Everyone is familiar with the benefits of having dogs as pets so it might not be surprising to be told that dog owners live longer, healthier lives. This has been officially confirmed as fact in a study conducted by Uppsala University in Sweden.
Sweden follows mandatory dog registration and when pets visit the vet, it is recorded in a national database. The study targeted 3.4 million people aged 40-80 who registered as dog owners for about 12 years. These people had no history of cardiovascular disease and their health records were followed by the researchers from 2001 to 2012. The results were very positive!
Dog owners had a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease as well as death from other causes. These findings hold true even when adjustments for other factors were made such as from smoking, body mass index and economic status.
Individuals living alone have been reported to have higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than those living in a multi-person household. Dog ownership was even more prominent as a protective factor for this group.
Cat owners may argue that their furry friends also have a calming effect on them. However, evidence suggests that dog owners are forced to get more exercise since they need to walk their dogs. This means that dog owners get more physical exercise daily which is a major contributing factor to health.
Walking their dog also provides owners with opportunities to increase their social interaction with their neighbours which is a bonus to single dog owners. Dogs also serve as strong emotional support.
We all have seen videos of how soldiers grow attached to their canine partners and want to adopt them as pets when they and/or their canine partners retire from service. There are even soldiers who go to great lengths to bring to their country the dogs they have befriended when they were deployed in another country.
A dog’s emotional support is evident in daily life too when we are feeling sad and all we want is to hug our dogs to calm down our emotions.
The study also found that owners of pointers and retrievers showed the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease. This may be due to the fact that these dog owners choose these breeds to fit in with their already active lifestyle: being physically active and like to be outdoors.
Whether you are a solo dog owner or a family living with a dog or dogs, there is no doubt that aside from the health benefits, having a dog also helps each member of the household feel loved and valued. Just seeing your dog’s happy greeting every time one goes home is daily evidence of the love and value that man’s best friend have for their human friends.
If you are thinking of getting yourself and your family a pet dog, we encourage you to get your new family member from an animal shelter instead. There are so many dogs who are looking for loving homes and caring dog owners. Each dog has a unique personality and you are sure to find the perfect pet among these dogs.
One of the best qualities of dogs is that their hearts are bigger than their bodies. Though shelter dogs have been abandoned, they are still ready to give all their love to their new human friends. So be sure to checkout these pet shelters around Metro Manila to find the perfect dog for you and your loved ones.
Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF): Website + Facebook page
Address: Unit 2A #88, Maginhawa Street, Teacher’s Village, Diliman, Quezon City
Hours: 11:00 am–5:00 pm (Thursday-Sunday)
Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS): Website + Facebook page
Address: Aurora Boulevard, Katipunan Valley, Loyola Heights, Quezon City (beside Superlines)
Hours: 10AM – 5PM (Monday to Saturday)
Clinic: 1PM – 3PM (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday)
Compassion and Welfare for Animals (CARA): Website + Facebook page
Address: 2365 Singalong Street, Malate, Manila
Clinic: 8AM – 5PM (Mondays to Fridays)l 8AM – 12NN (Saturdays)
Help Mandaluyong Animal Shelter: Facebook page
Address: C3 Welfare Compound, Martines St., Brgy. Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City
If you’re not in Metro Manila, try to research and find an animal shelter in your local community too.