Health & Wellness

Dogs Might Make Us More Heart-Healthy

By on 08/04/2016

Pet ownership may positively affect physical and mental health, according to many studies completed over the years. Researchers haven’t been able to show actual proof that owning a dog is better for your heart, but they have drawn links between heart-healthy benefits and dog ownership. Experts at the American Heart Association think there’s enough evidence to reasonably assume that owning a dog may reduce heart disease risk.

What are some of the heart-healthy benefits dog owners may experience?

  • More exercise. Dog owners typically get more exercise than non-owners. When Fido needs to be walked, it means you need to get out and move, too.
  • Lower blood pressure. Dog owners tend to have lower blood pressure on average than non-owners, according to several studies. Research shows that blood pressure may also go down when a person pets a dog.
  • Better cholesterol levels. Dog owners may also have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels that are not explained by diet, smoking or BMI, according to a study, although the reasons for this are not clear.
  • Better reaction to stress. Dogs have been shown to have a calming effect on people. When petting a dog, your body releases relaxation hormones and reduces levels of stress hormones. Research shows that being around dogs may make heart rate and blood pressure go up less and return to normal more quickly when stressed.
  • More social connection. Having a dog makes it easier for you to connect with other people—and social interaction is good for your mental and physical health.
  • Increased happiness. People with pets may be happier, more trusting and less lonely than those who don’t own pets, according to research. When you’re happier, it’s good for your heart in more ways than one.

Copyright 2015 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Review Date: July 25, 2016
Reviewed By: Perry Pitkow, MD
Learn more about Baldwin Publishing, Inc.’s editorial policy, privacy policy and sponsorship policy.

No information provided by Baldwin Publishing, Inc. in any article or in any Health eCooking® video, recipe, article and/or other Health eCooking product or service is a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical condition. Baldwin Publishing, Inc. strongly suggests that you use this information in consultation with your doctor or other health professional. Use or viewing of any Baldwin Publishing, Inc. article or any Health eCooking® video, recipe, article and/or other Health eCooking product or service signifies your understanding and agreement to the disclaimer and acceptance of these terms of use.

TAGS

LEAVE A COMMENT

Subscribe to Perspectives



About This Blog
Perspectives highlights the expertise and services provided by the physicians, specialists, nurses and other healthcare providers at Einstein Healthcare Network. Through this blog, we share information about new treatments and technologies, top-tier clinical teams and the day-to-day interactions that reinforce our commitment to delivering quality care with compassion. Here, you will also find practical advice for championing your health and wellness. The Einstein Healthcare Network "Terms of Use" apply to all content on this blog.