Almost everyone smiles while petting a dog. If the dog licks your face, you probably laugh as you push the dog away, but are you aware that dogs can add more a whole lot more than a smile to your face? Studies have shown that dogs can actually improve your health! Here are some the health benefits:
- Dogs strengthen your heart: Dogs can decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease. This comes from the time spent exercising and getting fresh air and the sunshine while walking the dog, not to mention the distraction from work or family stress.
- Dogs lower stress: Petting a dog causes your body to produce serotonin and oxytocin which are known as the “happy hormones.” Also, simply petting a dog for several minutes can lower your blood pressure (as well as the dog’s blood pressure).
- Dogs boost immunity: Studies have shown that infants exposed to a dog during their first 6 months of life have a decreased risk of allergies, hay fever, eczema, and upper respiratory infections later in life. Furthermore, petting a dog exposes us to many different types of beneficial bacteria that are good for our gut health.
So, as you can see, dogs truly are Man’s Best Friend!