Dog Health Issues – Dogs Make Us Healthy

Dog Health Issues – There is no question but that physical exercise is very healthy for our dogs.  But recent studies show that owning a dog or a cat results in healthier owners.  This is especially true if dog owners walk their dog and gives them adequate exercise. 

My dog, Romeo, walks with me everyday.  In fact, our walks are generally from 2 – 3 miles. 

I don’t want to sound like a broken record here.  I’ve talked about my little guy several times on this blog.

You see, he is a mutt.  He has short legs.  When he was a puppy, I wanted to talk him out on some short walks for exercise.  Because of his short legs, I didn’t think he would make it more than ½ mile.  To my surprise, he made it the ½ mile and just kept on going.

Today, the two of us take long walks.  Generally, we walk 7 days per week.  In the morning, he will follow me around until I put his halter and leash on.  He doesn’t let me forget that it is walk time.

Romeo has gotten me to the point where I don’t want to miss a day of walking.  I know that I am in much better shape and much healthier because of him.

But even those owners who don’t exercise their dogs that much tend to be happier and in better health.  I ran across an article that discusses the findings of this study.  It is called, “How Dogs Make us Healthy” by Michael Thomsen.  Here is a short quote from the article:

But there’s good news for the reluctant exerciser; a study from George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services shows yet another positive link between owning a pet, suggesting that pets can make us healthy.

The study followed 916 people split into three categories: those with dogs who walked them regularly, those with dogs who didn’t walk them regularly, and those with no dogs. Dog owners who regularly walked their dogs had lower Body Mass Index than any other group, were generally more active, and reported fewer chronic conditions and depression symptoms.

“There’s definitely a relationship between the exercise you do with your pet and the psychological and physical benefits for you,” Dr. Katherine Miller, Assistant Science Advisor at the ASPCA, told me. “There’s research showing people who have physical ailments or have been hospitalized and have a dog at home tend to recover more quickly and express more satisfaction with their lives.”

The complete article can be read here

I completely agree with this study.  I see why pet owners are happier and healthier than those who don’t own a pet.

What do you think?  I feel this was an interesting study.  Are you healthier because you own a pet?  Have you recovered from an illness or injury more quickly because of your relationship with your pet?

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