Updated: Oct 7
We all know what an important role pets play in our lives. They provide companionship, love, and so much entertainment. But did you know that your pet may play a vital role in your health as well? Researchers are finding that pets can help us lead healthier lives by reducing stress, increasing exercise and building up your immunity. Below, we’ll discuss some of the ways your furry family member can help improve your health.
1. Stress reduction
Ruff day at the office? Pet-friendly workplaces are steadily growing in popularity and for good reason. A study published by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management showed pets in the workplace increased socialization with coworkers, reduced stress levels, and boosted morale among employees. Experts have found that playing with your pet increases the feel-good chemicals oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, improving your mood and overall happiness.
Dogs can be a great motivator to head outdoors for some fresh air and get your steps in for the day. Burning off extra energy can do wonders at keeping your dog’s bad behaviors at bay, while also helping to keep you active. You may not be surprised to hear that studies have shown dog owners walk more than those without dogs. In fact, dog owners are four times more likely to meet today’s activity guidelines, according to a recent study. Furthermore, researchers have found that children with dogs are more active and have more unstructured play time than kids without dogs in the home. So, lace up your tennis shoes and head outdoors for some quality time with your four-legged family member that will benefit everyone!
3. The Dog-tor is In
Coming home and petting your dog is beneficial to you both! While your pup will love the attention, several studies have also shown that the mere act of petting a dog lowers blood pressure. We know the mental health benefits dogs can provide, one of which being the reduction of overall trips to the doctor by a whopping 30 percent! Researchers in Australia found that pet owners showed lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk of a heart attack than those without pets. It’s not too far-fetched to say the increase in exercise pet owners enjoy is leading to better overall health. Summary Dogs are remarkable creatures who benefit our lives in more ways than we may realize. They provide unconditional love and companionship, while also helping to get us outdoors for daily exercise and fresh air. Pet owners also enjoy better health check-ups than non-pet owners, and doggonit, we think that’s pretty incredible! Virginia Commonwealth University. (2012, March 30). Benefits of taking your dog to work may not be far-fetched.
ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 6, 2022 from