10 Ways Dogs Help You Live Longer
Dogs are truly a man’s best friend, and just like caregivers, can bring us so much joy and provide much-needed assistance that we oftentimes can take for granted. Besides the obvious characteristics that make dogs so lovable (would you just look at that face!), new studies have confirmed just why and how they can bring us joy, and how they can help us live longer! How amazing is that?
Even when we aren’t on our best behavior, our dogs love us no matter what. They will stand by you for better or for worse, and bring you so much peace. While you may not notice it, owning a dog brings so many incredible health benefits that can (as scientists have confirmed) contribute to a longer, happier life!
Here are ten ways dogs can help (with the facts to back it up):
- For those who live alone, studies have shown that “owning a dog can decrease their risk of death by 33% and their risk of cardiovascular-related death by 36% when compared to single individuals without a pet,” according to the study featured in Scientific Reports Journal in Sweden.
- Going off on this study, the chances of a heart attack were also found to be 11% lower, which can be attributed to how dogs keep us active as individuals and motivated to stay active down the road.
- Dogs provide us with comfort and allow us to be social – especially if you live on your own. In the case of a senior who is visited by a caregiver each day, a dog can significantly increase their social and conversational skills, which can set back the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Dogs can also help increase a senior’s neural activity, or brain waves – especially during long walks together. It helps calm their parasympathetic nervous system activity, which is the part of our body’s nervous system responsible for literally slowing us down and conversing energy by lowering the heart rate.
- Some say dogs, like many other animals, have a sixth sense, meaning they can sense when something is wrong, like a thunderstorm or natural disaster way before we can. They can also help predict medical problems, like in this story about a special study where dogs were able to distinguish which patients had bladder cancer based on their urine samples.
- Dogs provide us with many psychological benefits, mainly because they have a natural way of helping us feel safe. Take this amazing story about a boy who hadn’t spoken for six years, until a service dog visited his school. Dogs can help us come out of our shells!
- If you or your loved one suffers from epilepsy, several breeds of dogs can immediately notify those around you and even seek out help (even by dialing the phone!), or help stimulate you during the seizure to help keep you still.
- Dogs are incredibly smart and personable, which accounts for why police forces and medical facilities rely on dogs and train them to become guide dogs or therapy dogs to assist those in an emergency situation, or during day-to-day life.
- Strangely enough, even your dog’s kisses have a positive effect on your health, as they protect your immune system by exposing us to different bacteria they bring in from outside.
- Besides communicating with your dog in your own special way, dogs can help you bond with other dog owners (especially those with similar breeds) and allow you to meet many dog lovers such as yourself.
We can’t stress enough just how many benefits dogs and other pets such as cats can bring to our lives and overall health and wellbeing. They bring us joy, companionship, affection… and as scientists have backed up time and time again – are the perfect companion to help us along this journey called life.