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Dogs and Quality of Life

Dogs have a big effect on how we view our world and our health. Many studies have shown the benefits of owning, petting, reading to or visiting with a dog.

Dogs provide love and companionship. Dogs get you out of the house for those evening walks. They can be a conversation starter because it’s easier to talk about your dog than about yourself. While on your walk you’ll meet others doing the same which can lead to a friendly conversation. Skip internet dating and visit the dog park.

Dogs help deal with stress. People in stress mode get into a state of “dis-ease” in which harmful  chemicals can negatively affect their immune system. In one study, stockbrokers with high blood pressure who adopted a dog had lower blood pressure in stressful situations. Like any enjoyable activity, playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine — nerve transmitters that are known to elevate mood. Researchers found that interacting with a dog increases feelings of contentment and relaxation.  44 percent of people were also less worried about specific problems such as job security and finance.

One quarter of respondents in another study described their dog as their best friend while one in six women said they confided their deepest thoughts only to their pets. Family walks with the dog were found to be a more effective means of spending quality time with the family than mealtimes or holidays.

Dogs improve our lives in every way, from lowering blood pressure to reducing stress hormones to meeting that special someone.

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