Dogs are known as man’s best friends. They have been the topic of many studies looking into how dogs might boost your well-being. We’ll explain how your dog can benefit your health. An estimated 78 million dogs are owned as pets in the US, reported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It is still debated whether dogs were the first domesticated pets, but one study claims that dogs were tamed 20,000 – 40,000 years ago in Europe. Humans and dogs have mutual bonds and friendships ever since the Neolithic period. They’re asking why has this bond been so long-lasting?
These descendants of wolves have been keeping us and our habitats safe, guarding our homes, our livestock, and other material goods. Humans have also trained dogs to assist them with hunting throughout history Dogs might have always been our truly valued companions, famed for their willingness to put joy on their owners’ hearts and of course their loyalty. This article shows how our dogs make us happier, healthier, and more resilient when facing anxiety, to name a few ways that these dogs support our well-being.
How dogs keep you in good health
Studies suggest that owning a dog as a pet may give their owners better health. Last year, Medical News Today published a study that pointed out that having a dog slim down a person’s risk of untimely death by up to a third. Dog owners have a lower risk of heart disease suggested by the researchers at the University of Harvard in Cambridge. However, the benefits may appear due to the lifestyle adjustments that people tend to make after they decide to own a dog. One of the benefits is physical activity. If you own a dog, you have to commit to daily walks or playing catch with them. Dog owners are more likely to walk for leisure purposes than both people who own a cat and non-pet owners.
Dogs are often used as therapy animals. They appear to reduce symptoms of stress and make their owners more resilient to depression. Studies theorize that therapy dogs can change the psychological well-being of patients going through cancer therapy, as well as help individuals diagnosed with PTSD. It can prevent the onset of PTSD episodes.
What clinical research in dogs can teach us
Dogs could also give us clues on our own health problems. A study covered earlier this year shows that dogs share certain conditions such as obesity with their owners. Like humans, dogs can also develop cancer. They can get brain tumors with similar effects to people, so knowing which genes predispose to gliomas may also be used in cancer research for humans. A form of cancer in dogs could determine how forms of cancer found in humans have come to develop.
Dogs may also experience certain characteristics of dementia, like impaired problem-solving abilities. Studies explain that by knowing how cognitive tasks affected dogs, we may solve the secrets of dementia in the case of humans, too.