Health | Dogs | Animals

10 Reasons Why Owning A Dog Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Health

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Dog lovers all know that their canine companions make their lives better, but they may not have realized just how big of an impact it can have. It turns out that dogs aren't only just good company, they are actually going to help you in a lot of huge ways. They are such good boys and girls!

There are a variety of ways that dogs can improve your health, whether it's treating emotional issues or physical ones, they have a paw-scription for everything! These are the 10 reasons why owning a dog will be the best thing you can do for your health, or at least the cutest thing you can do.

1. Improves Heart Health

People who own dogs have lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol and are less likely to have heart attacks. Dogs also manage to lower the triglyceride levels in their owners, which greatly improves cardiovascular health. It's also proven that if a dog owner does happen to have a heart attack, they are more likely going to survive than those who don't.

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2.  Keeps You Active

When you own a dog, you are more likely to stay committed to an exercise routine because taking care of the dog includes taking them on walks. This has been shown to continue well into a person's 70s or 80s. Studies say that dog owners have "lower body mass index, fewer activities of daily living limitations, fewer doctor visits, and more frequent moderate and vigorous exercise."

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3. Helps You Lose Weight

Staying active is a big part of losing weight, so it makes sense that owning a dog that keeps you active will help you shed those extra pounds. Research found that by giving people "loaner" dogs a few days a week, they were able to lose up to 15 lbs in a year. Having to walk a dog is considered a responsibility as opposed to regular exercise which doesn't have the same urgency.

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4. Better Social Life

It helps to meet new people if you have an ice breaker, and what's a better ice breaker than a cute pup at your feet? According to Kay Joubert, Director Companion Animal Services at PAWS, “Dog owners in particular tend to be a little more extroverted, or outgoing. When you start to engage them about their companion animal, people tend to open up and really blossom. They want to share stories about their favorite friend.”

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5. Lowers Stress

Therapy dogs aren't only around because they are cute. Spending time with dogs is scientifically proven to lower anxiety and blood pressure after only a few minutes. Your brain releases more of the neurochemicals serotonin and dopamine when you spend time with a dog, which contribute to a feeling of calm.

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But that's not all they do...

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