Anyone who has experienced the love and warm welcome of a pet dog, after a hard day’s work, would know what it means to have a dog as a pet. No feeling is greater than the one heaped by your pet on you with his wagging tail, energized yapping and the expression of unadulterated joy that tugs at your heart each time you appear in front of him, after a brief period of absence.

Unlike other domestic pets, dogs display unequivocal love and non-judgemental ears on an individual that can sometimes be a huge boon to a person who has had a rough day. In addition, proven health benefits of owning a dog include, taking him out for a walk thus getting your own time for exercise and the dependency of fussing over the pet, which helps to take your mind off your own troubles and cares.

Some experts are of the opinion that only the exercise factor is instrumental in owning a pet dog which can bring about proven physical health benefits to an individual. According to a research study conducted in Australia, it was revealed that dog owners got an additional 20 minutes of exercise longer each week than those who did not own a pet dog. In addition, statistics from a British Institute concluded that while half their country’s pooches are obese, it is not necessary that dog owners tend to be in fine fettle than those without a four-legged companion. So then, what exactly is at play here? What are the reasons that pet dog owners tend to be healthier than non-dog owners?

Studies have revealed that pet dog owners tend to have more robust physical and mental health, although what isn’t quite clear is whether individuals of better health were more likely to own dog in in the first place, or whether their health improved after owning a dog. According to a study conducted in Germany that set out to answer the question that was boggling health experts, a sample group of over 10,000 people were analysed and studied for more than five years. In conclusion, the study revealed that individuals who owned a pet dog continuously for over five years had the least number of sick visits to a doctor while those participants who welcomed a pet dog in their home within the five-year study period were revealed as being the next healthiest. This brought about a flurry of questions, and the most prominent one among them was why?

From a physiological point of view, it was seen that the main effects of owning a pet dog were on cardiovascular health. In a study conducted simultaneously at the New York State University revealed that stockbrokers with blood pressure problems or hypertension found lowered blood pressure readings after taking care of a dog for a period of six months. Additional research revealed that being in the company of a pet dog for even as less as 10 minutes greatly reduced blood pressure levels, while increasing the levels of oxytocin– which is believed to be a ‘bonding’ hormone.

In addition, pet dog owners would also seem to have low triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels than non-pet dog owners, which perhaps contributed to the 4% reduction in heart disorders and mortality rate.

In a New York study it was seen that pet ownership helped in greater survival rates, especially among patients who experienced a heart attack a year prior to owning a dog. Moreover, children who were accustomed to having a pet dog in the first year of their lives were less likely to experience allergic reactions or breathing problems.

Another strong association seen between pet dogs and their owners is the strong psychological component. Research conducted in the United States revealed that pet dog owners tended to cope far better with unfavourable life incidents, such as personal grief and death of loved ones, while additional studies revealed that young kids in strife ridden countries began to cope much better with their excruciating circumstances after they owned a domestic animal.

Deriving comfort from the love of a pet animal is a huge constituent in establishing a strong mental position. In addition, British experts found that young kids often found solace among pet animals than humans as sympathizers, comfort providers and as confidantes, which was instrumental in aiding the development of self-esteem among the children. Even among adults, over 50% of pet dog owners confide their problems to their pet animals, while over 52% describe their pet dog as their ‘best mate’.

There are numerous advantages to owning a pet dog and this has been demonstrated so convincingly around the world that a large number of non-profit organisations are starting to take action on conveying the benefits of maintaining and owning a four-legged companion to a more far-reaching audience.

Carlo is a domestic pet lover, she loves to share her knowledge and experience by writing matters on health and pet related topics for the blogs. She is currently associated with uspuregarciniacambogia.com, an online store for garcinia cambogia weight loss.