Why Dogs Make Us Happier and Healthier

Posted by Mary Jane on Dec 4th 2017

Dogs amuse us in many ways. We’ve all been there -- wooing and wowing over any cute puppy on the street.

If you’re a proud dog owner, you’d love your pet angel dearly as if you’re caring for your own child. Living with a dog is like experiencing the joy and frustration of parenthood. When your puppy makes a mess in the house, you’d frown and then laugh while shaking your head. When you come home from a long day of work, having a friend to wait for you at the door would ease your day’s stress like magic. Life is better with the presence of a dog member in your family -- even science says so!

Better Heart Health

Harvard suggests that pet ownership, especially having a dog companionship, helps to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. While a direct correlation between heart health and pet ownership still awaits more evidence, several studies have shown that dog owners generally have lower blood pressure than non-owners. Researchers believe in a “pet effect” that helps to calm a person physiologically when he/she pets a dog. Dogs’ powerful “calming effect” on humans can reduce the negative impact of stress. In other words, dog owners tend to handle stress better both mentally and physically.

Learning More About Yourself

Like owner, like dog. Your dog’s personality and breed can tell people a lot about yourself as well. Researchers from Bath Spa University in England conducted a study on the personality correlation between dog owners and their pets. They found that people who own toy dogs (Chihuahuas, Pugs, etc) tend to be more intelligent and more creative, while owners of gun dogs (Golden Retrievers, Irish Setters, etc) are more agreeable and nonchalant. Dogs can also take on your personality traits over time, mirroring your behavior and habits.

Loyal Companionship

Dogs are incredibly sensitive to human emotions. In addition to understanding your words, they also know how to interpret your body language and gestures. If you’re going through difficult times, your dog can sense your stress, sadness, or anxiety. They often try to offer soothing affection by stroking, licking, or snuggling up to you. If you’ve ever owned a dog, you already know how great the bond can be between you and your furry friend.

Easing Depression Symptoms

Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. If you’ve been clinically depressed, having a canine companion can help ease the symptoms. Even just looking at your dog can increase the amount of oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone,” in your brain. Living with a dog also requires you to go outside of the house more frequently for short walks, forcing you to stay more active in your daily routine. You’d most likely have a more structured life schedule when you have a dog so you’d feel balanced and calm.

Companionship, of course, is the best gift you’ll receive from your loving dog. A dog’s presence in the house can take away your loneliness and break you out of the shell of isolation. The puppy eyes and wagging tail will always remind you that you’re loved… and blessed!