Everybody loves cute and cuddly, four legged friends, but what not everybody understands is the positive mental and physical effects that having a dog can have on a person.
The health impacts of owning a dog can have is by no means minimal, and can improve a wide arrangement of conditions and symptoms ranging from depression and loneliness, to more serious things like asthma, blood pressure issues, strokes and ADHD. Here at Finchley dog walker, we’ve pulled together below some valuable information explaining how our canine creatures help with these health problems.
Reducing Depression and Stress
Of course a loving pooch serves as great companion and therefore alleviates feelings of loneliness and depression, but it goes even further than that.
Playing with pets is proven to increase dopamine and serotonin, which improves a person’s mood and helps decrease levels of harmful chemicals in the system that are higher while feeling stress that increase the likelihood of falling ill, like cortisol and norepinephrine.
Assisting the Elderly and Obese
Owning a pet at an elderly age will again decrease loneliness and provide good company, but more importantly, promote good physical health by providing an excellent opportunity for exercise. Physical activity will help decrease symptoms for individuals suffering from illnesses such as osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Recent research also suggests that patients suffering from Alzheimer’s experience less anxiety and outbursts when a pet is owned, hinting at the therapeutic qualities our friends from the animal kingdom possess.
Allergies and Immunities
Contrary to popular belief, having four legged family members in the home has been proven to decrease the chances of children developing asthma and allergies.
Research supports this, showing that infants living in a house with a dog were less likely to develop pet allergies. Only 19% of children suffered these allergies down from 33% of kids living in an animal free environment.
Less instances of the common skin condition eczema occurred in fur friendly families, as well as these children tended to have higher levels of certain immune system chemicals suggesting a stronger immune system. As a dog walker I would always recommend dog ownership, but it’s nice to think that your doctor might too!
Service dogs were originally used to assist the visually impaired in navigation and a tool to keep them safe. Service dogs are still used for assisting the blind, but are now also used to help patients with many other types of illnesses.
Dogs have extremely keen senses and can effectively be trained to alert their masters to biophysical situations like a diabetic whose blood glucose levels have suddenly dropped, or alert a parent when an epileptic child is about to suffer a seizure, then proceed to lay beside the child to keep it safe and avoid self harm till the episode passes.
Well trained, intelligent dogs are even able to provide assistance to Parkinson’s patients, by helping them live more independent lifestyles, able to help with small tasks like picking up dropped items, opening doors and executing other simple, normal tasks that people with Parkinson’s find difficult.
With all the evidence we have as to the therapeutic and physical benefits of owning a dog or other pet, there is really no excuse justified enough as to why everybody wouldn’t be eager to make room for man’s best friend in your life.