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The Benefits of Owning a Dog

January 30, 2012 by Marc Faktor, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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Believe it or not, those fuzzy and furry bundles have a lot more to offer than what meets the eye.

Lots of interesting research has and is still being done on the benefits of owning and caring for man's best friend, the canine!

Here are a few fun facts:

  • Individuals who own and walk their dogs engage in more physical activity and as a result meet the national guidelines for physical activity more often.
  • Children whose families own dogs are more active than those without. This research suggests that canines could be of great assistance when finding innovative ways to combat the childhood obesity epidemic.
  • Dog ownership can assist young children with a high risk for allergies in preventing certain conditions like eczema (a chronic skin condition).
  • Dogs assist individuals in coping with chronic disease and provide promise for innovative treatment programs. We all know that having a loved one to hold and cuddle does have its benefits.

As the above information indicates, dogs are clearly much more than man's best friend. They have the ability to significantly improve our health and quality of life throughout the lifespan. If you've been wondering if you should take the leap and adopt another best friend go for it! After all, it will be good for your health!

As Emerson once said, "The First Wealth is Health".

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Comments (2)

almoir

Posted on Tuesday February 7, 2012 a 1:50pm

Hi there, I was quick to read this post as a huge dog lover, and that adorable picture drew me in right away! I completely agree with your points about how a dog can provide health benefits. My concern however is in the last paragraph where you encourage those who have been thinking about getting a dog to "take the leap" and adopt for health benefits. Deciding to bring a dog into your home should be an extremely thought-out and informed decision. Buying a dog is not the same as buying a thigh-master, you can't discard it when you get bored!

cpetelski's picture

HealthyFamilies BC

Posted on Tuesday February 7, 2012 a 4:34pm

Dear Almoir, Thank you so much for reading and taking your time to comment. Your comment is a very valuable one as lots of individuals do indeed underestimate the time and financial investments that go with owning a dog. Nevertheless, it is clear that individuals who do own dogs generally have a greater quality of life. The final comment was geared to those dog lovers who have taken the time to look into all the pros and cons of owning an animal and are ready to make the lifestyle change. I am a huge dog lover, and I would not want to see anyone making a poor decision that could effect the health and well-being of an animal. Nevertheless, for those individuals who have the resources available to own and properly take care of a dog, I highly recommend it! Thank you once again for bringing this to our readers attention. Sincerely, Marc.

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