Here’s a new reason a dog is man’s — and woman’s — best friend: The latest research shows canine cohabitation confers a wealth of notable health benefits.
According to the Live Science website, here are four ways having a dog may be good for your health:
1. You’ll exercise more. Dog owners have to walk the dog, of course, but studies show pet owners in general tend to get more physical activity than people who don’t have an animal in the home. A 2000 National Institutes of Health study found that dog owners were more likely than other people to get at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.
2. Your overall health will be better. People tend to engage in healthier behaviors after just one month of owning a pet, according to a 10-month study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. People without pets did not experience any significant changes in health or behavior over the study period, according to the researchers.
3. You’ll feel better mentally. That same 10-month study showed that pet ownership conferred psychological benefits. In fact, a survey of 217 study participants — who answered questions about their well-being, personality type, and attachment style — revealed pet owners were happier, healthier, and better adjusted than nonowners. Pets may provide social support for their owners, the researchers said.
4. Your allergy risk will drop. Pet allergies are one reason families often decide not to get a dog, but a study in Journal of Pediatrics found children who grew up with a dog in their homes were less likely to develop eczema.
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