Posted on Monday, October 15th, 2012

Top 3 Ways That a Dog Can Make You Healthier Person

Photo Credit: Krista Sabiston Graphic Design
Photo Credit: Krista Sabiston Graphic Design

Making the decision to adopt a dog is a major responsibility, and one that you need to be absolutely sure that you can take on before signing the paperwork. With that in mind, if you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should take the plunge, have you ever thought about the potential health benefits that your new pet could provide? Over the past several years, there have been a variety of studies examining the differences between pet parents and pet-less individuals and have found that dog owners are generally healthier people in a variety of respects. Here are a few ways that your new dog could potentially change your life for the better.

1. Increased physical activity. As a new dog owner, you’ll be forced to get out into your neighborhood for daily walks, which can instantly improve the level of exercise you receive on a regular basis, reports The Huffington Post. Engaging in dog training and understanding your dog’s play behaviors is also a great way to get some additional exercise, and it will also help your dog fight off weight gain and get the mental and physical stimulation he or she craves.

2. Improved socialization. If you’ve ever been to an urban area, you may have noticed that dog owners tend to congregate at certain spots and usually have no trouble stopping to chat with other pet parents. Owning a dog can usually take some of the stigma out of talking with strangers, and can relieve the awkwardness of most situations. Dog owners are far more likely to have more social interactions than a pedestrian walking down the street, so you may find that your social life could improve dramatically after adopting.

3. Improved mental wellness. According to MyHealthNewsDaily.com, therapy dogs have become very popular in hospitals and medical centers across the country for their ability to put patients’ minds at ease and speed up recovery times. While you hopefully won’t be in a hospital anytime soon, dogs have an amazing ability to sense our moods and respond accordingly with attention and affection. After a long day of work or chasing after your kids, having a sweet dog to lie on the couch with could be all the recuperation time you need!

These benefits only scratch the surface of how valuable a dog can be, and you may even be saving your new dog’s life in the process. How has your pet(s) contributed to your overall health and wellness?

This content is provided by the pet wellness experts at Hartz. We know that adopting a dog or cat is a huge commitment, so we’re here to help you feel confident and become the best pet parent you can be.