It’s no surprise that there are some pretty great health benefits that come from having a dog. But would you believe it if we told you that these wondrous creatures have a specific benefit for senior humans, simply by being around them?
Researchers at Oregon State University have found that older dog owners experience significantly lower systolic blood pressure than non-dog owners, and it’s not just because dog owners get more exercise.
The results of the study suggest that owning a dog might actually be a lifestyle factor that lowers seniors’ risk for cardiovascular disease. Further research is planned to pinpoint exactly why senior dog owners have lower blood pressure, but researchers believe that potential reasons include lower levels of stress, anxiety, and loneliness.
The idea of dog ownership being connected to positive health benefits is nothing new, but to have the notion backed by hard science takes it beyond the realm of wishful thinking. With scientific backing, the results of this study could be used to make significant changes in the senior health care community, such as an increase in pet-friendly senior living facilities and animal-assisted therapy options.
Imagine being welcomed into a senior living facility by a happy four-legged ambassador. If that won’t lower your blood pressure, we’re not sure what will. But it will, it’s science after all!
H/t to New American Media