the New York Times, dog owners tend to be more active than their non-dog-owning counterparts. To anyone who owns a dog, this research is not surprising. Dogs are constantly bursting with energy and begging to go for a walk. Even if you don't particularly feel like taking a turn around the park one evening, you are more likely to grab your sneakers and go out anyway if you have a dog whining for a walk. Plus, you are prone to rolling around on the floor engaging in active play if you have a dog in your house.
4. They Promote Healthy Eating
Many pet owners are incredibly conscious about what they are feeding their dogs. As it turns out, foods that are good for your dog are also good for you. As you read pet food labels to determine the best things to feed your dog, you are educating yourself about nutrition.
5. They Help Your Heart
According to WebMD, pet owners have lower blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and bad cholesterol. The exact reason for this is unclear, though it may have a lot to do with the fact that dogs reduce stress and boost mood.
So, if you are looking for the perfect new family member and fitness partner, head to the nearest dog shelter.