There’s good news for dogs and their companions—according to recent research, dogs increase their owners’ lifespans. A study conducted among dog owners in Europe showed a 21% reduction in the risk of death from heart disease over a 12-year period, and researchers are continually finding new health benefits of dog ownership.
It’s commonly agreed upon that dog owners are more active than those without dogs, since a dog offers constant encouragement to walk or play.
But researchers also noted that one of the greatest benefits of dog ownership was the effect on mental health. Dogs offer a positive emotional boost, helping to ward off depression and promoting a greater sense of well-being for their owners.
Other benefits of dog ownership include:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Increased opportunities for socialization
- Strengthened immune system
- Increased serotonin and dopamine levels
Not ready for a dog of your own? Studies suggest that even occasional interaction with pups has significant benefits, so visiting with your dog-owning friends and family members can have a positive impact on your health.
If you are ready to welcome a dog into your home or want to volunteer or donate to support local dogs, check out these Pottstown area organizations: Diane’s Adoption Center, Recycled Tails, Mostly Muttz Rescue, and MaPaw Siberian Husky Rescue. (The Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation has no financial or other connection to adoption centers, they are listed here solely for reference and convenience.)