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6 Science-Backed Reasons your Lab is Good for your Health!

In May 12, 2023
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Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, and for good reason. Not only do they provide companionship and unconditional love, but they can also have a positive impact on our mental health. In fact, research has shown that owning a dog can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as improve overall well-being. Here are some ways that having a dog can benefit your mental health.

  1. Reduced stress and anxiety
    Spending time with a dog can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Dogs have a calming effect on humans, and studies have shown that petting a dog can lower blood pressure and heart rate. Additionally, playing with a dog can release endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the body that help reduce stress and promote feelings of happiness. Endorphins also can reduce pain.
  2. Increased socialization
    Owning a dog can also help increase socialization. Dogs are great conversation starters, and taking your dog for a walk can provide opportunities to meet new people and make connections. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who struggle with social anxiety or have difficulty making friends. Going to a dog park or hanging with other dog owners already gives you something in common with SO many people!
  1. Improved mood
    Dogs are known for their ability to bring joy and happiness into our lives. Spending time with a dog can help improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. Dogs are also great at providing emotional support and can be especially helpful for individuals who struggle with loneliness or isolation. Your canine companion can offer comfort and ease your worries. Multiple studies show that dogs and therapy dogs help alleviate stress and anxiety. 

    Even just petting a familiar dog lowers blood pressure, heart rate, slows breathing, and relaxes muscle tension. Scientists at Washington State University discovered that just 10 minutes of petting a dog can have a significant impact. Study participants had a significant reduction in cortisol, a major stress hormone.

  2. Increased physical activity
    Owning a dog can also help increase physical activity. Dogs need regular exercise, which means that owners are often more active as well. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who struggle with motivation to exercise or have a sedentary lifestyle.Those long treks along sidewalks, trails, and paths add up. A 2019 British study discovered that dog owners are nearly four times more likely than non-dog owners to meet daily physical activity guidelines. Dog owners spend nearly 300 minutes every week walking with their dogs. That’s 200 more minutes walking than people without a pup of their own. This can help reduce the risk of heart attack and other health issues that arise from inactivity and being overweight.
  3. Sense of purpose
    Finally, owning a dog can provide a sense of purpose and responsibility. Dogs require daily care and attention, which can help individuals feel needed and valued. This can be especially helpful for individuals who struggle with feelings of worthlessness or lack of purpose.
  4. Dogs help with cognitive function and social interaction
    Studies exploring the effects of dogs on seniors found positive results. One study found that pet therapy improves the cognitive function of residents with mental illness in long-term care. Another showed significant decreases in agitated behaviors in seniors with dementia and improved social interactions.

A four-footed best friend provides unconditional love and support, which is especially important during tough times. Though people may think we’re taking care of our canine companions, it’s mutual: Dogs take care of us, and science confirms it.–Donna Stanley, owner, Endless Mt. Labradors. All rights reserved. If this blog appears on another site, contact us at bestinshow@emlabradors.com. Thanks for reading!


Learn how dogs can help us live longer and healthier as senior dog owners!!!

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