11 reasons why dogs are good for your health.

There’s one thing in life that will never let you down. A dog.

They’ll sit with you on the couch, follow you around the house, and are excellent passengers on car trips. They offer great cuddles and can make you feel happy in an instant with their wagging tails. But your canine companion is so much more than just an adorable friend, and we have proof.

1. Their cuddles are good for you

Any dog owner will tell you that cuddling a dog can make you feel better. After a rough day there’s nothing quite like snuggling with your dog, and science can back that up. A 1998 study revealed you get an immediate drop in blood pressure with a good cuddle from your pooch, and another Japanese study found that you get a spike in oxytocin (a neurotransmitter that helps us cope with stress) from just looking into your dogs eyes.

2. They are mini-therapists

Pet therapy reduces anxiety, pain and depression in people who are suffering from a range of mental or physical problems. This includes patients who are undergoing chemotherapy, people who have been through catastrophic events, and ex-serving Defence Force members who are dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders. Or, even those of us who just had a bit of a shitty day.

RELATED:11 reasons your cat obsession makes you healthier and happier

3. They make you more productive at work

According to a recent Japanese study looking at pictures of adorable puppies doesn't just improve your mood,it can also increase your productivity. The study concluded that looking at cute images at work can boost attention to detail and overall performance.

This is productivity, people. (Image via iStock.)

 

Advertisement

Having a canine companion at work can also boost your job satisfaction. Dogs force you to take a break to walk them, and they can also bring a lighter, more playful mood to the workplace. They can boost your morale, and also make you more productive.

4.They're intelligent

I have always suspected that dogs are incredibly intelligent - and now I have proof. Researchers have found that dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures, can count up to five and can perform simple mathematical calculations. This could also explain why dogs can learn to do amazing tricks...

6. They're intuitive when it comes to your health

RELATED:This is what it’s like to have cancer when you’re 24

It’s not just the highly trained sniffer dogs who can put their nose to good use, everyday little pooches can be trained to sniff out life threatening illnesses, like sniffing out differences in the breath of those with breast and lung cancer to those without. Dogs can also be trained to help people with diabetes, and for people who experience seizures.

7. They’re literally good for your heart

Dogs are good for your heart too! (Image via iStock)

 

Playing with your dog is a sure fire way to warm your heart, but your pooch is literally good for it too! Researchers have found that having a dog can reduce your risk of getting cardiovascular disease.

8. They keep you active

Dogs are not only a stress reliever but they also keep you more active and healthy. After a long day at work the last thing you want to do is go out an exercise, but as soon as you step back out of the door with your dog, you not only feel better, but you're doing something that’s good for you too.

RELATED:How to become an exercise lover, when you really, really hate it

9. They know how you’re feeling

Probably better than your significant other at times. If you're a dog owner, you probably know that dogs can somehow tune in to how you're feeling. Recent research shows that your pooch can tell if you’re happy or angry by reading your face. They understand what you’re feeling, and know when you’re having a hard time.

They know how you're feeling. (Image via iStock).

10. They can crush feelings of sadness.

Dogs can also boost your mental wellbeing – so if you are having a rough day, they can not only tell – but they can help make it better. They don't judge you (unlike your friends...) and they are always there for you. A recent study found that dog owners are generally less lonely, have higher self-esteem, are happier and also less stressed.

Oh, an they're also very good at making you laugh!

11.They can help you if you’re battling depression

Knowing something loves you unconditionally always helps you to feel less alone.  Past studies have shown that dog owners in general are less depressed especially if the owners are single or female. And it makes sense, it’s hard to be sad when you have a dog by your side.

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION