Your dog brings so much love and happiness to your life, but did you know that your pooch could also make you healthier as well? It’s true. You may not realize it, but the walks, the games of fetch, and the fresh air you breathe are doing your body right, and these activities keep your pet in tip-top shape as well.
In fact, there are many parallels between your health and that of your furry friend. Here we discuss some of the connections as well as tips that put your health as the first priority.
A Pet Can Help Your Heart
According to a recent study from the Mayo Clinic, people who own a dog are relatively healthier, especially when it comes to heart health. On top of that, they also eat better, have lower blood sugar levels, and are generally less stressed. One of the main reasons why they are often healthier is that a dog forces an owner to get up, get moving, and get the necessary exercise that our bodies crave.
When you are out and about with your pet, you get the blood flowing, and with regular exercise, you can avoid the extra weight and lack of blood flow that can lead to heart attacks. That is because, in general, dog owners get 30 more minutes of exercise per day than non-owners. In addition to the chores associated with having a pet, owners also have a lot of fun with their dogs, and doing everything from playing fetch to swimming in a nearby lake can keep adverse side effects at bay.
It is not a one-way street either, because this everyday activity is healthy for your pooch as well. Although it is sad to think about, many dogs suffer from obesity, which can lead to heart disease, arthritis, and more. That is why you want to get your dog moving with fetch, jogging, and swimming. If your dog is not used to a lot of activity, consult your veterinarian to make sure they are up to the task and don’t overdo it.
Healthy Diets Are Key
In addition to exercise, a healthy diet is vital for you and your furry best friend. In fact, in some cases, you and your pup can eat the same healthy food. An example of this includes the offal diet, which includes interesting dishes such as beef tongue, chicken liver, and pig tails. Also known as organ meats, these lesser-known snacks come from animals, and they are high in micronutrients, vitamins, and iron. Ever since early man, these foods have been enjoyed by humans and canines alike, and the diet still stands up today.
As owners, you want to be as healthy as possible so you can be up to the task of exercising with your dog. In general, you need a diet that is low in sodium and sugar and big on protein, fruit, and nuts. When keeping the blood flowing, healthy veins are crucial, and a diet that includes brussels sprouts, broccoli, eggplant, and other raw vegetables can keep your veins in optimal shape. As far as beverages are concerned, drink lots of water, milk, and tea with antioxidants.
Of course, your dog should also have a healthy diet, and if you are not keen on feeding them animal organs, then, in most cases, commercial dog food will do the trick. When buying dog food, read the labels and choose meals that include chicken, lamb, or beef as well as whole vegetables and healthy grains. Some dog food is not so good and can consist of a lot of ingredients that have no nutritional value and often act as fillers. Keep an eye out for these negative keywords when buying dog food as they offer no nutritional value:
● Meat meal
● Artificial colors
● Farmed salmon
● Rendered fat
● A lack of grains
Of course, both you and your dog should visit the doctor and vet regularly to ensure that you are both eating the right things and verify that you are not missing a vital component of your diet.
Other Human Health Benefits
While just about any pet can provide the companionship that all humans need in their life, dogs, in particular, can provide many health benefits in addition to ample exercise. For instance, some studies say that a dog can actually help with allergies, especially in the first years of a child’s life. The reason is that when children are exposed to pet dander early in their lives, they can build immunity as they grow older.
Even if this theory holds true, you still want to be responsible while handling your dog as their daily activities can lead to germs, so wash your hands regularly, especially after feeding or playing with them. While it is a dog’s nature to get dirty, you can do your best to keep germs at bay with fresh water, clean bedding, and the proper vaccines.
Another great benefit of dogs is that owning one can help to reduce stress and raise your self-esteem. One of the reasons is that when you have a dog, it allows you opportunities to be social with other pet owners, which can lead to more conversations and, potentially, more friends. This is important because studies show that the more social a person is, the longer they may live. Pets can also help with stress and anxiety because of the companionship they provide and the structure they create for your day. A dog is a constant responsibility, and having a purpose can change your entire outlook on life.
In the end, being a responsible pet owner can lead to a happier and healthier life for both you and your perfect pooch.