Anyone who has ever had their day yanked out of the dark by a wagging, spinning, leaping ball of love who is overjoyed to welcome them home knows it’s hard to quantify the ways being a pet parent makes life better. Researchers, however, have figured out a few scientific strategies that spell out the benefits our loyal puppy pals leave in their wake. Let’s dig into 5 ways science has shown dogs improve our mental health and 5 ways they enhance our physical health.
5 Proven Mental Health Benefits of Owning a Dog
If we learned anything from the pandemic apart from the value of safeguarding toilet paper, it was the emotional benefit of having a dog. Here’s what recent research has revealed about specific ways this is true:
Having a dog:
- Reduces loneliness
- Can reduce stress and anxiety
- Can boost mood
- Can increase feelings of social connection
- Can improve coping skills
1. Owning a dog reduces feelings of loneliness
Just ask Charlie Brown. The stats back him up. Eighty-five percent of respondents in a nationally representative survey of pet owners and non-pet owners agreed that pets can help reduce loneliness. The survey was conducted by the , a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that works to advance the vital role of the human-animal bond in the health and well-being of people, pets and communities.
Loneliness can seriously impact our health. Studies have found it to be a risk factor for both morbidity (the state…