Asthma? Sleep with a chihuahua. Diabetes? Let a golden retriever sniff you.
Sound strange? Possibly, but not too far fetched. New research is proving what dog owners have always known: owning a dog makes the owner happier and healthier.
Although a chihuahua isn’t proven to take away asthma, as an old wives’ tale, many people relied on it for years to ease the breathing of sufferers. In actuality, we know today that raising a dog with a child helps ease allergies and breathing problems that the he/she may be prone to. If you suffer from high blood pressure, studies say that petting a dog for just thirty seconds can immediately reduce it by ten points. As far a diabetics go, a golden retriever can actually sense, with blood-monitor type accuracy, an owner’s sugar level. Imagine! no more finger pricking, just a friendly nudge from a furry friend.
Dog owners, as a whole, live happier and healthier lives. Dogs reduce allergies, reduce blood pressure, lessen anxiety, boost immunity, minimize depression, and even add years onto one’s life. Of course, some of this can be attributed to the fact that dog owners are generally more active as dogs require play and exercise, but even minimal interaction gives great benefits.
Dog sports or therapy programs are a great way to get more involved with your dog and receive the best health benefit. Owners and pets alike can enjoy activities together: try an obedience class, agility lesson, or even long walk, and imagine the benefits for both you and your canine companion. For those who do not have pets and who may be confined to either a hospital or nursing home, the therapy dogs program can assist them. Owners derive great pleasure from participating in the volunteer therapy dogs program which allows visits from these trained animals. This way, everyone can benefit from the love and companionship of a dog.
So, although pets do require some work and lots of love and care, they provide their owners with just as much. A dog’s love and care toward his owner not only provides great pleasure, but also can heal physically and emotionally. So, quit reading and go pet a dog; afterwhile, you will realize that you aren’t focused on lowering your blood pressure or reducing your stress a little--instead, you will realize how much you enjoy just spending time with man’s best friend.
If interested in beginning a local dog sport or therapy program, contact your local kennel club or a therapy dog representative.