Our heroes don’t wear capes, they don collars – this is the Year of the Dog
This year, 2018, is celebrated in the Chinese calendar as the Year of the Dog. Dogs have the power to transform and enrich our lives, making them our everyday superheroes. They provide constant companionship; unconditional love and their friendships come with many added health benefits too.
Dr Guy Fyvie, nutritional advisor for Hill’s Pet Nutrition, highlights the top five benefits:
- They increase our life expectancy – research has shown that for people living alone the risk of death is decreased by 33% if they own a dog to keep them company. This is because of the way dogs make us feel; happy, loved, content.
- They ensure our social well-being and happiness – Interacting with your dog is great for happiness but, having a dog can also increase interaction with people. People with dogs are happier, interact more with others and are less likely to visit the doctor.
- They promote heart health – recently there has been a lot more evidence proving having a dog may help to improve heart health. Studies show dog owners have lower blood pressure than non-dog owners. It’s thought that having a dog reduces stress and has a calming effect, in fact the chances of having a heart attack is lowered by 11%.
- They boost our immune development and can reduce risk of allergies – not only can dogs boost the immune system of adults but, of children too, especially if they’ve been exposed to dogs since infancy. Contrary to popular belief having a dog does not increase the chances of allergic reactions. In fact, studies show that having a dog in the home when you have young children will help to prevent pet allergies later on in their lives.
- They can help with depression – depression is no longer the taboo subject it once was. There’s evidence that dogs can reduce stress, anxiety and depression and in some cases even cure it.