The Many Health Benefits of Living with Dogs

The Many Health Benefits of Living with Dogs

While all dog lovers intuitively know we are happier and healthier with a dog or two (or three) in our lives, scientists around the world have been working to prove that this isn’t just a feeling but a fact. Dogs really do make us healthier!

  1. Fewer allergies
    That old wives tale that being around animals is more likely to make you sick is just that … a misconception. In fact, children raised around animals are 33% less likely to have allergies to those animals than those who are raised in a more sterile environment. Just like the “hygiene hypothesis” surmising that early exposure to germs makes us better at fighting them, being around allergens while our bodies are still growing helps the body recognize these particles as being A-OK.

  2. Trimmer waist
    Pet parents are less likely to suffer from obesity compared to the general population, particularly if you are the person in the household responsible for walking the dog. It makes sense: maybe you can talk yourself out of an early a.m. stroll, but it’s harder to justify skipping the walk when your dog is giving you those big, excited eyes!

  3. Lower rates of eczema
    Eczema, a painful and itchy skin condition, is a common plague in children and thought to have an allergic component. Children raised with dogs have demonstrably lower levels of eczema compared to the pet-less, which is great news for those of us who love dogs AND kids, and couldn’t imagine going without either!

  4. Cancer detection
    A dog’s sense of smell is somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 times more sensitive than our own. Think about that the next time your spray perfume in their presence! One of the unintended benefits of this is that many dogs seem to pick up on very subtle olfactory indicators of disease. Dogs have shown repeatable, reliable skill in finding lung, bladder, breast, colon, and ovarian cancers in people … some of whom passed more commonly accepted screening tests! If your dog shows a sudden and insatiable interest in a certain body part, don’t ignore it … your pup may be trying to save your life!

  5. Noticing low blood sugar
    More than one out of every three dogs living with diabetics can detect low blood sugar, according to researchers. With no prior training, some of these dogs have on their own alerted their owners to something being off, providing people a critical lead time in intervening before their blood sugar levels lead to serious symptoms.

Dr V Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, DVM

Comments (6) -

  • Jim 2 Sandie

    9/23/2016 12:28:26 PM |

    We are 80 years old and have 3 adorable dogs. An Adopted Shih Tzu 8 from our local
    human society, a Rustalian Terrier 6, adopted thru a local vet and a miniature doxie
    adopted at 2 years old from a breeder because her coat was not perfect for a show dog now 6. all 3 of them make our lives great. we looked forward to waking up everyday
    just to be with them. we take great joy in feeding them their dry Life 's Abundance
    dry dog food and making their homemade wet food.  take them to see the vet on
    a regular basis.  we are never lonely and neither are they. We have a half and acre
    with a secure fenced back yard and a doggie door that they can run in and out of
    and play. they love their toys and play time with us every day. We all make each
    other happy. We have always had dogs.  Life would not be the same with out them.

  • kim gardner

    9/23/2016 12:38:48 PM |

    Amazing I personally know of someone whose allergies stopped when they started sleeping with their dog

  • Madison

    9/25/2016 9:59:41 PM |

    Don't forget lowering blood pressure also! Plus I think my Pug- his name is Eric, is better then any antidepressant!

  • Blair

    9/28/2016 11:20:18 AM |

    There are so many health benefits of having a pet. I call my dog my "4-legged personal trainer" b/c even after a long day and being tired - I know I need to get him out for some exercise. Always feel better when I do.
    Didn't know about the reduced rate of eczema!

  • Vera Shaver

    11/3/2016 11:56:53 AM |

    I just had hernia surgery and when I came home later that day our Corgi Alice just keep sniffing me and acting different than usual she knew there was something different about me she seems to be very sensitive to some things when I go out for my walks and I come back she is always sniffing me like trying to find out where I've been I do see some other dogs when I'm out walking that my friends have and smart Alice sure knows it.

  • Janet Dunne

    2/25/2018 2:13:50 AM |

    My dog Diva, Australian Shepard/terrier mix , o have had her since she was 8 weeks old. When we went to bed at night  she would wake me up by jumping and barking on my chest. Long story short, it ended up I had severe sleep apnea. I stopped breathing every other min. She would wake me every time o stopped breathing. Now o have a machine and we both get more sleep!!

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