The Health Benefits of Dog Ownership (There Are Lots!)

The health benefits of owning a dog include reducing allergies in young kids, increased exercise, lowered blood pressure and more…

To many, owning a pet is simply about having companionship or for the feeling one gets when they have a living thing that depends on them for their happiness and well being. But, having a pet can actually have a number of benefits besides instant gratification. Studies show that owning a pet can provide serious health benefits and can help children to become responsible.

Reduces the chances of allergies
While many parents used to believe that children would develop allergies if they were around animals at a young age, studies suggest that children are actually less likely to develop asthma and allergies later in life if exposed to animal when they are young. This is because they are exposed to the new bacteria and allergens at an early age, which allows their immune system time to grow accustomed to them.

Increased exercise
Having a dog provides more opportunities for outdoor exercise, without it feeling like exercise. Families who own one of these furry pets are more likely to take family walks, which is not only great for one’s health but for family bonding as well. Research suggests that families who own larger dogs that require frequent exercise are less likely to struggle with weight issues.

Decreases anxiety and lowers blood pressure 
Studies show that the members of families who own pets usually have lower stress levels than families who do not. Simply stroking an animal’s fur can help to reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure. In fact, many believe that the effects of stroking an animal’s fur are very similar to the effects a person experiences from therapy.

Healthier hearts
Research suggests that there is a strong correlation between owning a pet and lower cholesterol levels. In fact, pet owners tend to have a lower chance of developing heart disease than individuals who don’t.

Helps to promote responsibility
When parents purchase a pet for their child, it is the perfect way to promote responsibility, especially if the child is in charge of taking care of the animal and cleaning up after it. By having a living and breathing animal depend on them for their survival and wellbeing, it makes every member of the family aware of their responsibilities and duties. This tends to have a lasting effect and will usually affect other aspects of their life as well.

Helps with Alzheimer’s
For families that have older family members suffering from Alzheimer’s, having a pet around the house can actually decrease panic and anxiety that is usually caused by this medical condition.

There are countless benefits to owning an animal. Not only can it help to make a household a happier place, but it can make it a healthier place as well. From elevated moods, to free therapy sessions, to decreased chances of developing coronary heart disease, to teaching young children how to be responsible, owning a pet can do wonders for a family, no matter the type of animal a family chooses.

Written by guest contributor Sally. Sally writes for the designer dog clothes retailer, Chilli Dogs. Chilli Dogs started as a dog grooming salon and after seeing a gap in the market for quality dog jumpers, have decided to source and share their findings.

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