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Important Ways a Dog Can Improve Your Health

We all know that owning a dog is good for the soul. A dog is a companion you can rely on, a protector to keep you safe from intruders and a dependent that keeps you responsible and sticking to a routine. But, did you know that owning a dog is also good for your health, too? Studies and research have shown that your body and mind can benefit from owning a dog in many ways. Here are some of the best ways that having a pet dog can benefit your health.

Lowering Stress

A study recently showed that dogs can naturally reduce stress in humans (particularly kids). This means if you own a dog, you may be able to avoid some of the risk factors that come along with high stress levels, including high blood pressure, heart disease and more.

Detecting Cancer

It might sound too good to be true but many dogs can detect cancer in humans by noticing a change in smell. While not commonly used by doctors’ offices as a cancer detection method, studies have shown that dogs can sniff out that a human has cancer with extreme accuracy. Dogs are especially good at noticing when humans have developed skin cancer, and in one study, correctly distinguished between sufferers of melanoma (from those without) 99 percent of the time.

Keeping You Active

There are lots of ways that dogs improve your life, but one that also improves your health is that a pet dog will keep you active even during the winter months. A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health shows that dog owners are much more active during the winter, which means they continue to keep their hearts and bodies healthy, even when it’s easy for a human to resist going outside and exercising.

Relieving Depression

Depression may be a condition associated with mental health, but depression can also take a physical toll on the body, too. If you suffer from depression, owning a dog may be a great way to alleviate its symptoms. Not only do dogs offer unconditional love, they also can be a soothing presence if you feel sad or lonely. Pets also encourage touch, and touching an animal can naturally boost feel-good chemicals in the brain, like serotonin and oxytocin.

Decreased Body Pain

Dogs who like to cuddle may just decrease body pain in humans. That’s because dogs produce body heat, like humans do, and snuggling close to one can relax muscles and ease soreness. In fact, dogs can be so good at generating body heat and decreasing body pain that they are used in treatment for people suffering from conditions like fibromyalgia. So, if you’re ever feeling sore, crampy or achy, lay down for a cuddle with your pup, and you may just feel better in no time.

Clearly, having a pet dog can have many good effects on your wellbeing, and if you want to feel at your best, getting a pup may be just the right thing for you. If you do have a pet dog, though, it’s important for you to take care of its health and wellbeing also. This means that you should exercise him regularly, pay attention to any signs of illness or imbalance and take him for regular vet visits for preventative treatments like NexGard chewables, which can help prevent ticks and fleas.

Lannie, writer for Allivet. Allivet provides affordable pet supplies and pet medications, all of which can be purchased online.

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