Every dog lover knows that life is better with a dog. Are the benefits of having a dog based on a feeling or is there some scientific benefit of having an extra member at home? We take a look at nine very real benefits of having a dog, backed by science:

1. Dogs help you de-stress

Your furry canine companion can help you worry less and enjoy life much more. Studies show that the simple act of petting a dog lowers blood pressure, eases breathing and relaxes the tension in your muscles. 

2. Dogs make you feel less alone

Your pet will be there for you even when your friends and family aren’t. Dogs offer unconditional love and emotional support and even help you stave off loneliness according to a small Australian research study. 

3. Dogs help you cope with crisis

Dogs actively help you recover from a crisis. A Purdue University study revealed that military veterans suffering from PTSD do better physiologically and psychologically when they have a service dog. Dogs are real lifesavers when it comes to human health and happiness. 

4. Dogs get you moving

Going for a stroll or quite simply exploring new paths is a lot easier and tolerable with a canine companion by your side. A British study revealed in 2019 that dog-owners are four times more likely to meet suggested daily physical activity levels than non-owners. Dog owners are forced to move for their sake as well as for their four-legged companions’.  

5. Dogs are good for the heart

Science proves that owning a dog can help you live longer. Studies conducted over the past 70 years have shown dog owners to have a reduced risk of mortality, lower blood pressure and better stress-response. Stress, which is a major cause of heart problems, is greatly reduced by the bond between a dog and it’s owner. 

6. Dogs make you more social

A dog is often the ice-breaker in any social interaction. People feel more comfortable starting the conversation with someone walking their cute canine companion. Dogs are the perfect way to get to know more people and befriend strangers. A research study held at The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University shows that dog owners who have a strong connection with their pet are more connected to other human beings and communities.   

7. Dogs are linked to higher happiness levels

A simple glance at your furry friend or a friendly run-around with him/her can raise your happiness levels significantly. A Japanese study in 2009 found that simply staring into your dog’s eyes can raise your oxytocin levels. Incidentally, oxytocin is commonly known as the “love hormone”. Dogs are mood boosters for human beings. 

8. Dogs make you attractive, even virtually 

A dog’s presence on your social media and online profiles is likely to make you appear more likeable and social. Those with dogs in their profile pictures are said to have significantly higher success on online dating apps as compared to those without dog-featuring profiles. In a certain study, people were asked to rate pictures of others and found that those with a pet appeared to look happier and more relaxed.

9. Dogs help you be more mindful and in-the-moment

Your furry companions help you live more in the now and less in the past. Watching your dog eagerly taking in the world can help you do the same.

Dogs make for great companions, both outdoor as well as on the couch. They are loyal animals who thrive when their owners are happy. Getting a dog may be the best thing you do for your health.