Hugging and playing with your dog is one of life’s biggest joys. Seeing a wagging tail and furry legs coming your way is like experiencing a love drug, in a way. According to some studies, owning a dog is linked to a longer life. Also, humans and dogs get a jolt of oxytocin, the so-called cuddle hormone, when interacting with each other.

Reports over the years suggest that dog owners have a lower risk of early death than people without a furry companion, particularly in the case of a stroke or heart attack. In case you needed yet another reason to hug your dog today, read about some of the other benefits of having a dog, leading to a longer life.

Make Smarter Choices When It Comes To Your Pet’s Health

As a dog owner, you must make sure that you keep your pup healthy all the time. However, vet visits and medications can be costly, especially if your pet needs constant care. This is why most pet owners opt for vet insurance.

But, is pet insurance worth it and what are the costs? Know that unexpected injuries and illnesses can happen anytime, and vet costs can add up to thousands of dollars, so having insurance will not only give you peace of mind but also spare you from paying extra for medical care.

The average monthly cost for a dog is about $47. However, these costs can vary depending on the pet and type of insurance. So, get a health plan that suits you and your dog, and enjoy the benefits of having a healthy and happy furry companion.   

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Photo by Alvan Nee on Unsplash

How dogs help you have a longer life

Cardiovascular Risk

Owning a dog has been connected with decreased cardiovascular risk. 

Some studies have suggested associations of dog ownership with lower blood pressure levels and diminished sympathetic responses to stress. A study published in 2019 explains a lot about the link between dog ownership and survival after a cardiovascular event.

Researchers in Sweden studied the link between dogs and longevity, and they found that dog owners had a lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease than people who didn’t own a dog. Bear in mind that owning a dog doesn’t overcome risk factors such as cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking. An active dog and dog owner is the best combination to reduce the risk of any disease.

Mental Health

Dogs provide companionship, which means dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Isolation and loneliness often trigger depression, and especially if a person lives alone, it’s very important to have a dog to avoid feeling sad and lonely. Also, caring for an animal can make you feel wanted and needed, which can take away the focus of your problems.

Some dog owners talk to their pets, and this can be considered therapeutic. Animals need feeding and exercise, so having a consistent routine keeps them balanced and calm, and this can work for you, too. No matter how you feel at the moment whether you’re sad or stressed, one look from your pet, and you know you’ll have to feed them or go outside for a walk, which can easily help improve your mood.

Stress

Stress is closely connected to many health problems. People who are often stressed should adopt a dog because they offer comfort and ease our worries.

Like helping with mental health, the same goes with stress. They improve our mood, encourage us to exercise, lower blood pressure, and provide social support.

Those who own a dog know that it is impossible to stay in a bad mood for a long time. Dogs sense tension and know when their owners are suffering, so they will come and comfort you. Most often, when people are stressed, they try to relax by going for a walk or talking to someone. But remember that when you have a dog, you won’t have to do all those things alone.

Social Interaction

Walking with your dog can make you more approachable and give people a chance to start a conversation. Dog owners recall how many people they’ve met while on a walk with their furry friend. Meeting new people and talking with someone is in our nature, so dogs help us socialize better.

Some researchers have found that about 40% of dog owners had an easier time making friends. Dogs are also known to help seniors with social interaction as well as people with mental illnesses. Just one of the ways they will help you live a longer life.

Final Thoughts

A four-legged furry friend provides unconditional love and support, which is something everyone needs, especially during tough times. The funny thing is that we consider ourselves parents who take care of their children, in this case, dogs, but the truth is they take care of us better than we take care of them, and this is something science has confirmed!   

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Photo by Joe Caione on Unsplash
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Martina Kcheva

Martina Kcheva is a Senior Content Writer for Shortlist.io, specializing in healthcare, wellness, and organic products. As a fan of healthy living herself, not just professionally but also personally, she's contributed to hundreds of health & wellness blogs to share with the readers' lifestyle tips in exhaling their wellbeing.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.