Life With A Dog

by Alessia

New York Times’ Jane Brody wrote an interesting article, “Life with a dog: you meet people”, about the personal health benefits resulting from life with a dog and dog ownership. In her eighties and four years after her husband passed, Brody adopted Max II, a small Havanese who would grow to be her greatest source of laughter. She decided to do some research as to why this small little dog could inflict so much joy and happiness, and what she found was some wonderful news for dog owners.

In one study of people who kept laughter logs, those who owned dogs laughed far more than the owners of cats or the owners of neither. In another study of the health benefits associated with owning a dog, results strongly suggested that dogs can foster heart health, social connectivity, reduced stress, and enhanced longevity. Other studies have also linked pet ownership with lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as humans who are more likely to regularly exercise as a result of having to walk their dogs.

lifewithadog

Dogs have been said to reduce loneliness due to their ability to foster social relationships ranging from a quick stop to be pet on the street during a walk, to a friend made at the dog run, to a human to human lasting relationship resulting from a meeting due to the dog’s presence. Elderly dog owners have admitted that owning a dog significantly decreases anxiety and dissatisfaction regarding their social, physical, and emotional lives. Children who grow up with dogs are said to be healthier, and having the pet enhances emotional development and security, particularly in boys.

Life with a dog comes with its responsibilities, but most of the benefits of having the dog come from these responsibilities, so the end justifies the means. Jane writes about other parts of life with a dog in her article here.

Alessia xx

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