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Health Benefits of Owning a Dog

By Donna Stark

They've destroyed your furniture, chewed up your shoes, and stolen your place in the bed more nights than you can count. "Get a dog," they said. Or rather, "Get two so the one isn't lonely," they implored. So you did, and now, you are cleaning up yet another mess in your home. But you don't mind. After all, your four-legged friends bring so much joy the rest of the time, don't they? And they bring plenty of health benefits too! Take a look at why it is so beneficial to own a pet ... or two.

Benefits to Your Physical Health

It's tough to resist those cute eyes looking up at you begging to go outside and let's be honest, what else would you be doing during the time you take your puppy for a walk? Scrolling through social media? Watching your favorite program? Having a dog is a great motivator to get off the couch and head outdoors. Go for a walk, a run, or treat your pooch to a fun afternoon in the park chasing frisbee. In addition to keeping your dog in shape, it will improve your physical health too by encouraging weight loss, improving heart health, and strengthening your immune system.

Benefits to Your Emotional Health

Your emotional health is just as important as your physical health and there is nothing better to fight isolation and loneliness than to become a pet parent. Caring for a dog will give you purpose, friendship, and companionship. You will become overjoyed with the positivity that your puppy exudes and may even be surprised by how in tune he or she is with your own emotions. When they say a man's best friend is a dog, they weren't kidding!

Benefits to Your Mental Health

It's no wonder why college campuses are offering "Pet a Dog" days during their final exam weeks because pets are known to have a calming effect on us humans. On top of that, they are great at improving our moods! But the best thing about owning a pet is that it's one more thing to keep our brains active with. Instead of trying to figure out the daily crossword puzzle, you can try to understand why your puppy keeps chewing on the bedpost!

Nothing Beats Being a Pet Owner

You can always get a new pair of shoes or screen door, but you may not get the same kind of health benefits by doing something other than owning a pet. And if you think you can, just take a look into the eyes of a puppy, then ask yourself that question again.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Avondale, Ariz.

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