Dog ownership boosts heart health

tonic-pics | pixabay

tonic-pics | pixabay

To avoid trips to the doctor, it’s best to spend time with your “dogtor.” A recent study published by Mayo Clinic has found that owning a dog improves heart health.

The Kardiovize Brno 2030 study conducted in Central Europe tested 1769 subjects who were pet owners and found that dog owners benefited the most health-wise. 

The State of Obesity, an organization dedicated to observing national obesity data and trends, reported that obesity rates are still “alarmingly high” so owning a dog can encourage increased physical activity. 

The study analyzed pet owners and their relation to cardiovascular health factors. 

The two most imperative factors were obesity and high blood pressure, both contributing to major heart diseases. 

If the study was not convincing enough, Harvard University Medical School went as far as publishing and selling a special health report informing the public of the many health benefits of owning a dog. 

This recent study should not be taken lightly. Many other studies have proposed the benefits of owning a dog, and society even uses the statement “a man’s best friend” to emphasize the happy relationship a dog has with its owner. 

Along with improving cardiovascular health, the impact of a dog on emotional and mental well-being feels almost therapeutic. 

Owning a dog eases the mind, which contributes to healing the body. Psychology discusses this existence of a mind-body connection. 

For instance, meditative practices have been shown to improve cognitive thinking as well as lowering blood pressure, seen in an article published by the International Journal of Hypertension

The endorphins released in meditative practice are the same endorphins released while spending time with a furry friend. 

Broken heart syndrome stands as proof that stress on the mind can influence cardiovascular health negatively, and dogs can be a stress reliever which can mitigate the negative effects of these feelings of stress. 

Even though the study finds that dog owners are less likely to be at risk for cardiovascular diseases, pet owners in general seem to be healthier overall.

Health Guide reported that owning a pet boosts mood and well-being, but in the end it all comes down to companionship.

While it is expected to spend time alone, especially in conquering a busy schedule, human desire for companionship allows for an increased sense of happiness. 

Health Guide also stated that “pets fulfill the basic human need for touch” and love. 

The next logical direction to take with this study is to consider what other pets do to their owners’ health.

Even though the study emphasizes owning a dog, it seems that the same effects can be found with other pets. 

However, dogs keep owners on their feet more, allowing for more activity. 

It is worthwhile for people to go fetch for a better lifestyle.