Benefits of Dog Ownership- Emotional Support DogsReading Time: 2 minutes
There’s a reason why dogs are called man’s best friend. Dogs are loyal and are there to pick you up when you’re down. Dogs keep you on track to reach your goals and will just be there for you as a companion.They are funny, uplifting and sometimes seem to understand us in a way no other human can. Science is continuing to prove that having a dog in our lives, offer us much more than companionship. Simply by sharing our homes, pets can help ease our distress and protect us from allergies. The mental, physical and social benefits of caring for a dog are numerous.
Benefits of Dog Ownership- Mental Health
Dogs are naturally high-energy companions and love to play and exercise. As a result, dog owners are often inspired toward an active lifestyle to satisfy their dog’s needs. Research conducted by the American Heart Association revealed that dog owners were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended amount of exercise than non-dog owners. Studies show that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression and have increased levels of serotonin and dopamine. These are “feel good” neurotransmitters, responsible for emotional stability and pleasure.
Benefits of Dog Ownership- Physical Health
Owning a dog leads to many heart-healthy benefits, such as a decrease in blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels. This leads to an overall decreasing the risk for heart disease. One study showed that non-dog owners who had survived a heart attack were more likely to die within a year than dog-owners were. Dogs provide a calming, familiar presence that decreases stress and anxiety levels. One study revealed that Alzheimer’s patients who owned dogs had fewer anxiety-induced outbursts than Alzheimer’s patients without dogs.
Benefits of Dog Ownership- Social Health
Dogs provide a natural connection with other people and are great conversation starters. Common questions and comments from dog lovers, owners and social butterflies include, “What breed are they?”, “How long have you had them?” and “They’re so cute!” These conversation starters cue an instant social connection. Many times, dogs are adopted for their territorial qualities, providing many people with a sense of security. Dogs also provide a sense of security in terms of health, such as detecting low blood sugar levels and oncoming seizures even before the person recognizes them.
Additionally, dogs encourage owners to be more active, boosting mental fortitude for recovery. Dog ownership enables many – from adults to young children – to learn basic responsibility. From refilling the food bowl to giving the dog a bath, dog owning coaches’ responsibility because a dog fully relies on its owner for attention, meals and cleanliness.
Benefits of Dog Ownership- Final Thoughts
As we said earlier, owning a dog or puppy can provide multiple benefits for your health. An emotional support dog might be in your best interest. If you have any more questions on the process of finding or making your dog an emotional support animal, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions. If you need help picking out the right dog breed for you, please visit our link on top dog breeds for companion animals. The first step in getting an emotional support dog is taking CertaPet’s short simple 5 minute survey to see if you’re a good candidate. If you are considered a good candidate, we can connect you with a licensed mental health professional who will determine if an emotional support animal is best for you.
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