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Your Dog Is Good For Your Heart

By Sara Butler

Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. As many as 25 percent of the deaths in the United States are associated with heart disease, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While your family history certainly plays a role in your risk, so do lifestyle factors. But one way to improve your heart may be snuggled up at your feet right at this moment: your dog. That's right, your furry friend may be able to help improve your odds of developing heart disease. Here's how.

They Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

One of the biggest contributors to heart disease is high blood pressure, but your pooch might be able to come to your rescue. Spending time with your loyal pal can actually lower your blood pressure. Studies have found that, in general, pet ownership is associated with healthier hearts. This is thought to be the result of the emotional support dogs offer humans, which help you to relax.

You have to admit, it does make you feel good to walk in the door at the end of a hard day and see someone so excited to see you.

They Help You Get Active

When you have a dog, you can't be lazy. That's because they want to be played with and walked every day and that helps you to be more active. Studies have found that dog owners walk up to 300 minutes per week, a number that exceeds the 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise experts recommend to keep your heart healthy.

Plus, dogs can help you to find new activities you enjoy outside such as taking hikes, biking, and swimming. Depending on your breed of dog, you have no choice but to stay active right along with them.

They Just Make It Better

Dogs are a great addition to your health and wellness -- it's not all about your heart. Researchers have discovered that dog ownership contributes to your mental health, helping to reduce feelings of anxiety and isolation. For senior citizens, dogs can also help to reduce symptoms of dementia, too.

Dogs are just awesome. If you own one, you already knew that, but if you don't own a dog, there are plenty of reasons for you to adopt a new best friend. Dogs make your life and your health better -- and those kisses at the end of the day aren't bad, either.

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

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