It probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise that dogs are good for you. Here at Ruffin’It, we know very well the positive effects that owning a dog can have on your mental and physical health. But this idea has also been studied—and proven—by scientists in many different fields. Read on to learn more about how dogs keep you healthy.
Dogs Help Hypertension
Several studies have already shown that owning a dog can help your heart health, particularly if you have high blood pressure. While medication exists to treat hypertension, it typically only helps resting blood pressure—which means that patients still experience increased blood pressure when under mental or physical stress. But one study showed that dog owners on hypertension medication also had reduced blood pressure under mental or physical stress when compared to a control group. This shows that the social and mental benefits of owning a dog have a positive effect on your health that you simply can’t get from medicine.
Recent research suggests that having dogs or cats in the home can strengthen a child’s immune system even before birth. Allergies are frequently diagnosed by looking at the level of IgE, a type of antibody, in a patient’s blood. This study from 2008 showed the children of women who lived with pets during pregnancy had lower levels of IgE than the children of mothers who had no pets. Given how common allergies are nowadays, it’s exciting to know that dogs might help protect children from these conditions later in life!
Depression and Anxiety
A lot of research has already been done on the relationship between dogs and their owners’ moods, and it’s now proven that owning a dog can help decrease levels of depression and anxiety. Interestingly though, for people with mental disorders, spending time with a dog might actually be better than other kinds of therapy. In this study on patients in a psychiatric hospital, people who spent time with dogs reported significantly less anxiety afterwards than patients who had undergone recreational therapy.
Did you notice a change in your health after you got your dog? Tell us on Facebook!