Can you imagine if your doctor told you to adopt a dog all in the name of your health? Well, it’s more realistic than you would think! Owning a dog has so many health benefits, it’s not even funny! We are here to list our top five health benefits of owning a dog. Before you continue reading, can you guess what they are?

1)    Dogs Expand Your Circle of Friends

If you’re like me, you don’t have a lot of time to go out and find friends outside of the workplace. Thank goodness my dog gets me out and about to meet people with similar interests! Who knows, maybe he will even lead me to the love of my life? Did you know that research has shown that dog owners make friends easier than 40% of the population just for having a dog? Isn’t that fantastic?! Even if you’re not an extrovert, you are way more likely to meet people when walking your dog or checking out your local dog parks. And again… maybe you will meet the love of your life like on 101 Dalmatians! And do not act like you didn’t dream of meeting your significant other the same way when you were a child! Still sounds pretty romantic, doesn’t it? Dogs intertwining their leashes and pulling you both close together. *happy sigh*

2)    Dogs Keep You Active

If throwing the ball over and over in the house isn’t enough to build up your arm strength to keep you fit, did you know that you will actually have to spend time in the great outdoors?! Whether you have a big dog or a small dog, all dogs need to spend time outside (for obvious reasons like going to the bathroom, duh!). Your dog needs interaction with other dogs, so guess where you will be heading after work today? The dog park! Oh, your dog is not a big fan of the dog park? Well, you will have to go to the regular park for a nice, long walk instead. That means you have to get off your bum and get active! Your dog’s health and wellbeing also rely on you being fit and active. This is a symbiotic relationship, if you were not aware before adopting your precious pup. If you’re concerned your dog is not active enough, be sure to check your Fi Collar app to track his/her daily activity levels. It is so easy to do! And you may be pleasantly surprised by how active Fido is when you’re gone. That means less time playing fetch!

3)    Dogs Improve Your Heart Health

Crazy isn’t it? Dogs don’t just fill your heart with love… they actually make your heart stronger! How so? Well, research studies show that owning a dog leads to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, and decreased triglyceride levels! And all of these things contribute to better heart health and overall cardiovascular health, reducing the chance of heart attacks. What is even crazier is that dog owners who do happen to have heart attacks have better survival rates. Lesson to take away from this? Get a dog. Know friends who don’t own dogs? Give them a dog! Then you can go on walks together and talk about how much your heart has grown (in size and strength) since owning a dog.

4)    Dogs Aid in Weight Loss

This one just makes sense when you think about. And you don’t even have to think about it that long. If you are living an active lifestyle all thanks to your fur baby, you are most likely going to lose weight! Research shows that daily dog walks help you lost weight! Why? Because your dog probably likes to walk at a faster pace than you do, all in the name of exploring and smelling the neighborhood surroundings! A study that was done in 2010 showed that people who walked their dogs 5 days a week, lost an average of 14.4 pounds over the course of a year. “Hey, that’s only 1.2 pounds per month!” I would not be the one to complain about any weight loss! Especially if it’s because I am spending time with the one that I love!

5)    Dogs Reduce Stress and Depression

It makes sense that owning a dog helps reduce depression in dog owners. Why? Look at all the other benefits that are listed here! Living an active and healthy lifestyle, being an ideal weight, having a healthy heart, and having a good group of friends all help with stress and depression! All of these benefits go hand-in-hand when it comes to owning a dog. Have you ever wondered why therapy dogs are actually a thing?! Because they bring happiness and love to people’s lives! Just spending a half-hour with a dog lowers anxiety, blood pressure, and increases levels of serotonin and dopamine! If you are unaware, these two neuro-chemicals play important roles in being calm and having a positive sense of wellbeing.

You have heard all you need to know! Doctor’s orders... Own a dog to live a happy and healthy life! Expand your circle of friends, stay active, improve your heart health, lose weight and stay in shape, and reduce stress and depression.