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It has been proven by a wide breadth of research that dogs are good for your health. They have particular qualities that improve and maintain the well-being of humans, making them the perfect living companions.
Firstly, they keep us moving. They’re the best personal trainers you could wish for, reminding you regularly but very gently that you need to go for a walk. Walking lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease. The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that dog owners walk, on average, nearly twice as much per week as those without dogs. Then there’s their incredible sense of smell that can quite literally save lives. From the breath of a human, dogs can distinguish between those with and those without lung cancer, as well as being able to detect falling blood sugar levels. Essentially, they can know if you are sincerely ill before you do.
As well as being finely attuned to your physical health, a dog’s company can do wonders for your state of mind. Animal Assisted Therapy has been linked to reducing levels of anxiety and depression in patients, whilst the simple act of playing with a dog releases oxytocin (a feel-good hormone) and reduces cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). Studies have shown how this benefit can apply to the workplace too, decreasing absenteeism and improving company morale and productivity.
Principally, however, dogs simply love you unconditionally. They don’t discriminate or judge, desiring only to love and to be loved. This simplicity of drive can open up even the most closed of people, and bring joy and happiness to many which is why humans treat them as members of the family. Pets aren’t always cheap to look after though, especially if something goes wrong, which is why dog insurance has now become a necessity for most owners.
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