It’s true: America loves dogs. Besides our four-legged best friends being cute, friendly, and always glad to see us, they offer a whole host of health benefits to keep our spirits up, help to combat loneliness, and have an excuse to get outside for some fresh air and exercise. Here are a few added benefits of canine ownership:
- Pet your dog for stress relief. Petting a dog reduces stress. It triggers your brain to release oxytocin (known as the “love hormone”) and reduces the release of cortisol (a stress hormone).
- Unconditional love. No pressure—your dog loves you no matter what. Sometimes it’s just what the doctor ordered.
- Never lonely. The companionship of a dog can alleviate feelings of loneliness and give meaning because a dog needs consistent care. Dogs are also good for those who have trouble connecting with other people, such as those diagnosed with PTSD or dementia.
- Better than blood pressure pills. Studies have shown that in some cases, dog ownership may help lower cortisol levels, which in turn, could result in lower blood pressure.
Tip adapted from Canine Weekly[i]
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