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Surprising Ways Owning a Dog Is Good for Your Health

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Apart from the sheer fun of owning a pet, having a dog enhances well-being and even personal growth in many ways.

Caring for a dog teaches kids responsibility and offers everyone in the family unconditional love. Many studies have found that the social support that dogs -- and pets in general -- provide boosts their owner's emotional health.

There are also many physical benefits to dog ownership.

Walking Rover on a regular basis -- once or twice every day -- can help you reach your own daily exercise goals and, in turn, lower your heart disease risk. In fact, according to one study, owners who walk their dogs on a regular basis are over 50% more likely to meet minimum exercise guidelines. Surprisingly, though, many people simply don't walk their dogs enough for them or their pets to get in a good workout.

The advantages of having a dog extend beyond the home. Bringing your pooch to work can reduce your stress. And studies by researchers at Central Michigan University suggest the presence of a four-legged "co-worker" can boost cooperation, bonding and trust among employees. That's important because getting people to work effectively as a group is often a challenge, even when companies try to engage staffers with activities like team-bonding exercises.

For the study, researchers divided participants into groups with and without a dog, and gave each group creative tasks to complete. People in the groups with a dog showed more enthusiasm and energy, and felt more closeness and trust than those without a dog. It seems that having a dog in the room encourages kind and helpful behavior, which in turn can help boost how well you do. If your workplace morale needs a jolt, consider a canine addition to the staff.

More information

The American Heart Association has more on how having a dog affects heart health.

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=746536

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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