5 Health Benefits of Owning a Dog

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Health Benefits of Owning a Dog

Today’s post is a guest post from Melissa over at Stylista Fitness. Please give her a warm welcome as she gives us 5 (of the many) health benefits of owning a dog.

My favorite part of the day is the moment I come home from a long day and see my puppy’s face. She brightens my day and makes me feel relaxed. I forget all the stress I had from work. Ever since she came into my life, I have never felt more energized and healthier. Thinking about getting a pet? Here’s 5 health benefits of owning a dog.

1. Lower blood pressure

More often than not, I come home with a huge headache and stress from work. Studies have shown that the simple act of petting an animal can drop your blood pressure. It can also help your body release a relaxation hormone and cuts down on levels of stress hormones.

2. Low intensity exercise

Dog walking is a great way to get low intensity and low risk exercise. You also get a dose of vitamin D from the sun. A study in Michigan shows that among dog owners who took their pets for regular walks, 60 percent met federal criteria for regular moderate or vigorous exercise. Nearly half of dog walkers exercised an average of 30 minutes a day at least five days a week.

3. Companionship

For three lonely years before I got my puppy, I was a single girl living on my lonesome. I came home to Netflix and a semi empty fridge (OK,  pretty empty). Most times, I felt depressed and lonely. The moment I brought my puppy into my home I felt loved and wanted. I also got rid of my hermit tendencies by taking her on daily walks and weekends trips to the park.

4. Good for your heart

Did you know that pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets? Studies at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have both conducted heart-related studies on people who have pets. The findings showed that pet owners exhibit decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels — all of which can ultimately minimize their risk for having a heart attack down the road.

5. Feel safer

Ever since I started living alone, I started to get nervous about sounds and scared that someone was breaking in. Dogs have excellent hearing and a natural tendency to protect their home, which make them perfect guards. At times, it can be excessive, especially when I’m sound asleep at night. However, I feel safer with every cute protective bark she makes and am able to sleep better at night.

Melissa Valmonte of Stylista Fitness is a DNA analyst, lifestyle blogger, fitness instructor and entrepreneur. She has a two year old toy poodle named Mishka. Melissa was born and raised in Los Angeles and is now living in Phoenix, Arizona. She created Stylista Fitness to share insight on style, fitness, nutrition, and her life in Phoenix. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We love pets for more than just their health benefits, tell us about your pet(s) in the comments below!

Photo Credit: “ginger1″ by Michael Joseph is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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Comments

  1. says

    I have 2 15+ yo buddies.. Brother and sister. They have been with me, ever since they were 20days old. They are my buddies, my babies, my parents… I learn from them everyday.. And I need to tell you, that having old dog(s) is both hard work (due to increased caring needs) but above all a blessing.
    They are wise and they communicate with you in so many ways, if you are open and ready to notice and listen to their teachings…
    I am preparing myself everyday for the inevitable goodbye so I am enjoying every minute I have with them.
    Most of all they teach you that life is a blessing… and you can be happy with small things that we forget to notice when we are caught up in everyday’s nonsense… :)
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