Dog lovers have known for years that playing with and caring for a dog can increase the quality of life for both humans and pups. According to Dr. Alan M. Beck, director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, there are several specific, scientifically proven ways that dogs can help reduce your stress and lead to better health for everyone involved. Here are a couple mentioned by Dr. Beck and others!
1. Being around a dog can lower your blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a sign of stress, and petting a dog can help decrease the symptoms. Even simply watching an animal can lower your blood pressure. If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition (and even if you haven’t) find a dog to hang out with, stat!
2. Your dog can help you cope with stressful situations.
Stress is real! A study showed that people who tried to solve complicated math problems in the presence of their pups scored higher than people who took the test in front of their spouses! (Not sure what the results were for folks whose dogs ARE their significant others.)
3. Pawsonal trainer?
People with dogs get more exercise. Whether playing fetch or simply walking your pup, you’ll get plenty of fresh air and cardio. And then there’s Zumba for dogs….
4. Banish loneliness.
Not only do dogs provide companionship, but they also encourage interactions with other humans. Whether at the dog park or walking on the street, you’re more likely to engage with others. Your dog is an icebreaker!
5. Be here now.
Dogs seem to focus on the moment. Pups help us to be present in the “now” and not fret about the past or future. Your dog is probably not worrying about the time she got in trouble for eating your leftover takeout or dreading her next trip to the vet. They have so much to teach us!
6. Reach out and touch somebody.
Humans and dogs alike benefit from a loving, nurturing touch. Get your snuggle on, or pamper your pup with a doggie massage.
7. Sup-paw-t group.
Pet owners on average have better self-esteem and are less preoccupied and fearful. Plus, your dog is unlikely to spill the deep, dark secrets you confess to her.
8. Funny bones.
We all know that old saying about laughter as medicine. How can you not feel better and less stressed after watching the ridiculous antics of these derpballs??
9. Dogs keep you regular.
They’re prone to routine, which can help you stick to yours. A lot of dogs have very specific eating, bathroom, sleep, and walk schedules. Sticking to a routine and schedule can reduce stress for humans who tend to run around like chickens without their heads.
10. Celebrate “Take Your Dog To Work Day”
Lots of workplaces allow dogs at work (check your local health department and OSHA regulations). Take Your Dog To Work Day is on June 26th this year, but for us lucky dogs at BarkPost, it’s every day! Nothing like belly rubs when you’re trying to hit that deadline.
11. Sniff those snack food feet.
If all else fails…take a big whiff of those Fri-toes. It’s like a-toe-matherapy. Mmmmmm…bliss.