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5 Mental & Physical Benefits of Having A Dog

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Ever sit back and wonder, what are the benefits of having a dog? Aside from the fact that our four-legged friends are seriously adorable and make us smile, there are some serious health benefits associated with having a pet in your home. In this post, we’ll discuss how pets benefit your health, both physically and mentally. 

Mental Benefits of Having a Dog

There’s a reason dogs are called ‘man’s best friend’ and it’s because they’re loyal, sweet companions that provide unconditional support. But, beyond that, having a dog in your life provides health benefits that are actually tangible. Here are some of the ways your four-legged best friend benefits your mental health. 

1: Dogs Are Serious Mood Boosters

Ever looked at a dog and frowned? Probably not. Pets are so adorable that they actually signal our brains to release what many refer to as ‘the happy hormone,’ or Seratonin. When your brain releases serotonin, it instantly improves your mood. And while there are a number of things that can signal your brain to boost the serotonin in your life, looking at your dog, watching him do something silly, playing with your cat, those things are all guaranteed to support a healthy, balanced mood and make you feel happier. 

2: Dogs Help You Have a Healthier Stress Response

If you’ve ever come home from a grueling day at work and instantly felt all the stress fade away when your pup peppered your face with kisses, then you know just how much dogs and cats can help us with stress relief. And there’s a scientific reason for this! 

When you’re stressed, your body is releasing heightened levels of the ‘stress hormone’ Cortisol. As long as there’s too much of that stress hormone floating around in your body, you’re going to feel the physical effects of stress. But, one way to combat serious stress, is by increasing happy hormones to help balance your body out. And dogs have been shown to not only help increase Seratonin levels but another ‘happy’ hormone, called oxytocin as well. The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and on edge, even just petting your pet can help! 

3: Dogs Can Give You Confidence

Did you know that your dog is good for your self-esteem? That’s right, studies show that pets positively impact their pet parents thanks to their support during social situations. If you’ve ever been too shy to approach someone, but feel instantly more comfortable when you notice they have a dog by their side, then you know just how true this is! 

Having a dog can help make you feel more outgoing and more confident to socialize with others, especially if they have a pet, too! Plus, they make it more likely that you’ll engage and stay engaged in conversation. Pet parents gravitate toward other pet parents, and the topic of dogs is an easy one to discuss. Your pet can help you forge connections with people, which positively impacts your self-confidence and your emotional health. 

4: Pets Provide Emotional Support

Your dog or cat is the perfect shoulder to cry on. They not only offer loving loyalty but they’ve been shown to seriously affect us humans and our emotional wellness. All the hormones mentioned above? They’re what regulate your mood, which plays a huge role in the way you feel...aka your emotions. When you’re in a good mood, it’s much easier to maintain happy emotions, and pets help you do exactly that. Pets have been shown to help ease symptoms of mood-related issues like occasional anxiety or depression and can be extremely beneficial if you’re dealing with a similar health issue.

5: Dogs And Cats Are Perfect Companions

Did you know that loneliness can negatively affect your mental health to the point that you could experience physical symptoms? That’s right, loneliness is a serious state of mind that can cause a host of emotional and physical issues. Pets? They provide us with companionship and help combat feelings of loneliness. 

Physical Benefits of Having A Dog

Dogs, especially highly trained working dogs, can help humans with very specific health issues. But, that’s not the only way they can benefit our physical health. They support our bodies in a number of ways. 

1: Dogs Benefit Our Overall Wellness

Pet parents live longer lives. While it might seem like a bold statement, it’s true. And it’s backed by extensive research. Both the physical and emotional ways your pet benefits your health play a role in the reason this is true, but the fact remains the same: your overall vitality, quality of life, and length of life are greatly improved by having a pet.  In fact, there aren’t many (if any!) areas of your life that aren’t positively impacted by Fifi or Fido. 

2: Dogs Can Help You Stay Active

Your pet needs exercise, so you’re much more likely to join them in physical activity when you are a pet parent. Whether that means taking your dog for a walk, hitting the dog park, or spending time chasing your cat around the house with her favorite toy, there’s no denying the fact that having a pet forces you to get up and move more than if you didn’t have a pet in your home. And it helps your health. Pet parents are more physically fit than their non-pet counterparts and have been shown to actually live longer because of this. 

3: Pets Are Heart-Healthy

Dogs have been shown to promote heart health in a number of ways! Pet parents tend to have healthy cholesterol levels, something that’s extremely important to help prevent age-related heart issues down the road. Dogs and cats also tend to positively impact blood pressure levels, probably in part to the stress support they provide. 

But, that’s not all. According to research, pet owners are less likely to die from cardiovascular issues than non-pet owners. 

4: Dogs Help You Have A Strong Immune System

If you want fewer seasonal allergies and a robust immune system that’s supporting your body to keep you healthy, get a pet! Studies show that kids who grow up in a home with a dog are less likely to develop seasonal allergies as they get older. And, having a pet can help boost immune system function, which is so important when it comes to fighting health issues. 

5: Pets For The Elderly Support Cognitive Function

While dogs can be helpful for brain health no matter your age, they’ve been shown to especially help older folks. As your physical and mental self declines, having a pet around actually supports healthy memory and works to keep you sharp and your cognitive function strong. Dogs have been shown to support elderly patients who experience cognitive related issues, helping to make outbursts, lapses in memory, and aggression less severe as compared to patients without pets. 

Pet Honesty Products To Support Your Dog

Whether you’re a brand new dog mom or dad, or you’ve pup’s been in your life for years, it’s important to support Fido with all the nutrients his body needs to keep him healthy. He’s doing so much to benefit your health, return the favor by adding a multivitamin like Pet Honesty 10-for-1 Multivitamin to his diet. It’s formulated to make sure your dog gets all the vitamins, minerals, and healthy compounds he needs to thrive each and every day. Plus, it includes digestive support thanks to probiotic bacteria. 

And, if you want to give your dog’s immune system a little boost since he’s helping to improve yours, add a supplement like Pet Honesty Allergy Support Chews to his dog dish. It’s formulated with antioxidant-rich ingredients like Turmeric, Vitamin C, Salmon Oil, and more.