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Dogs Make Us Feel Less Alone
Dogs can be there for you even when people can’t. They offer unconditional love, emotional support, and constant cuddles that help stave off social isolation. A small Australian study discovered that dog ownership can reduce loneliness.
A national survey of pet owners and non-pet owners by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute found that 85% of respondents believe that interaction with pets reduces loneliness. Most agree that human-pet interactions can help address social isolation.
2. Dogs Are Good for Your Heart
Owning a dog can help you live longer. A comprehensive review of studies published between 1950 and 2019 found that dog owners had a lower risk of death. Studies suggest that dog owners have lower blood pressure levels and improved responses to stress. Research has concluded that the bond between humans and dogs reduces stress, which is a major cause of cardiovascular problems.
3. Dogs Help You Stop Stressing Out
Even just petting a familiar dog lowers blood pressure and heart rate, slows breathing, and relaxes tense muscles. Scientists at Washington State University discovered that petting a dog for just 10 minutes can have a significant impact. Study participants had a significant reduction in cortisol, a major stress hormone.
4. Dogs Can Help Us Cope in Times of Crisis
Dogs can help us recover psychologically from a crisis. Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine discovered that military veterans with PTSD can do better both physiologically and psychologically when they have a service dog. Veterans with a service dog had significantly fewer symptoms of PTSD and showed improved coping skills.