Health & Injuries

Owning a Dog Can Help You To Live Longer and Run Better

by On Oct 29, 2019

Got to say, our pet dog is always our favourite buddy in life!

Owning a Dog Can Help You To Live Longer and Run Better

Trying to find a magic potion to live a longer life? Or maybe to cure any illness?

Sorry to say, but there is nothing in the world that possibly make you immortal or age slower in life. But, there is one thing it might help you to live longer in life.

According to Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, dog ownership could be beneficial to heart attack and stroke survivors who live alone.

So owning a dog can help you to extend your life by 24%!

Dogs And Heart Diseases

Based on a global research published in "Circulation," a journal of the American Heart Association, Dr. Caroline Kramer, Endocrinologist and Clinician Scientist at Mount Sinai Hospital, said that their analysis found having a dog is actually protective against dying of any cause.

"For those people, having a dog was even more beneficial. They had a 31% reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease," Dr Kramer added.

According to World Health Organisation, heart attacks and stroke are the leading causes of death globally.

Health Benefits Of Dogs

Dog owners who lived alone has the highest benefits.

In comparison to people who did and did not own a dog, the researchers found the following for dog owners:

  • The risk of death for heart attack patients living alone after hospitalisation was 33% lower, and 15% lower for those living with a partner or child.
  • The risk of death for stroke patients living alone after hospitalisation was 27% lower and 12% lower for those living with a partner or child.
Owning a Dog Can Help You To Live Longer and Run Better

Photo Credit: 123rf

On the other hand, Tove Fall, professor at Uppsala University in Sweden, said: "We know that social isolation is a strong risk factor for worse health outcomes and premature death."

Also read:  SEA Games Gold Medalist Mok Shares Top Tips to Guard Against Injuries With FLEXISEQ

Previous studies have indicated that dog owners experience less social isolation and have more interaction with other people.

Furthermore, keeping a dog is a good motivation for physical activity, which is an important factor in rehabilitation and mental health.

Interacting with your dogs can boost your production of “happy hormones” such as oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine.

This can lead to a greater sense of well-being and help lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Plus, having a dog can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, ease depression and improve fitness.

Cardiologist Dhruv Kazi of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center indicated some of the findings.

For starters, there are well-documented mental health benefits to owning a pooch: “Dogs offer companionship, reduce anxiety and loneliness, increase self-esteem, and improve overall mood,” Kazi writes.

“The most salient benefits of dog ownership on cardiovascular outcomes,” Kazi writes, “are likely mediated through large and sustained improvements in mental health, including lower rates of depression, decreased loneliness, and increased self-esteem.”

Dogs Can Improve Physical Fitness

If you have a pet dog at home, bring them out for a walk or run. This a good cardio for the owner and their pet dog.

Not only are dog runners getting more exercise, they're getting better quality exercise by walking or running faster and possibly covering more mileage than people who simply walk or run on their own.

Owning a Dog Can Help You To Live Longer and Run Better

Photo Credit: 123rf

Dog runners or walkers are also more likely to stick to their fitness plans than those who walk with other humans or alone.

After a few runs in a week, I bet your dog will start to wait for you to take him out for a run with him.

Also read:  Most Common Hydration Errors Made By Long Distance Runners

As The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that "active people generally live longer and are at less risk of serious health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some cancers."

Well, why running? Running or jogging has many health benefits and can significantly improve physical and mental health.

As a popular form of aerobic exercise, running can reduce stress, improve heart health, and even help alleviate symptoms of depression when you run with your dog.

The Best Dogs for Kids and Families

You can choose good family dogs based on three main factors:

Owning a Dog Can Help You To Live Longer and Run Better

Photo Credit: 123rf

  1. Size: Small dogs can be excitable while some larger dogs tend to be docile. You should be looking at in relation to both dog's personality and energy level.
  2. Dog's Personality: A calmer dog has the ability to form strong bonds and be a great companion. You should be looking a dog with an agreeable temperament.
  3. Energy Level: Understand the lifestyle you can provide to a dog such as its activeness. A dog's excess energy can lead to behavior problems eventually if you are unable to meet its needs.

The below are some of the best dogs for children and families.

  1. Golden Retriever: The Golden Retriever is neither aggressive nor timid. They are extremely patience, smart and loyal which makes them a perfect choice for kids.
  2. Labrador Retriever: The Labrador Retriever is playful, loving, protective, highly intelligent and reliable.
  3. Poodle: The Poodle is smart and gentle dog which shed very little. They are available in both miniature and standard sizes.
  4. Collie: Collies are a gentle and predictable breed, rarely misbehaving and easily trainable.
  5. Basset Hound: Basset Hounds are loyal, low-key dogs that are known for their keen sense of smell.
Also read:  A Guide to Nursing the Heart

Conclusion

In a nutshell, dog ownership is beneficial for people who live alone and heart disease. It can help them out by managing their stress and loneliness.

Most importantly, dog ownership improves your mental health. But if you plan to have a dog, it is important to take responsibility of taking care of your pet dog.

After all, your pet dog is your best pal of all time.

More About Running With Dogs

Why owning a dog is beneficial?

There are many health benefits of dogs. Many dog owners see a decrease in stroke and heart attack. Dog owners experience less social isolation and have more interaction with other people. Interacting with your dogs can boost your production of “happy hormones” such as oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine.

Do pets increase your life expectancy?

Study have shown that owning a dog may actually extend your lifespan as having a furry companion can reduce depression, improve physical fitness and promote better sleep.

What is the best dog for a house pet?

Here are the 5 best dogs for kids and families: Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Poodle, Collie and Basset Hound.

How far can a dog run?

The average dog can run anywhere between 3km to 8km depending of the dog’s breed.

Samantha is an editor at RunSociety. A digital expert with a focus on the research and development of thought provoking and resourceful content, Samantha love Yoga and incorporate running in her weekly workout whenever she can.

Location
Singapore
No. of Posts
29
Join the Discussion