Sunday, January 24, 2021

Health benefits of owning dogs

Seeing a dog can brighten someone’s day and getting to pet the dog can make it even better. According to the National Geographic, dogs have been known to help humans in the past with things like hunting, and there are even movies about dogs helping humans, like Balto.

As it turns out, owning a dog might even be able to help out with more than that. Research done at Uppsala University in Sweden showed that dog owners had a decreased risk of death caused by cardiovascular disease and other risks.

That could be good news for anyone who owns or loves dogs. Sophomore and political science major Kristina Watrobski has a dog and recommends owning a dog to others, especially those who are lonely.

“It’s a good companion,” Watrobski said. “It keeps you happy, if you’re alone you always have something there. They are very loyal, they always want to cuddle with you and play with you.”
Watrobski has a Shiba Inu named Benny and has had him since her senior year of high school.

According to Time, owning a dog is especially helpful for people who live alone. It is also possible for people who do choose to own dogs may be more active people and people who live healthier lifestyles.

Junior and nutrition major Hannah Despres thinks owning a dog is important for people who live alone because it can help the person not get too lonely. She has a dog named Douglas.
“Companionship is companionship, and people die of loneliness or something, an animal in this case. You can form a bond.”

Also in the Times, it states that these people who own dogs and lead healthy lifestyles are more likely to walk more because their dog wants exercise too. This is the reason for a decreased chance of getting a cardiovascular disease because you have a healthy heart.

“I feel like having a pet can help lower your stress,” Watrobski said. “Like playing with them and cuddling with them. That can keep your heart healthy.”

Simply being around your dog can do things like lower your blood pressure and your stress levels, according to WebMD. It’s not only soothing for the human, it helps soothe your dog as well.
Dogs can make someone a happier person. They are very loyal and loving animals and spending time with them can increase happiness levels which helps someone’s mental health.

“They greet you when you come through the door at night, they’re always excited to see you,” Despres said. “You get to pet them, it’s just kind of like a stress relief. They’re very chill animals.”
Owning a dog isn’t just beneficial to adults. Some other studies have suggested that kids who had grown up with a dog in the house had reduced risks of having asthma and even allergies. This is because dogs can provide immune-boosting benefits.

“Having a dog to pet or cuddle with, it’s very comforting, if you’re stressed you just hug your dog,” Watrobski said. “Or just play with them, it cheers you up because they’re always so happy and they’re happy to see you.”

Even if it can’t be proven that there is a direct connection between owning a dog and living longer, there are definitely benefits to owning a dog and it may be something people should look into, as long as they are capable of taking care of it.

“They’re ridiculously affectionate animals that love you unconditionally,” Despres said. “You don’t find that often.”


Email Annika Campbell at

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