Courtesy of Grace Hawkins, guest blogger. 

Dogs are known as man’s best friend, and as we’ve been living and working alongside them for hundreds of years, this is no surprise!

As well as being great companions, our amazing furry-friends also boost our health and wellbeing. Various scientific studies show that owners reap a huge variety of physical and mental health benefits from our four-legged family members.

Read below the five wonderful ways they contribute to our health:

Dogs keep us moving:

We all know there are days when a walk or a run just does not sound appealing, but nothing works better than those puppy dog eyes gazing up at us, to get us up off the sofa and out of the house for a bit of exercise and fresh air. A dog acts as a motivational factor to get outdoors and with their presence, our everyday walk or exercise turns into an interesting one (and fun-filled too!)

As mentioned, you will find that you are more likely to plan a walk or a mild jog with your furry buddy than you would if you were on your own. You may also choose to incorporate some specific training exercises into these walks to make them more fun but to also teach them new things.

As well as training, you can also incorporate games into your walks. These will keep you both fit and healthy while having fun. Games you can play include; fetch, 'tug-of-war’, Frisbee – whatever game your dog enjoys you! Keep on doing these activities with them to make their ‘walkies’ educational, fun and rewarding for all involved.

Dogs help our mental health

Research has revealed that petting your furry friend lowers the amount of Cortisol in our blood. Cortisol is the stress hormone that can contribute to bodily fatigue, weight gain and premature aging. So it is scientifically proven that petting dogs reduces stress!

Playing or cuddling with your dog for a few minutes can help calm you down and make you feel happier as it releases endorphins in your brain in the same way as exercise. These powerful 'feel good' hormones continue functioning in our central bloodstream for a long time, even when you finish playing with your dog.

In conclusion, dogs can help our mental health as they give our lives routine and a sense of balance. Their loving presence and selfless love can reinforce a sense of responsibility, which in turn produces a feeling of comfort and can help with feelings of anxiety and/or depression.

Dogs help us sleep

Dogs are known for being a carrier of positivity and happiness. As mentioned above, they can help fight depression and anxiety by acting as a therapeutic partner who loves us unconditionally.

In our busy schedules, the right amount of sleep is really important. An adequate night’s sleep comes packed with various positive qualities, like reducing our stress-level, lowering our blood pressure, preventing unusual mood swings, and assisting our bodies to fight against illness.

Studies have proven that individuals who follow an exercise routine sleep better than those who don’t. As most dog owners are typically more active, physically and mentally, they are likely to benefit from a better sleep pattern.

Dogs help us to feel safe

Our four-legged buddies give us a sense of safety and security. Their presence makes us feel less lonely as they’re always there and keeping a watchful eye on us. This is especially comforting for some at night time as our four-legged friends remain alert while you can get a settled sleep.

Dogs help us to be more social

Socialising and regularly interacting with others is good for our health and can help us live a longer and healthier life. By being a dog owner, you may find that you have more opportunities to meet and interact with more people when you go out for your walks, at doggy themed events or simply when you take your pooch to the vets. Also, you may find it easier starting up a conversation with another individual who has a dog like you or happens to be a fellow pet lover.

Overall, dogs improve the quality of our lives

Adopting a dog can change your life, and the dog’s life, for the better. As you have read they can help enhance your life, from your physical fitness to your wellbeing. If you think now is the time to add a furry addition to your family, then please get in touch with Jerry Green Dog Rescue. They can help you find a pooch who suits your needs and lifestyle through their pioneering Meet&Match process. You can find all of the dogs currently searching for their forever homes here.

Written by:
Grace Hawkins
Content Writer and Blogger
[email protected]