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Bright Side

Your Dog Can Help You Live Longer, and Here’s Why

All dogs owners swear by the positive effects their fluffy companions have on them, and now we have scientific evidence to support that claim. In fact, numerous studies have shown that owning a dog does wonders for your well-being, looks, and life expectancy.

The Bright Side team has gathered the studies that investigate the positive influence of befriending a dog in many people’s lives for you to enjoy.

1. It can make you look 10 years younger.

Owning a dog can make you healthier and fit, but researchers have found another way to measure the positive impact adopting a dog can have on one’s life. They discovered that those over 65 who own dogs act 10 years younger than their actual age.

2. It can boost your self-esteem.

Dog owners who have a strong bond with their pets tend to have higher levels of empathy and self-esteem than those who don’t own a dog. In addition, having a fluffy companion around made them less stressed and happier.

3. It can lower the risk of chronic disease.

According to statistics, dog owners who walk their dogs regularly are one-third less likely to suffer from diabetes. Moreover, research suggests that if children from families with allergies grow up with a pet dog from birth, they are less likely to develop eczema and asthma.

4. It can keep you fit.

Who wants to go for a walk when it’s raining? Many people would rather not. But dog owners have to walk their companions on a daily basis. One study shows that having a dog makes you walk 22 minutes more per day, whereas another one found that the chances of dog owners achieving their fitness goals are higher than those without one.

5. It can lower your stress levels.

Studies have shown that having a pet can help you battle everyday stress and increase the owner’s mood. Moreover, another study shows that touching, stroking, or hugging an animal can quickly calm you if you’re feeling anxious or stressed.

6. It can release happy hormones.

Being around dogs can help you release the hormones that make you happy, like oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. These hormones are known to keep you happy, stress-free, and young.

7. It can expand your life expectancy.

Studies show that dog owners live longer on average than non-dog owners. Moreover, if they live alone, they often recover faster from serious health crises, like heart attacks or strokes, thanks to their 4-legged friends.

Are you a dog or a cat person? And if you have a dog, tell us in the comments how having one has changed your life!

Preview photo credit TanyaLovus/shutterstock.com
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