Surely if you are reading this, you already know that living with dogs is holistically healthy for us, the benefits of having a dog or dogs are many but the fact that the benefits affect us physically, mentally and emotioinally/spirtually is awesome!
There have been several studies that have proven the holistic benefits out – obviously to those who may never have had a companion animal in their life or perhaps to the researchers themselves. I believe most of you reading this already know these health benefits to be real. However, I am sharing these studies/research with you, so you will have ammunition for those who poo hoo anything that has not been proven out scientifically.
There was one study that found that babies who grew up with dogs were less likely to get sick, or suffer with allergies. The results of that study supported those of a similar study conducted in Finland from 2002 to 2005. In that study, researchers monitored the health of 397 Finnish children born during that time period until they were a year old. Their parents reported symptoms on a weekly basis such as coughing, sneezing, and ear infections. The babies who were exposed to either a cat or a dog in the first months of their lives were 30% less likely to experience coughing, ear infections, congestion, and sneezing. In households with dogs, the babies were 44% less likely to develop ear infections and 29% less likely to receive antibiotics than babies who didn’t grow up with pets.
Babies who were exposed to dogs in their first year were significantly healthier than those exposed to cats and another one that revealed that children with dogs in their households are less stressed. And still another one describing how having pet of any kind can improve the health of senior citizens as well, largely because of the active routine that comes with pet ownership.
And now, the latest study on dogs and health benefits has been “massive”!
Swedish researchers monitored the health of over 3.4 million adults over the course of twelve years. The participants were between 40 and 80 years of age and had no prior history of heart disease.
Compared to participants who didn’t own dogs, those who did own dogs were discovered to have a lower risk of death as well as a lower risk of developing any cardiovascular condition.
“A very interesting finding in our study was that dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group reported previously to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than those living in a multi-person household,” wrote researcher Mwenya Mubanga. “The results showed that single dog owners had a 33 percent reduction in risk of death and 11 percent reduction in risk of myocardial infarction during follow-up compared to single non-owners.” Married study participants that had dogs also had a lower risk of death and cardiovascular disease than married participants without dogs.
So there you go, dogs can keep us holistically healthier – physically, mentally and spiritually!