Adult Health Family Health

Health Benefits of Owning a Dog

Who doesn’t love a cute, cuddly dog? Whether you have a huge dog, a mid-sized dog, or a teacup high fashion pet, dogs are wonderful. You’ll find that owning a dog can make your life a whole lot better, and even provide you with some pretty awesome health benefits.

Here are some of the health benefits of having a canine companion as a pet:

  1. Reduced illness — Dogs tend to be covered in bacteria, which means that pet owners are exposed to more bacteria than those without pets. This may sound bad, but it actually means that pet owners’ bodies are more adept at eliminating bacterial threats to their health than those sans pets.
  2. Improved disposition — Dogs not only reduce the risk of depression in their owners, but can actually make their owners happier just by being in the house. Spending time with your pet can increase the levels of the “feel good” chemical oxytocin in your brain.
  3. Fight allergies —  Dogs can trigger allergies, but children that grow up in homes with pets tend to be more resistant to allergies than those that don’t. It’s not just dog allergies you’ll be resistant to, but all allergies.
  4. Increase in exercise –– By owning a pet, you are forced to walk that pet on a regular basis. This means that you spend more time walking, running, jogging, cycling, and getting exercise. The exercise can lead to amazing health benefits!
  5. Improved heart health –– Owning a dog is good for your physical wellbeing as well as your emotional health. Coming in contact with a pet can lead to lowered blood pressure, heart  rate, and breathing rate, and can even lower cholesterol.
  6. Detecting cancer –– Dogs have an innate ability to detect cancers in the human body – or so scientists believe. Scientific studies and anecdotal evidence have proven that dogs are able to detect cancer early enough to save a life.


  1. Promote social connections — Studies and polls have shown that people trust those walking dogs over those walking alone, increasing your chance of social interactions outside your home.
  2. Reduced stress — Owning a dog is shown to reduce stress – both emotional and physical stress. People that interact with pets during their work day tend to have much lower stress levels, and dogs in the workplace can lead to increased productivity among employees.
  3. Detect low blood sugar levels — This may sound odd, but studies have proven that dogs can detect low blood sugar levels. Their behavior changes when the blood sugar in their owner’s body drops dangerously low, making dogs a wonderful companion for diabetics. They can even help their owner eat, preventing health issues.
  4. Provide aid during seizures —Seizure dogs are trained just like seeing eye dogs, and they can help to steer their owners away from situations that could cause them harm. Dogs may even be able to warn their masters of oncoming seizures, enabling them to get help, take medication, or get to a safe place before the attack.
  5. Prevent allergic episodes — Dogs can be trained to help their owners avoid allergen-rich foods. For example, they can be taught to sniff peanuts in the food their owner eats, thus enabling him to avoid consuming any foods that will cause anaphylaxis. Even trace amounts of these allergen foods can be detected by the sensitive nose of a dog.
  6. Speed up rehab –Just like they help you to feel better emotionally, dogs can speed up your physical healing as well.


About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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