Getting A Dog Has Health Benefits

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Getting A Dog Has Health Benefits

by Andrew McNaught

Dogs have long been thought of as man's best friend, but there may be other benefits as well. Did you know that owning a dog can benefit your health, too?

Medical professionals have conducted many studies and have determined that a dog owner can benefit in several different ways by having a pet:

1) Cardiovascular health is improved - Blood pressure and cholesterol levels have been found to be lower in people who own a dog versus other people. This fact alone decreases the risk for cardiovascular disease. A New York State University study has even determined that the benefits continue even when the pet is not with them. Stockbrokers with hypertension were tested in this study that concluded that owning a pet can decrease blood pressure.

Blood cholesterol levels may be lower for dog owners, too. Fifty-four hundred people were in the study conducted by Baker Medical Research Institute of Australia that concluded that people who own a pet do not only have lower blood pressure, but also have decreased levels of blood triglycerides and cholesterol when compared to people who do not pets.

2) Higher survival rates and faster treatment recovery time - Senior citizens who were recuperating from surgery or treatment were found to respond better to treatment when they were in contact with therapy animals in hospital studies. Even something as simple as petting a dog can make a patient more relaxed and be therapeutic in healing and recovery.

If recovering from a serious illness, dog owners are more likely to survive. Even pet owners who have suffered a heart attack are more likely to still be living after a year than people who do not have a pet. One New York study found that in some cases a pet affected survival rates even more than a patient's friends and family.

3) Fewer doctor's visits - Cambridge and UCLA studies have determined that pet owners also make fewer visits to the doctor and hospital because of their overall improved health. A Medicare study agreed with these findings when conducting their own study on elderly patients. They found that elderly patients who own a pet visit the doctor less than the elderly patients who don't have a pet.

4) Increased mental health - Dog owners have been found to be more stable mentally and emotionally than their non-pet counterparts. Pets offer patients love and affection unconditionally, as well as help to reduce loneliness in sick or ill patients who are not able to leave their homes. Stress of fighting a disease is even diminished in pet owners some studies say.

A dog does not just offer you fun and love, you also get health benefits that are far reaching. Why wouldn't you want a dog?

Andrew McNaught is a successful webmaster and publisher of Dog World Online where you can find out more information about all things dogs.

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