Does Dog Ownership Make You Healthier?

Miss Lola

Are you a dog owner?

If so, do you think your pup is adding to your health and well-being?

Most dog owners feel they are happier than non-pet owners.  If you need convincing, read on…

Overall, dog owners are more active.

Dog owners are healthier because they are more motivated to keep moving.  It’s hard to ignore a persistent pooch who is whining or gives you the sad puppy dog eyes while waiting by the door.

In our house, we can’t even utter the word “WALK” without sending our Corgi, Lola, into excited glee.  In fact, I can’t put my sneakers on without Lola getting that eager look in her eyes!

Research has shown that dog owners met public health guidelines of 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, whereas non-dog owners did not.

Exercise releases endorphins, which can increase self-esteem and increase a generally positive feeling.  This is but one reason dog-owners are not only healthier but also happier.

Dog Owners can Live Longer

The American Heart Association stated in 2013 that dog ownership is probably associated with decreased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.  Based on a study published in Circulationit was found that dog ownership was strongly associated with living longer in people diagnosed with CVD.

Dogs give us Emotional and Social Support

Studies have shown that having a dog in your life can provide just as much emotional and social support as human friendships!  Pet-owners were found to be healthier, happier, and more well-adjusted than non-pet owners.

In one survey, pet owners were even more likely to have greater satisfaction with their life than non-pet owners.

Who’s Happier – Dog or Cat Owners?

In 2016, Psychology Today posted a story that declared dogs make their owners happier than cats.   Based on online surveys completed by pet owners, aspects of positive mental health were measured.  They found that dog owners as a group are happier than cat owners (sorry, Garfield!).

Dogs can Help Prevent and Manage Chronic Illness

An article posted on stated that owning a dog can help to prevent chronic illnesses like type II diabetes. In children, allergies and autoimmune diseases may be less likely to develop.

For those already living with chronic illnesses, dogs can provide some pet therapy.  In dementia sufferers, dogs can decrease anxiety and agitation.  Those with high blood pressure were found to have lower blood pressure levels in stressful situations if they were a pet owner.

Are you convinced?

I feel that I live a happier and healthier life with a dog in it!  Having a dog as a pet definitely motivates me to walk almost every day.  Additionally, when my kids left home, it was beneficial to my mental health to have our Corgi as emotional support and companionship.

What’s your opinion on this subject?  I’d love for you to leave a comment below!

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