While dogs have always been classified as man’s best friend, it turns out that they may be your health’s best friend as well! Owning a dog has shown to have multiple physical and mental health benefits, as seen in the Healthy Living section of the Huffington Post.
· Physical Bonding: Many studies have shown that interacting with your pet via play or snuggle time actually lowers blood pressure. In addition, those who have a strong connection to their dog experience a spike in oxytocin, which helps cope with stress.
· Social Interactions: Animals serve as social factors and thus lead to more social interactions. When walking a dog, you are likely to have three times more social interactions then when walking alone. By walking your dog on a consistent schedule, you will have more interactions with the same people and that small talk can lead to new friendships.
· Regular Exercise: Taking your dog on regular walk or playing fetch in the park is a great excuse to get yourself in shape. Even walking, as the most basic form of exercise, helps to lower stress, blood sugar and cholesterol. And when you look better, you feel better and more confident about yourself!
· Release Your Inner-Child: Dogs encourage a playful mindset and a sense of joy that provides an outlet to let out your inner-child. In addition, playing and interacting with your dog keeps your mind in the present and discourages worrying.
Thank your furry friend at home for their health benefits, and if you do not have a dog, the time, or the space, consider volunteering at a local animal shelter!