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Surprising Health Benefits of Dog Ownership

health benefitsdogsHealth & Wellness • 3 min read • Nov 4, 2015 12:00:00 AM • Written by: Kat Smith


While your doctor is the best resource for managing your health, you could have a healthy companion already at home whom you might not think of as an asset to your wellness: the family dog. If you are a dog owner, you may have a few distinct advantages in your health, since dogs can offer their owners a wide range of fringe benefits, such as unconditional companionship and a constant exercise buddy. This article will take a closer look at how owning a dog can be a positive influence on your health and the health of the whole family.

A healthy heart

You probably know that petting your dog makes him feel good, but did you know there’s benefits for you too? Studies have shown that while interacting with dogs, people have lower blood pressure and, over more extended periods of time, may have lower cholesterol and triglycerides. These effects can be an astounding benefit for your heart health, which will only improve further if you take the time to go on walks or run in the park with your four-legged companion.

Easier breathing

If you are on the fence about having a dog in the house with young children, you might consider the health benefits that dogs can have for young kids. Research has indicated that the development of allergies and asthma later in life can be curbed by early exposure to commonly irritating microbes, such as those found in pet dander. As counterintuitive as it seems, this hygiene hypothesis is a promising theory for the future of treating these incredibly common respiratory disorders. Kids who may be at risk for asthma might also breathe easier as they run and play with the family dog, getting plenty of healthy exercise that encourages better respiratory health.

Positive mood

Having a friend to greet you every day when you come home, and cuddle with when you’ve had a bad day, can have a positive impact on your mood. In fact, the mood-elevating effects of canine companionship have long been used in the treatment of mental and behavioral illnesses, and the presence of a dog can actually improve healing times following serious illnesses or surgeries.

Your furry friend is not the only loyal resource you have for your health at home. When you need medical care right away, MeMD can let you skip a trip to the doctor’s office or urgent care facility so that you can get back to your routine quickly.

Reach the World. Giving Made Easy with Impact.

Kat Smith