Dogs are arguably one of the best pets you can have. Dogs are more than just pets- dogs are full of life, fun and unconditional love! They improve your health by increasing your physical activity and fitness. And they help with mental health as well. Here are some ways dogs can help you become a healthier person and get in better shape.
They Allow You to Get More Exercise
If you have a dog- you WILL get more exercise! This is through a couple different things. First of all, dogs need to be taken out multiple times a day to go potty, so even if you are taken them down the street, you are going to get a little bit of exercise. Many people also walk their dog once or twice a day with longer walks, which is when you really get in the extra fitness. Try to aim for longer walks with your dog to let them get exercise as well as yourself. This can benefit both of you.
Second, you also get more exercise with your dog through play time. Try to head to your backyard or the local dog park at least once a day to throw a ball for your dog, play with toys, or just around with him. We spend 20 minutes in the morning and afternoon playing Frisbee with our pups to keep them happy! Playtime can be fun for both of you and also provides additional exercise.
Dogs Help With Health Conditions
There are also a few physical health conditions that can be remedied by getting a dog. First of all, dogs reduce your stress levels and get you more exercise, so automatically they are going to help with your blood pressure, heart disease risk, and cholesterol. However, it has also been shown that through the other benefits of having a dog, you also reduce your risk for diabetes. Reducing stress is a great start to get you ready to exercise more!
There Are Mental Health Benefits too
In addition to the physical health benefits, don’t forget about the mental health benefits as well! Having a dog can help with your stress, anxiety, and depression. Not just because of the exercise and healthier physical body overall, but because having a pet offers you companionship, unconditional love, and an enjoyment that is always there, no matter what other issues you might have in your life. Read more about how dogs help with anxiety and depression HERE.
Many people with severe panic attack disorder get a dog because they can recognize the signs of a dangerous panic attack and keep others away from you until it passes. They can also be therapy dogs if you have depression. They have therapy dogs for almost every type of mental and physical illness from PTSD to Seizures and even Diabetes.
Do you have a dog? What kind of exercise do you do together? Let us know in the comments below.