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People who love dogs understand how much warmth their four-legged family member brings into their lives. Researchers have another piece of good news: spending time with a dog helps to improve heart health.
Better quality of life
An owner of a dog will enjoy a much lower probability of cardiovascular disease. If you or family have a prior history of heart disease, then owning a dog may not only increase the quality of life but also reduces heart disease risks. A consistent number of studies have revealed that canine owners enjoy substantially lower blood pressures compared to non-owners. This is as pets have a calming effect and owners invariably get more exercise. Petting a dog also brings beneficial effects. Numerous studies have revealed that a person’s blood pressure healthily dips when that individual pets a dog.
Dog ownership is linked with lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Dog owners have lower levels of both compared to non-dog owners. This difference cannot be explained by Body Mass Index or BMI. The reason for such differences remains a mystery.
Lower stress and better heart
Dog owners are also observed to handle stress better than most people. It has been found that people who spend time with dogs enjoy reduced cardiovascular reactivity when at times of stress. It means blood pressure and heart rate spikes minimum and reverts to normal faster if it happens. These dampen the stress effect on the body.
For a healthier heart, you two can do a picnic. Pack healthy snacks like vegetables and fruits. Do not forget plentiful quantities of water. Bring fun toys like a ball or a frisbee. Why not play a game of catch? If you live near a water body like a pond or a river or even the beach, both of you can take a dip and have fun. Walking is also fun when your dog is with you. Both can participate in fundraising walks when they happen or even short runs when you can manage it. Do make sure that the dog is permitted to participate in such activities.
If you are on the fence on whether to own a dog or not, the benefits for your heart makes a strong case to own a dog. However, do not add a dog to your life if you cannot afford one or unable to take care of another animal. It is important that the dog gets sufficient exercise. Although the results are not a causal one, the above reasons make a compelling reason to adopt a dog or buy one if you want. The existence of a canine in one’s life not only decrease stress and mental health, it also helps children to avoid developing asthma.