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Adopt a Dog & Call Me in the Morning: How a Dog Could be Your Best Medicine

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Do you have a dog eagerly awaiting your arrival from work each day? If so, you’ve already gained firsthand experiences on the various health benefits of owning a pet. Because recent studies have proven that petting or even just looking at a dog improves health, physicians nowadays are prescribing four-legged friends to treat what ails us.

How Owning a Dog Promotes Well-being

Research reveals that when you pet your canine friend, your body becomes flooded with oxytocin, also called the “cuddle hormone”. Oxytocin makes you feel good and more connected with your pup. It also helps your wounds heal faster. Petting a pooch and, at time,s even just seeing one proves to lower blood pressure and reduce stress and anxiety levels. That’s maybe why some doctors now tend to forgo traditional medicine as their preliminary treatment option and instead prescribe pets. Not surprisingly, research reveals that people who have dogs have fewer trips to the doctor- 20% fewer to be exact.

Supporting Medical Research

Several research-proven references point out how pet ownership promotes good health:

  • A study of hypertensive patients at Buffalo shows that having a pet helps to lower blood pressure.
  • Another study at the Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition in Great Britain demonstrates that walking a pet aids in reducing stress since it soothes the nerves and offers immediate relaxation.
  • An assessment workshop by the National Institutes of Health Technology discovered that having a pet contributes in preventing heart diseases by offering the pet owner trustworthy companionship.
  • The book “Between Pets and People: The Importance of Animal Companionship” sheds light on how pets help in fighting loneliness and depression since the animal’s affection tends to promote in the owner an interest in life.

Further studies on medicine confirm how owning a pet can enhance health. For instance, living with a dog marks the following: lowered blood pressure, decreased heart rate, lessened blood triglyceride level, reduced stress response, and decreased weight. They encourage owners to get out and exercise every day. They make us feel safe and at ease. Most commonly, dogs are prescribed to patients dealing with anxiety and depression.

What’s more, under the Fair Housing Act, even communities that are otherwise pet-free, must make special allowances for service animals. This includes prescribed companion animals, not just registered service dogs.

Without a doubt, your adorable four-legged friend is more than just an amazing companion – he’s also great for your health!

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