How does owning a dog benefit your health?

What are the benefits of owning a dog?

Here’s 5 amazing reasons to own a dog!

We’re a nation of dog lovers here in the UK. Whether it’s their happy little faces when we come home from work or the unconditional love they show us, dogs are truly man’s best friend. But did you know that owning a dog comes with a number of benefits to both your physical and mental health?

It turns out that living with a dog does us wonders. So, if you’re thinking about getting a four-legged friend of your own, or you’re planning to get another, then here are five of the best reasons to welcome in a canine companion.

Dogs help keep you active

Exercising your dog helps to keep you active

One of the biggest reasons why people decide to get a dog is to get a little more exercise in the daily lives. Exercise is great for both our physical and mental wellbeing, but sometimes it can be difficult motivating ourselves to get outside for a good walk, especially if it’s on our own.

All dogs need some form of regular exercise – and young pups need quite a lot! Heading out for a good walk or even spending time playing with your dog will contribute towards not only their physical development, but yours too.

Dogs can lower your blood pressure

Catching up with a good friend is great for making us feel at ease. It turns out that owning a dog can have the same calming effect on us every single day! Research from Harvard University has shown that dog owners have lower blood pressure than those who don’t own a dog.

The studies claim that lower blood pressure is a result of increased exercise and even affectionate actions such as petting your dog. Owning a dog helps us release more oxytocin, the ‘cuddle hormone’ that relieves you of any stress.

Dogs can help you meet new people

Dogs help you meet other owners and increase your social circle

Another great benefit to owning a dog is the boost it can have on your social life. You’ll quickly get to know a few familiar faces when you’re out for a walk and you might even make a few friends if you take your puppy along to classes.

Lots of young dogs love socialising, and it gives you and another dog owner something to chat about when your dogs are getting to know each other. Dogs are always a great conversation topic!

Dogs can help prevent loneliness

Dogs are great companions

Not only can dogs help you meet new people, but they’re great companions in general. For most people, our dogs are our best friends and it’s impossible to feel lonely when our dogs are by our side.

Dogs can warn you of danger

There’s a reason why dogs are man’s best friend. They’ve always got our backs. A dog’s sense of smell is around 40 times stronger than ours and they’ve been working with humans for so long that they know exactly when to sniff out danger.

It’s exactly because of their caring nature that so many dogs have specialist jobs. Medical conditions that dogs have been trained to sniff out include:

  • Cancer
  • Malaria
  • COVID-19
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson's

People who suffer from epilepsy and other health issues release an odour which differs very, very slightly from that of a healthy human. Dogs are able to detect this change in scent and can alert their owner ahead of a seizure.