|Dog Ownership Boosts 3 Longevity Factors|
- More exercise. Dog owners walk their dogs and are generally more active. A Japanese study of 5,200 adults found that dog owners were 54% more likely to get the daily recommended level of exercise than non-dog owners.
This activity lowers heart rate, helps stabilize blood sugar, and improves overall heart health.
- A healthier microbiome. Owning a dog can be as healthy as eating probiotic-rich food or taking probiotic supplements. Dogs bring dirt, and yes, bacteria into your home. Many of these microbes are good for you.
Researchers found dogs increase the levels of 56 different classes of beneficial bacterial species in a home. This infusion of microbes helps keep you healthy and your immune system in top condition. (Cats also contributed to probiotic diversity, but less so than dogs. Cats were found to boost levels of 24 classes of bacteria.
How powerful is the immune effect? A study at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that petting a dog for 18 minutes elevates levels of immunoglobulin A. This is one of the body’s most powerful protectors against infection.
- Stress reduction. Dogs provide stress relief through companionship. But they also can act as an introduction to new human friends and facilitate socialization during walks. This reduces loneliness, which is a major risk factor for early death.
A German university study found owning a dog reduces the stress hormone cortisol. It increases levels of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes a sense of wellbeing.
|Best Dog Breeds for Good Health|