Interesting facts you may not have known about dogs and your health

Tue 06 Oct 2009

Before I begin, think about this fact: there are almost 22 million people living in Australia, however there are just over 37 million pets living in australia.

It is said that the companionship offered by an animal is good for you, but the benefits of owning a dog are better than those offered by any other pet.

Studies have shown that dog owners have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, are less depressed, less tense and more physically fit.

Dogs have been found to lower blood pressure to an extent where prescribed and over the counter drugs can’t. This is because these drugs don’t have the added effect on releasing the stress and tension on the body, whereas dogs do.

One study in America looked at 421 adults who’d suffered heart attacks. A year later, the scientists found that dog owners were significantly more likely to still be alive than were those who did not own dogs, regardless of the severity of the heart attack.

Another study looked at 240 married couples. Those who owned a pet were found to have lower heart rates and blood pressure, whether at rest or when undergoing stressful tests, than those without pets. Pet owners also seemed to have milder responses and quicker recovery from stress when they were with their pets than with a spouse or friend.

Dogs also help to promote improved physical health, though dog walking and enjoy better social interactions with others, through connections with fellow dog owners.

One investigation looked at more than 2,000 adults and found that dog owners who regularly walked their dogs were more physically active and less likely to be obese than those who didn’t own or walk a dog. Another study followed more than 2,500 older adults, ages 71-82, for 3 years. Those who regularly walked their dogs walked faster and for longer time periods each week than others who didn’t walk regularly. Older dog walkers also had greater mobility inside their homes than others in the study.

Studies have also shown that dog owners live longer and happier lives. This is due to the fact that there is constant love and companionship. After all, dogs are great listeners, love cuddles, can appreciate quiet times and are always by your side!

Five-Paw awards for the best in dog friendly accommodation.