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Does owning a dog make you live longer?

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

Gabby the berenedoodle sitting pretty under a maple tree.
Gabby the Bernese poodle aka bernedoodle mix siting pretty under a Japanese maple tree.

Owning a dog can have numerous benefits for your health. Not only are they cute, cuddly, and always eager to please, but they also have a positive impact on our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. In this blog, we will explore the various ways in which dogs can enhance our health and improve our quality of life.

Physical Exercise.

One of the most obvious benefits of owning a dog is the increased physical activity that it requires. Regular walks, runs, and play sessions are essential for maintaining a healthy dog and help to keep the owner active as well. Whether you're going for a brisk morning walk or an afternoon jog, dogs provide the perfect excuse to get outside and get moving. This can help to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, obesity, and other health problems associated with sedentary lifestyles. Furthermore, research has shown that people who walk their dogs regularly tend to be more physically active than those who don’t own dogs.

Mental Health.

In addition to providing physical benefits, dogs can also have a profound impact on our mental well-being. Owning a dog can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as provide a sense of comfort and security. Research has shown that petting a dog releases oxytocin, a hormone associated with feelings of happiness and relaxation, which can help to lower blood pressure and reduce feelings of stress. Additionally, dogs can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment, as they depend on their owners for love, care, and attention.

Studies have also shown that dogs can help to improve mood and reduce feelings of loneliness and social isolation. This is particularly true for elderly people who may struggle with feelings of loneliness, as dogs can provide them with a companion who is always eager to spend time with them. Moreover, dogs can serve as a great icebreaker, making it easier to meet new people and make new friends. This can be especially helpful for those who are shy or introverted.

Emotional Support.

In addition to providing physical and mental benefits, dogs can also provide emotional support and comfort. Many people find that having a dog by their side can help to alleviate feelings of sadness, loneliness, and stress. This is especially true for people who have experienced traumatic events or have struggled with mental health problems. Furthermore, dogs can provide a source of unconditional love and acceptance, which can be incredibly healing for people who may have experienced rejection or abandonment in their lives.


Owning a dog can also help improve socialization skills, as it allows interaction with other dog owners and their pets. Walking your dog in the park, attending dog training classes, or participating in dog sports can help to develop social skills and build relationships with others. Furthermore, dogs can serve as a common ground for conversation, making it easier to strike up a conversation with others. This can be especially helpful for people who struggle with social anxiety or shyness, as dogs provide a natural icebreaker and can help to reduce feelings of nervousness and discomfort.

Environmental Benefits

Owning a dog can also have a positive impact on the environment. Dogs can help to encourage people to spend more time outside, which can improve their connection to nature and help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Furthermore, many people who own dogs participate in activities such as hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities, which can help to foster a love and appreciation for the natural world. This, in turn, can help raise awareness about environmental conservation's importance and encourage people to take steps to protect the planet.

One of the greatest things about owning a dog is that it provides a lifelong commitment. Dogs can live for many years, and their loyalty and love is unwavering. This can be especially beneficial for those who are going through difficult times, as dogs can provide a source of comfort and support that is always there for us.

Moreover, dogs can also provide a sense of security and protection. Whether you are living alone or with a family, dogs can serve as a deterrent for intruders and provide peace of mind knowing that someone is always there to protect you.

Finally, dogs can also provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Whether you are training them for a specific task, playing with them in the park, or simply cuddling with them on the couch, dogs provide an endless source of love and joy. Owning a dog can help to provide a sense of purpose and direction, which can be especially helpful for those struggling with boredom or loneliness.

In conclusion, owning a dog can provide numerous health benefits, including improved physical health, enhanced mental and emotional well-being, a sense of security, and a lifelong commitment. Whether you are looking for a companion, a source of exercise, or simply a friend to cuddle with, dogs can provide all of these benefits and more. So, if you are considering adding a furry friend to your family, consider all how dogs can enhance your health and improve your quality of life.

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