Heart health linked to owning a dog, science explains

APR 01, 2020 AT 12:29 PM

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It’s simple: whether you have a dog or not, we all know they make our lives better.  We know this without even seeing the scientific evidence that backs up this claim. Studies have proven, time and time again that having a faithful companion, tends to mean you also have better cardiovascular health and physical stamina. If you’re back and forth about getting a dog, consider the possible health benefits for you and your family.  Who knows, potentially owning a dog could make your entire family healthier!

We love dogs and we were glad to learn that these wonderful animals can not only make our hearts happier, but healthier, too. We’ve always known dogs are especially great for those who suffer from depression, but today’s studies also show that these fluffy and friendly balls of fur have a significant impact on owners’ hearts! So, let’s dive further in and explore how it works.

 

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The dog lies with the girl

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In a study called The Kardiovize Brno 2030, researchers studied a population from Central Europe made up of 1,769 people, aged 25 to 64 years old, 44.3% of them being males, with no history of heart disease. Within just a few short years, researchers were able to compare dog owners with people who had other pets or no pets at all, in correlation with parameters like cardiovascular health, body mass index, diet, physical activity levels, blood pressure, smoking, and cholesterol levels.

 

The dog lies with an old man

Rangnar_The-Red90 / Reddit  

Out of the patients studies, 24.3% had a dog, and additionally, it just so happens this group of people smoked less, were more physically active, and had ideal levels of blood glucose and “good” cholesterol compared with other participants. These and other physical parameters resulted in better cardiovascular health and a lower risk of heart disease.

 

Beautiful dog looking at the camera

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Therefore, scientists involved in this study can explain these health benefits based on the fact that dog owners are more physically active than people who have other pets or no pets at all. If you have a doggo, there’s a good chance you’re most likely walking him or her yourself, rain or shine, and being more physically active than those that don’t have a dog, without even realizing it.

 

Beautiful dog with a girl on the beach

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Earlier studies have also proven that dog owners who regularly walk their pets are 34% more likely to reach the necessary level of daily physical activity.  What’s even more exciting is that researchers have found walking a dog is not just an exercise substitute for other physical activities. Those of us who have dogs as pets tend to have more moderate and vigorous physical activities in our lives, daily, than other people.  These include sports, dancing, and gardening in addition to spending time with your pup.

 

The dog is lying on the couch

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Other findings revealed that young and elderly people walk their pets more often and therefore, have higher health benefits.  Moreover, dogs one year of age or younger and dogs of large breeds were walked more often and for longer periods of time, respectively. Apart from making us walk more, the human-dog bond has an overall positive effect on our quality of life.  Just from being around your dog, you’re a happier version of yourself.  Doctors believe that public campaigns promoting responsible dog ownership are a good step on the way to a healthier, happier society.

 

Dog sits on a bench

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Essentially, you need to be honest with yourself: dogs are furry creatures that make our lives better in almost every way. Just seeing them and their wagging tail when you come home from work is a special moment and it gives us energy to keep going, despite the hardships in our lives.

 

Beautiful cute dog in the room

suffolkbeagles/Instagram

Finally, did you know dogs can also reduce our overall stress level. People tend to concentrate on bad events in life, more often than now. But how can you concentrate on something bad when this wonderful fluffy friend comes up to you and looks at you with his sincere eyes, trying to remind you that it’s time to go for a walk?
Do you have a dog? Can you point out any positive effects on your health from having a dog?