Although the phrase a “Man’s Best Friend” only dates back to the 19th century, dogs have long played a key role in the lives of humans says animal rights advocate Igor Purlantov. It is believed that modern day dogs were domesticated from gray wolves around 15,000 years ago. Since that time, dogs have become best friends with both men and women and have gained increasingly popularity throughout the years according to Igor Purlantov.
Adding to the increased popularity of dogs is the fact that many people enjoy their companionship. Along with providing companionship, there are numerous health benefits of having a dog in your household says Igor Purlantov. Here is a list of some of those health benefits that may surprise even the greatest dog lover:
Improved Social Interactions
Dogs are a great natural conversation starter and provide an easy way for people to socially interact with others. Dogs are also great for making love connections between people especially for those that may otherwise be socially shy.
Great for Mind and Soul
It has been shown that people with a serious illness such as cancer are far less likely to suffer from depression when they have a dog. The health benefits are particularly good when the person has a strong attachment to their dog.
Good for Blood Pressure
People with dogs are believed to have lower blood pressure than those without. One study showed that stockbrokers with high blood pressure who adopted a dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than those without a dog.
Increased Serotonin and Dopamine
Studies have shown that playing with a dog can raise levels of serotonin and dopamine, usually achieved with drug use, and thus providing an all natural way to increase feelings of pleasure and calm.
Asthma and Allergy Prevention in Children
Studies have shown that early and regular contact with dogs can help children avoid developing a number of respiratory problems including asthma. There is also evidence that living with a dog can also help prevent allergies in children.
Improved Immune System
Having a dog has been shown to boost your immune system and also improve how it functions. It is believed that dogs often have a very good sense of when a person is ill and are great at providing comfort to help a person feel better.
Improved Mood and Reduced Depression
Simply interacting with a dog can improve your mood and help make you feel better in general. Also, having a dog can help relieve depression since playing with a dog helps take your mind off your issues and allows you to focus on something else.
Having a dog has been shown to help people that are feeling lonely, especially those who are single or widowed. Having a dog also provides a connection and allows for someone feeling lonely to be able to spend time with another living being.
Good for the Heart
It has been shown in several studies that heart attack patients who have a dog survived longer than those without. Also, males who have a dog have less sign of heart disease including lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than other males that do not.
Helping with Age
Walking a dog has been shown to provide both exercise and companionship for the elderly. Studies have shown that Alzheimer's patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is a dog in the home. Some insurance companies even ask their clients over age 75 if they have a dog as part of their medical screening as it is often seen as a good sign.
With all of these heath benefits, it is no surprise that a dog can be both a man and woman’s best friend says Igor Purlantov. Along with providing companionship, having a dog provides numerous health benefits including helping you age so why not go to your local animal shelter and find a new best friend to age gracefully together with as you enjoy each other’s company.
Igor Purlantov is an animal rights advocate that follows and writes about animal news and trends to help raise awareness of animal rights and protection. You can read and learn about his work on www.igor-purlantov.info or follow him on twitter @igorpurlantov