Is it true that people who own dogs live longer than people who don’t? Here are a few of the many reasons dog ownership may add years to your life.
We’re all familiar with fictional and real-life stories about dogs who rescued their owners from burning buildings, robberies, or from drowning, but simply having a dog around may prolong your life even when there’s no physical rescue required. According to a Swedish study, dog owners tend to live 20 percent longer than people who don’t own dogs. While this doesn’t come as any great surprise to a dog-lover like me – I own two dogs and had to be physically restrained from getting a third – people who hadn’t considered adopting a pet may want to rethink their position based upon the following factors.
- Dogs keep you active. While I have absolutely nothing against cats (though I don’t have much for them, either), physical exercise isn’t a part of cat ownership. Dogs need to be walked and played with, which gets us up, on our feet, and out of the house. Definitely good for cardiovascular health.
- Dogs keep you socially engaged. When you walk your dog or visit the dog park, you’re engaging with other people. One of the most emotionally (and physically) devastating conditions is loneliness, and dogs not only keep you company, they allow you to make and develop new relationships, too.
- Dogs elevate mood. Dogs are practically engineered to make humans happy – that’s one of the main reasons why many breeds were bred. They relieve stress, offer dedicated companionship, and even recognize when we’re feeling bad!
Since dogs do so much for us, it’s important that we keep them safe, happy and healthy. Make sure your furry companion gets plenty of exercise and nutritious food (my favorite dog food brands are Nutrish, Pedigree, and Zignature); DCM and obesity-related conditions can significantly shorten your pup’s life.
While I wouldn’t recommend dog ownership for everyone – not everyone has the resources or the time to be a fit pet owner – I certainly can vouch for all of the social and health benefits of being a puppy parent!
I’m a blogger, an enthusiastic (though only moderately skilled) home cook, and proud pet-parent of two brilliant rescue dogs who enjoy posing for Instagram pics as long as there’s a walk afterward.
To read more on topics like this, check out the health category.