More Reasons Why Dog is Man’s Best Friend
- Posted on: Sep 15 2017
We see bumper stickers dedicated to pets all the time. A popular message of late is “Who rescued who?” Whether a cherished pet was rescued from a shelter or not, this sentiment of love between a furry companion and owner cannot be denied. But the love that a human and pet share is not what we want to discuss here. What we want to look at is the data that suggests a dog owner also benefits physically from this bond.
Across several studies, interesting details have emerged:
- Dog owners in one study measured lower ambulatory blood pressure, a measurement was is taken when moving around, as much as five months after bringing home Fido.
- Individuals who own dogs tend to walk more frequently than those who own other types of pets. Over a 10-month study period, dog owners increased recreational walking substantially.
- During the average week, dog owners engage in more physical activity than owners of cats, or individuals without pets.
- The walking minutes of dog owners measured just over 150 per week, versus 110 minutes per week for nonowners.
- Even after adjustments for age and other factors, it was found that dog owners were 57% more likely to reach recommended levels of physical activity than nonowners.
The data on dog ownership, in particular, has been significant enough for the American Heart Association to confirm its benefits. It is believed that pet ownership can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, though there is no singular reason for this. There may be multiple factors that come into play, such as the increase in physical activity, or the reduction in daily stress load. The social engagement that pet owners get encourages healthier behaviors in many situations.
In addition to discussing scientific data, the American Heart Association has stated that dog ownership, in particular, may be a reasonable consideration for individuals interested in reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease. However, pet ownership is a heavy responsibility. Individuals are encouraged to consider all aspects of this step, not just the potential physical benefits, before deciding to adopt or purchase.
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Posted in: Health and Wellness