Anecdotal and scientific evidence have shown that dog owners tend to be healthier

Here are seven ways that living with a dog will keep you healthy.

1. Dogs Boost Your Mood – Dogs have long been known to make great companions, but did you know that they actually improve your mood? Research has shown that it only takes a mere 15-30 minutes with your pet to feel more relaxed and calm. Playing with your dog also raises your brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that are associated with pleasure and tranquillity. Psychologists at various universities found that the benefits of having a canine companion can be equivalent to having a human companion.

2. Dogs Are Better Than Medicine – In addition to boosting your mood, your dog is also great for your health. Your body reaps a lot of benefits from having your fur baby around. Dog owners have been found to have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, fewer heart attacks, and according to a study by the British Journal of Health, dog owners also have the added benefit of having fewer medical problems than those without pets.

3. Dogs Help You Stay Active – An added unexpected benefit of having a dog is that he encourages you to exercise more. Taking your dog on walks and throwing the ball around makes for good exercise.

4. Dogs Help You Be More Social – Having a dog around helps you be more social, approachable and can help some get over shyness. Doing activities with your dog such as going to pet stores, dog parks, the beach, or special events is great for both you and your furry friend, as it is a great way to meet new people and mingle with other dogs and dog lovers. Joining clubs like Schnauzer Friends is another great way to meet people.

5. Dogs Help Relieve Stress – Another great yet unexpected benefit of owning a dog is that they are masters at helping us relieve stress and feel calm. According to a study, 240 married couples with dogs were subjected to various types of stressful tasks where they were either alone, with their spouse or were able to see their dog before or after the task. Unsurprisingly, the lowest responses to stress were among those who were allowed to see their dogs. Maybe there should be a mandatory “bring your dog to work” day!

6. Dogs Can Help Kids Grow Stronger – We all value our health and dogs can actually help contribute to keeping your child healthy just by being part of the family. According to Science Daily, kids who grow up with dogs in the home have fewer allergies and are less likely to have eczema. Kids with dogs in the home also have fewer sick days and grow up with higher levels of certain immune system supporters that keep them in tip-top shape as they get older.

7. Dogs Can Make You a Better Person – We spend a lot of time training our dogs but those furry creatures teach us a lot, too. Having a dog teaches us patience, commitment and selflessness. Caring for a dog takes a lot of responsibility and commitment, and it also teaches us to be more patient and less selfish.

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