Dog owners all know why we love dogs. We love when they wag their tails when we come home, or when they roll on their back and politely wait for their belly to be rubbed. Dogs can really make a house a home. But what we might not know is that dogs can also be good for our well-being, especially our heart.
Dogs keep you active - We all know dogs like to be active and need to be taken on walks often. Well, so do their owners. We spoke in a blog last week about the need for a light daily exercise. 30 minutes of daily walking helps burn your daily calories and improves heart function. And there is no better partner than your best furry friend, right? Dogs serve as a pleasant reminder to experience the outdoors and to take time to do both bodies and hearts good.
Dogs reduce stress levels - There is a reason why it feels good to pet Fido. Sure, their fur is soft and you love to see your pup smile, but the scientific reason is that the action of petting your dog actually relieves stress by releasing a relaxation hormone and lowering your blood pressure.
Dogs make you social - Having a good relationship with your dog can lead to meeting people and strengthening relationships you have. Dog owners tend to connect with each other, whether it be in a dog park, on a walk, or just talking to a co-worker about each other’s dogs. Having positive relationships with people in your community improves balance and satisfaction in your life.
Dogs improve your mood - Owners typically feel a sense of belonging and meaning because of their dogs, which in turn leads to a happier state of mind. Being in a happier state of mind tends to keep your stress levels and consequently your blood pressure low. Doing what we can to keep our resting heart rate low is always a good thing for overall health.
Your heart health may not be on the forefront of your mind when you play with your dog, but your heart muscle certainly reaps the benefits. Long-term health is important to everyone and the solution to having a healthy heart is not just full of hard exercise and eating greens. Simply having a four-legged friend goes a long way to keeping you healthy. You love your little pup with all your heart, and your heart loves your pup, too!