The Health Benefits of Having a Dog

At The Insurance Emporium, we love our furry friends. And did you know, there are many health benefits of owning a dog! From your physical and mental health to social benefits, it’s easy to see why our pups are our best friends. Read on to find out all about the health benefits of owning a dog, and how our pups help us as much as we help them!

Physical benefits

Dogs can be very active and require a lot of exercise. Which can make their owners more active, too! Here are some of the ways our furry friends can impact our physical health.

Good for the heart

Owning a dog can do wonders for your heart. And not just from all the love they bring to our lives! Many studies have shown that dog ownership is linked to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol levels and lower triglyceride levels. These factors can all help your cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of heart attacks. Obviously, exercise plays a large part in this, but even just petting your dog is said to be enough to lower your blood pressure. Dogs can help reduce stress levels too, which can help improve your cardiovascular health!

Exercise

The NHS recommend adults between 19 to 64 years old should aim to get at least two and a half hours of moderate intensity activity a week, which could be much easier to achieve with a dog! Most pups will need at least two walks every day, which will encourage owners to get out and about and stay active. Keeping fit and active is incredibly important and can help us put in the groundwork to keeping ourselves mobile in our later years.

Weight loss

If you’re looking to shed a few extra pounds, exercise can help a lot with your weight loss goals. We’ve already mentioned about dogs loving a long walk, which can be a great way to get yourself moving! If you’re really wanting to get your heart rate pumping, your dog might love going for a run alongside you. Your canine companion helps to keep you accountable too. Even on those days you don’t feel like doing much, you’ll have to take the dog for a walk!

Mental benefits

Pets aren’t just great for our physical health. There are also some great mental health benefits of owning a pet! We’ve put together some ways pet ownership could help improve your mental health.

Exercise can have mental health benefits

We know it’s the second time we’re mentioning exercise, but it’s not only good for your physical health. Exercise has been proven to have a strong link with improving mental health too! Daily walks with your pooch can help to increase your mental alertness, energy and improve your mood, while reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. That’s on top of all the other great benefits of exercise!

Reduced stress

health benefits of having a dog labrador

On a basic level, pets satisfy the human need for touch and physical contact. Simply petting and stroking your canine companion or feline friend can help to lower your blood pressure, leaving you feeling calmer and less stressed. Pets can even ease symptoms of anxiety. Playing with your pet can decrease production of cortisol, the stress hormone, and increase levels of the stress-reducing oxytocin in your body, helping you feel calmer and more relaxed!

Improved mood

It’s no secret our pups provide us with unconditional love. And, unsurprisingly, this love can improve our mood, leading to better mental health! Dogs can be a great encouragement for owners to get out to exercise. They also provide a sense of calm and help to give a sense of purpose to each and every day. A fixed daily routine can also be a great way to improve our mood, too!

Less loneliness

health benefits of having a dog

Loneliness and mental health problems are strongly linked, and one can definitely exacerbate the other. Our dogs make fantastic companions, with pet owners said to feel much less lonely than others. Combatting loneliness doesn’t just make us feel happier, though. It can also help lower risk of death from all causes, meaning that our pets really could be saving our lives!

Social benefits

Other than combatting loneliness, our pets can have a positive impact on our social lives, too! Here are some ways dogs can help you get out and socialise.

Meeting new people

dogs with rose

Having a pet can increase your interactions with other, like-minded people. Whether it’s a one-off interaction with another dog owner at the park, or longer lasting friendships with people in your local area, chances are you’ll be more sociable if you own a dog! Remember, at the time of this blog being published, COVID-19 restrictions are still in place. Ensure you follow up to date guidelines from the government if you’re thinking about socialising!

Dogs can make us more attractive

Health benefits of having a dog laptop

For any bachelors out there, dogs could make you more attractive to a potential partner! Having a dog could make you appear friendlier, more outgoing and ultimately more attractive. All things which could improve your chances of finding a potential partner! Try sticking a picture with a dog on your dating app profile and see if you get any more attention. Or plan a “surprise” cameo appearance from your dog if you’re on a video call date!

Our canine companions do so much for us, it’s no wonder they’re our best friends! If you’re a dog owner, or you’re thinking about sharing your home with a furry friend, it might be worth thinking about taking out insurance for your dog! At The Insurance Emporium, our Dog Insurance policies can include cover for Vet’s Fees up to £8,000*. What’s more, selected Pet Insurance policies are Defaqto 5 Star Rated^! Grab your lead and take a walk down to The Insurance Emporium to see if we have the right policy for you and your pup.

* Vet’s Fees cover up to £8,000 available on lunar and calendar monthly Lifetime Gold policies.

^ Defaqto 5 Star Rating applies to all Lifetime Gold Pet Insurance policies plus Lifetime Silver and Maximum Benefit Golf policies where the premium is paid calendar or lunar monthly.

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