The benefits of owning a dog

Never before in U.S history, has there been so many furry canine friends living in the homes of America. According to the National Humane Society there are “almost

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78 million dogs living as pets in 56 million American homes.” Besides the notoriety that dogs are man’s best friend, there are a number of benefits a dog offers. One daily routine all dog owners are aware of is taking their dog for a walk once a day for activity. What many owners don’t know is that with this routine a person is developing a healthy exercise routine for himself. While a person could be contemplating going for a workout, the sight of their dog eagerly waiting by the door, motivates them to make that step out the door. It’s hard to skip a workout when the person’s exercise partner is full of persistence.

Dogs are very attuned to human behavior and mood, so much that they can sense habitual tendencies. The Huffington Post states that dogs are “an emotional barometer”, and “have been domesticated for about 12,000 years, research has shown dogs have learned over these years, perhaps better than any other being, how to read our non-verbal behavior.”  Dogs tend to pick up destructive behavior that their owners may be unaware of, like alcoholism. With their attentiveness towards behaviors, dogs can display reactions that give cues to addictive habits. Dogs also offer a safety outlet when it comes to stress, pain, grief and comfort.  According to “Petting your dog, playing with your dog, and simply watching your dog can reduce your stress each day.” Research shows that dog ownership reduces stress hormones and the effects generally outweigh the stress caused by caring for a dog. Besides the health benefit of exercise, dogs can also improve a person’s overall health.  What many people do not know is that dogs have been known for detecting growths on people’s bodies. Many dog owners have reported their dog sniffing, licking, or nudging spots that later turned out to be cancerous. Studies have shown that in families with young children who own a dog, those children will grow up with a less likely chance to have allergies. Dogs expose their owners to a multiplicity of germs, which can help build up a human’s immunity to disease. Triglyceride and cholesterol levels tend to be lower in people who are dog owners than that of non-dog owners.  

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